In Bid for Transparency, Israel's Treasury Gains Oversight Over Defense Budget

Finance Ministry oversight gives civilians access to details of defense budget for first time in Israel's history.

The Finance Ministry gained oversight over the defense establishment's budget as part of an agreement finalized Sunday, after years of dispute over the matter. This gives civilians access to the details of the defense budget for the first time in Israel's history.

The Defense Ministry agreed to let treasury officials have access to its computer systems containing salary and pension figures within three weeks. Access will be limited to three treasury officials plus the accountant general and the budgets director. The treasury employees will need to use biometric identification in order to access the system.

IDF tank near Gaza border - Emil Salman
Emil Salman

Another agreement enabling oversight over other aspects of the budget is expected to be approved within the next few weeks.

The cabinet decided to increase transparency and oversight over the Israel Defense Force's budget in January, and made this a condition for the budget increase that the defense establishment was demanding at the time.

The talks were led by Prime Minister's Office director general Harel Locker.