IDF Union Fails Audit

A 2005 internal audit by Histadrut Comptroller Adi Kandel revealed financial mismanagement within the trade union of Israel Defense Forces employees and failure to observe sound accounting practices.

The union, which is headed by Yehoshua Maimon, functions as an umbrella organization for civilians working in the defense establishment and on IDF bases. Defense Minister Amir Peretz was Histadrut chairman during 2005.

According to the report, the IDF workers' organization had no detailed annual budget plan, and no quarterly or periodic reports were issued, making supervision of the budget extremely difficult. The report also said that the union's regional secretaries did not create yearly work plans.

With regard to suppliers, the audit revealed the following oversights: There were no policies or directives regarding arrangements with suppliers. The union had no signed agreement with most of its suppliers and service providers, and there was no documentation of discussions about the choice of suppliers in the union's finance committee.

Even more serious was the finding that relationships with suppliers were often initiated randomly by employees belonging to the union. The comptroller concluded there the union had no procedures for advertising for service providers.

By the end of 2005, the union's financial reports for 2003 had not yet been approved. The Central Committee - the union's supreme body - was inactive during this period. The IDF trade union's secretariat did not submit a report of its activities to the Central Committee. In addition, several committees did not convene at all or convened only a few times.

The comptroller also found that more than 10 percent of the trade union's operating budget for 2004 was spent on a car allowance for the organization's chairman.