State Comptroller: Not enough protection on Rav-Kav user information

AuthorArutz Sheva Staff
Published date19 October 2021
Publication titleIsrael National News (Israel)
According to the comptroller, the state owes NIS 3.6 billion - tax money collected from citizens. "This is private money and the state is committed to returning it," Englman said. "The tax authority does not act proactively to provide tax refunds to those entitled to it."

On the gas outline, Englman said: "In the wealth fund - there is only NIS 741 million instead of a forecast of NIS 12.8 billion by 2022. The government is not working effectively to realize the revenue potential inherent in the gas resource and increase the wealth of the public coffers."

Regarding the "Rav Kav", the comptroller stated: "There is not enough protection for the details of the multi-line users in accordance with the Privacy Protection Law. Cyber protection is one of the important issues and we monitor it on all levels."

Regarding the management of the reserves at the Bank of Israel, the auditor said: "As of February 2021, the total foreign exchange reserves held by the Bank of Israel were estimated at $ 185 billion, compared to the desired level, which stands at $ 70 to 110 billion. This led to a cumulative capital deficit of about NIS 70 billion and could impose a goodwill risk on the Bank of Israel.

An audit was also conducted on the umbrella agreements in the housing market: "From 2008 to 2020, housing prices jumped by 103%. The audit found that in practice land was marketed for the construction of only 80,000 housing units, which is about 33% of the marketing targets in the signed umbrella agreements."

Aspects of the umbrella agreements signed with local authorities - special report

The significant increase in housing prices in the country from the beginning of 2008 to the end of 2020 has increased the burden of spending on households, especially from the low socio-economic class and the middle class, and has created a crisis in the housing sector. One of the reasons for the rise in housing prices is the shortage of housing units. With the intention of encouraging local authorities to promote in their jurisdiction the development of new residential neighborhoods and the marketing of housing units on a large scale and rapidly in October 2013 For the benefit of removing marketing and development barriers. " This decision stipulates that the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Construction and Housing and the Israel Land Authority must enter into agreements with local authorities in agreements for the development and marketing of land within their jurisdiction (roof agreements).

The State Comptroller examined several aspects of the umbrella agreements signed with local authorities in 2013-2020. The audit was conducted by Israel Land Authority and the Ministry of Construction, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of the Interior, the Urban Renewal Authority and several local authorities.

The review revealed that:

Rate of marketing of residential land: The government decision on the roof agreements stipulates that the local authority will undertake in the roof agreement to allow land marketing within its jurisdiction at a marketing rate of not less than 2,000 units per year (marketing rate). Markets of land on which, according to the plans that apply, about 241,000 housing units can be built, if the marketing was in accordance with the said marketing pace. The audit found that in practice, land for the construction of about 80,000 housing units was successfully marketed, which is about 33% of the land that would have been marketed if the marketing had been in accordance with the said marketing rate, in terms of housing units.

Integration of urban renewal in the umbrella agreements: The government planning targets for 2017-2020 stipulate that planning in the field of urban renewal will amount to approximately 76,000 housing units, approximately 18% of the total planning target for these years (most of which are concentrated in Tel Aviv, Central Israel, Jerusalem and Haifa). According to the decision of the Israel Land Council in the roof agreements, Israel Land Authority was allowed to allocate an additional plot of land for up to 10% of the units in the roof agreements for urban renewal, so that the potential is to build up to 44,000 units. It emerged that by the end of 2020, of the localities for which a roof agreement was signed, completion plots in only one locality were allocated as part of a plan that includes 3,500 housing units (a plan in which about 0.8% of all housing units in roof agreements). That is, the agreements did not serve as a key tool for implementing urban renewal projects.

The housing needs of the population in areas of minorities: It emerged that in January 2021, the date of completion of the audit, the Ministry of Construction or Israel Land Authority had not yet signed a roof agreement with a local authority from the minority localities, although the government attached importance to promoting construction in the minority localities. End of the audit) Israel Land Authority signed an umbrella agreement with the Umm al-Fahm municipality.

The housing needs of the ultra-Orthodox population: Despite the need to establish 200,000 housing units for the ultra-Orthodox population between the years 2016-2035, as of the end of the audit, no ultra-Orthodox neighborhood was marketed in any heterogeneous city for which an umbrella agreement was signed. In three municipalities, neighborhoods intended for the ultra-Orthodox population are in various planning stages, amounting to about 2,350 housing units (in Ramla and Netivot) as well as in Akko as part of the "Shaarei Akko" program, which includes about 8,000 housing units for the entire population. Also, although more than four years have passed since the date of the government decision, the Ministry of Construction and the Budget Division of the Ministry of Finance have not yet formulated a system of incentives for the inclusion of neighborhoods for the ultra-Orthodox population within the umbrella agreements.

Reporting on the implementation of the government decision on the umbrella agreements: The government decision on the umbrella agreements did not establish a mechanism for reporting to the government on how to implement the decision. In addition, in the years 2013-2020, the Israel Land Authority Council did not discuss the issue of non-compliance with the pace of marketing and the barriers that prevent it from being compliable. In addition, it emerged that the annual reports for 2013-2019 that Israel Land Authority submitted to the council included a report on the umbrella agreements signed in the relevant years, and sometimes they included a breakdown of the number of housing units marketed and a report on agreements that are expected to be signed. However, they did not report on the barriers to the implementation of the agreement or on the gap between the actual marketing and the marketing according to the marketing pace set in the government's decision on the umbrella agreements.

Marketing of commercial and employment areas under the umbrella agreements: Until June 2020, only about 7% of the land for commercial and employment included in the plans in the umbrella agreements was successfully marketed in terms of built-up square meters. More than half of the authorities signed the umbrella agreements (13 of 25) for successfully marketed residences (according to housing units) of the lands included in the plans in the agreement was about 10% greater than the rate of successfully marketed and commercial land (per square meter of built-up area according to the plans) out of all commercial and employment lands included in the plans in the agreement. The reliance of local authorities to a large extent on the income expected of them to collect business property taxes, this may harm the financial situation of the authorities and their ability to provide their residents with services at an adequate level.

Rate of building permits and duration of issuance: The rate of building permits from all the units included in the plans in the agreements in 11 authorities examined was between 7% in Be'er Yaakov and 58% in Rosh Ha'ayin, which is one of the first authorities to sign an umbrella agreement. Of all the units included in the plans included in the umbrella agreements of the 11 authorities examined. The length of time for obtaining a building permit in ten local authorities for which an inspection was conducted was more than 90 days as stipulated in the roof agreement. The duration of the permit was between 132 days in Netivot and 504 days in Netanya, and an average of 309 days. It should be emphasized that the length of time for obtaining a permit depends on various factors, including the applicants and its editors, and on circumstances some of which are not under the control of the local authority.

It was also found that the grant of the umbrella agreements at a cost of NIS 129 million was given to the authorities that signed the umbrella agreements in 2019 and 2020 according to a criterion regarding the increase in the population of the authority and not according to the number of building permits issued by the authority. For the issuance of building permits to housing units. "As a result, the grant did not serve as an incentive for the issuance of building permits for these authorities.

State Comptroller Englman noted in the report that from January 2008 to December 2020, the housing price index rose by about 103% in real terms, and from October 2013, the date on which the government decided to promote the signing of umbrella agreements with local authorities, the index rose by about 34%. It is recommended that Israel Land Authority and the Ministry of Construction carry out a follow-up to examine whether the authorities are meeting the rate of housing units set in the decision in the umbrella agreements, jointly conduct staff work to map barriers and difficulties in each phase of umbrella agreements and work together to remove any barriers.

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