Last Thursday, just before the new year, Deputy Director General of Administration and Human Resources Ruti Ashkenazi and the Finance Ministry's budgeter Orly Davidian left for New York, to conduct a survey in Israel's economic delegation in New York.
Sources at the Finance Ministry were surprised that the senior employees chose to leave that weekend, since the delegation would be closed on Friday and Saturday and on Sunday the Consulate would be closed.
On Monday, the first of January, the authorities in the United States were on strike, as on the next day, which was declared a national day of mourning over the death of former US President Gerald Ford.
It was reported by the Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper that the two's trip to the US cost the tax payers some NIS 32,000 (about USD 7,650), even though for the first five or six days, the envoy was not even able to carry out the task it was sent there for.
The Finance Ministry reported that "the dates of departure and return were timed this way in order to spare on the cost of the flight."
The explanation to this was that when civil servants' travels last over a week rather than a few days, the price of the flight is cheaper.
The costs of board and lodging and other personal expenses of the two workers staying in the US were not reported.