More than four years have passed since the publication of the Winograd Commission's
report into the Second Lebanon War
but the Foreign Ministry has yet to fully implement the commission's recommendations and the recommendations presented by the Lipkin-Shahak commission of inquiry.
These were among the findings of the State Comptroller's Report
which was published on Tuesday.
The government adopted the main points presented by the Winograd Report, while at the same time it established its own commission of inquiry led by former IDF Chief of Staff Amnon Lipkin-Shahak.
The inquiry's findings contrasted the Winograd Report's findings on, among other things, the decision to establish a bureau for political planning at the Foreign Ministry. The State comptroller noted that it would be advisable to determine clear procedures that would be in force for all ministry employees.
(Photo: Gil Yohanan)
This would be done through amendments to ministry regulations including work processes and the expected results.
The comptroller remarked that the ministry's directorate needed to clearly define the boundaries of the authority and responsibility of the bureau for political planning in order to make its role in relation to other departments in the ministry clear.
It would also be appropriate if before distributing the bureau's findings, the director general ensure that the findings include alternative suggestions.
The State Comptroller's Office said that they believe that a status report is an important resource in order to integrate the assessments and understandings unique to the Foreign Ministry in the political decision making process, in line with the Winograd Report and in accordance with the aims of the provisions of law in the National Security Council.
Yet the ministry's activities in this field have yet to fulfill their goals.
The comptroller wrote that in order to implement the Winograd Report findings and the Lipkin Shahak recommendations, the Foreign Ministry must jointly reach decisions when they might influence the heart of inter-organizational operations, including the mutual "loaning out" of employees.
Moreover, the comptroller stated that in light of the fact that habitual labor relations occur between the ministry departments and elements within the Defense Ministry, the Ministry must clarify the issue of handling leaks with the planning bureau in order to remove the obstruction from the joint flow of information and cooperation between the two bodies.
The comptroller also examined the Foreign Ministry's Center for International Cooperation (MASHAV). He wrote that one of the goals of the Foreign Ministry was to deepen Israel's partnership in the new global agenda through international aid operations.
The comptroller believes that the ministry must accelerate its activities to complete the preparation of a draft proposal with regards to the government's decision on the question of who was responsible for foreign aid matters within the State of Israel.
He added that it would be appropriate that within the framework of these activities, the ministry's directorate examine the practical impact of Israel's OECD membership – which it will then present before the government's political decision makers.