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Israel

In law
67
In practice
52

Israel provides direct public funding for parties, as well as free access to advertising, though in practice questions arose during the 2013 elections about how airtime was distributed. Multiple cases of non-financial resources being abused also occurred during those elections. By law, individuals are limited in the amount they can contribute to parties, and parties cannot spend more than a certain amount during campaigns. In practice, parties rely on public funding for their financing, while candidates are often reliant on individual donors. During the 2013 elections, a number of parties violated restrictions on contribution. Parties are required, in law, to report on their finances within and without the campaign period, while candidates must do so only during elections. Some reports filed by both parties and candidates fail to include a full list of donors and contributions. Some financial information is available online in pdf or word formats. Media organizations typically rely on the Comptroller's report, which covers the entire electoral process, in their coverage of political finance issues. Only some third party actors are required to report partial information on their independent political activities, and obtaining verified information on their spending and contributions is very difficult in practice. The Comptroller is responsible for overseeing political finance -- he is not chosen in a public process, and in practice, the Comptroller's independence is not guaranteed. The Comptroller did not carry out serious investigations in the wake of the 2013 campaign, and sanctions imposed for administrative violations have not deterred repeat violators. Because of a deficit of formidable sanctioning authority, the Comptroller is unable to ensure compliance with the law.

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    Direct and Indirect Public Funding

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      Direct Public Funding
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        1
        Score
        YES
        In law, there is direct public funding for electoral campaigns.More about indicator

        In Israel there is a direct transfer of financial resources from the state to political parties, and only parties can be elected.

        Article 2 in the ' Parties Financing Law' indicates that parties are entitled to funding from the state treasury- also outside of elections. Article 2 (a): "Every party group shall, in accordance with the provisions of this Law, be entitled to be financed for - its election expenses in the election period; its running expenses in every month from the month following the publication of the results of the elections to the Knesset until the month in which the results of the elections to the next Knesset are published."

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where there is direct public funding for both political parties and individual candidates to campaign. A 100 also applies where only one of the two actors can be elected and, therefore, only one is entitled to direct public funding.

        A MODERATE score is earned where per law only one of the two actors (either political parties or individual candidates) is allocated direct public funding to campaign, even though both can be elected.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        Parties Financing Law, 1973, article 2 http://www.mevaker.gov.il/he/Laws/DocLib/law-mimon-miflagot-tik-31.pdf

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        2
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        YES
        In law, there is a transparent and equitable mechanism to determine direct public funding for electoral campaigns.More about indicator

        The 'Parties Financing Law' asserts a transparent and equitable mechanism to determine direct public funding for electoral campaigns for parties. Article 3 determines a mechanism to allocate public money to parties according to their seniority and their size.

        Article 3 of the Parties Financing Law determines a mechanism to allocate public money to parties according to their seniority and their size. Allocations are based on vote share from the current and prior elections. Each new party shall receive one 'funding unit' for every elected member plus one unit. A veteran Party shall receive one funding unit plus the number of members in the parliament prior to the elections plus the number of members it received in the new election divided by two. Article 3 (a+b): "A new party group is entitled to one financing unit per seat won by the party group in the elections, plus an amount equal for one funding unit. For other parties, the financing received is in accordance with the number of seats the party group won in the outgoing Parliament, plus the number of such seats won in the incoming Parliament, divided by two and added by an amount equal to one funding unit." In addition, article 2 (a1) states that some of the parties who do not pass the threshold also receive funding: "a list of candidates that received more than 1% of the valid votes, but does not participate in the distribution of seats… is entitled to one funding unit."

        A public committee is to decide how much a 'funding unit' is worth in Israeli New Sheqel (Nis). Article 1a (a) specifies that The Committee is composed of three people. Its chairman will be a judge appointed by the Supreme court president. The funding unit will be decided at one of these dates- according to the choosing of the Committee - January 1st, April 1st, July 1st or October 1st.

        For a party to be eligible for such support there are several conditions. Article 6: "A prior condition for payment of the amounts for financing election and running expenses is that within fifteen days after the determining day, and for a new party group - within fifteen days after the day on which it was recognized as a party group - (1) the party group has notified the Speaker of the Knesset of the names of not fewer than two and not more than eight representatives empowered to act on behalf of the party group for the purposes of this Law (hereinafter referred to as “the representatives”); the consent of the representatives shall be attached to the notification; at least one of the representatives shall be a Knesset Member, and concerning at least one of them the party group and he himself shall declare that he is familiar with the party group's financial position; (2) the party group has submitted to the Speaker of the Knesset a declaration signed by its representatives that it has done everything necessary to ensure the proper keeping of an account of its income and expenditure in accordance with the relevant directives of the State Comptroller; (3) the party group has notified the Speaker of the Knesset of the number or numbers of its account or accounts at a bank or banks. (4) the party group or candidates' list has notified the Speaker of the Knesset of the name of its accountant, his address, and additional particulars as prescribed by the Speaker of the Knesset, and attached the accountant's consent to serve in his capacity."

        According to article 1, "party parliamentary group" means one of the following: a party which was represented by a party group in the outgoing Knesset, submitted a list of candidates for the Knesset elections, and is represented in the Knesset by at least one representative; a party the representative or representatives of which in the Knesset has or have been recognized as a party group by the House Committee; a combination of two or more parties which maintain one party group in the Knesset. According to article 1, "determining day" means the 101st day before elections, or the third day after the Knesset was dispersed.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where: 1) direct public funding for political parties and individual candidates' electoral campaigns is allocated through a clearly defined calculation mechanism that is transparent and equitable, and 2) there are clearly defined eligibility criteria.

        A MODERATE score is earned where direct public funding for political party and individual candidates' electoral campaigns is allocated through a clearly defined calculation mechanism that is transparent and equitable, but eligibility criteria are not clearly defined.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        Parties Financing Law, 1973, articles 1-6 http://www.mevaker.gov.il/he/Laws/DocLib/law-mimon-miflagot-tik-31.pdf

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        100
        In practice, to what extent is the mechanism to determine direct public funding for electoral campaigns transparent, equitable and consistently applied?More about indicator

        According to the 'Accountability for the parties and candidates for the 19th Knesset Elections' report, made by the State Comptroller of Israel, Yosef Shapira - all eligible parties received in the last elections (January 2013) public funding according to the mechanism defined at the Parties Financing Law. In the report one may see how much each party received for the participation in the last election- and indeed it's according to the number of seats it has in the Parliament.

        An Official publication of Israel from March 2014 indicates that as described in the law- the funding unit is index-linked. Therefore it rose to 1.375 million nis (approximately 400,00 usd). In the last elections the unit was 1.336700 million NIS (document ''Zarkor for the Elections of the 19th Knesset', page 1; Yalkut Hapirsumim, March 2012, page 3122).

        In the last elections 'Yesh Atid', a new party who joined the coalition received public funding of 26,734,000 nis and won 19 seats (page 118, Accountability for the parties and candidates for the 19th Knesset Elections). According to the allocation mechanism, it should have received 20 funding units and that is how it rolled out (20 units = 26,734,000 nis). Meretz, a veteran party, who won 6 seats and had 3 in the former Knesset, received 7,351,851 nis (page 120). The allocation mechanism called for 5.5 funding units and that is how it rolled out.

        Former MK member Yoel Hasson who ran with 'Hatnua' Party in the last elections said that all the parties "received the Direct public funding for electoral campaigns in a transparent, equitable way". However, he adds, "the parties got only 85% of the money promised to them by law. the rest was given only after a year- after the State Comptroller decided that they ran their accounts well in the framework of the law. It was withheld from all equally". Arbel Astrachan, Legal Advisor of the House Committee of the Knesset, clarifies that "the 15% are the last part of the funding that the parties are entitled to. It is paid only once the State Comptroller issued a report regarding their conduct. The public funding was given in the last election as the law describes". Indeed, article 4 (b) (2) of the Parties Financing Law dictates that "15% (of the funding will be given) - immediately after the State Comptroller submit to the Speaker of the Knesset a positive report."

        Article 13c (b) in the Parties Financing Law dictates that if the Comptroller report is negative (that is, if a party broke any of the laws regarding campaign financing) a Party shall give back 15% of the public funding.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where: 1) electoral campaigns allocations are always defined through a clearly defined transparent and equitable calculation mechanism, and 2) the defined eligibility criteria are applied consistently.

        A 50 score is earned where: 1) electoral campaign allocations are usually defined through a clearly defined transparent and equitable calculation mechanism but exceptions exist, or 2) the eligibility criteria are usually applied but exceptions exist.

        A 0 score is earned where: 1) political campaign allocations are rarely or never defined through a clearly defined transparent and equitable calculation mechanism, or 2) the defined eligibility criteria are rarely applied.

        Sources

        Interview: Yoel Hasson, Former Chairman of the comptroller committee of the Knesset and Of Hatnuaa Party, and today Chairman of 'Etika'- consulting company for comptroller issues, phone, 29 July 2014

        Interview: Arbel Astrachan, Legal Advisor of the House Committee of the Knesset, email, 4 August 2014

        Document: Accountability for the parties and candidates for the 19th Knesset Elections, Yosef Shapira, State Comptroller of Israel, 26 February 2014 (pages 108-125)

        Document: 'Yalkut Hapirsumim', The Official publications of the state of Israel, Minister of Justice, 24 March 2014

        Document: 'Zarkor for the Elections of the 19th Knesset', The Official publications of the Knesset, November 2012

        Parties Financing Law, 1973, article 13c (b) http://www.mevaker.gov.il/he/Laws/DocLib/law-mimon-miflagot-tik-31.pdf

        Document: 'Yalkut Hapirsumim', The Official publications of the state of Israel, Minister of Justice, 15 March 2012, http://www.justice.gov.il/NR/rdonlyres/7917FABA-6D3C-4AFD-9DD2-64DA11F02F0F/43027/6776.pdf

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        0
        In practice, to what extent does the entity in charge of public funding make disbursement information publicly available?More about indicator

        It is impossible to get hold of the disbursement information, unless one reads the State Comptroller report regarding the last elections. It was published only in February 2014 (the elections took place in January 2013). The information in the report is full, it is published online and can be downloaded for free, but it was published a year later and only after it was processed by the Comptroller.

        The entity in charge of disbursing public funding is the Parliament which never makes such information publicly available. Arbel Astrachan, Legal Advisor of the House Committee of the Knesset, confirms that "The Knesset is the one that disburses the money to the parties through the Knesset accountant. The specifics are available through the Comptroller report that was published at February 2014."

        A story that was publish in Nana-10 website "The state Comptroller report for elections 2013" at the same date in which the report came out, bolsters this point. Only then for the first time did parties' account-books, including the public funding figures, became public.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where: 1) complete information on the disbursements is published less than a month after disbursement, and 2) the information is available on the Internet for free or in hard copy at photocopying cost.

        A 50 score is earned where: 1) the information published is incomplete or published more than two months after disbursement, or 2) obtaining the information costs more than photocopying.

        A 0 score is earned where: 1) disbursement information is published more than four months after disbursement, or 2) no disbursement information is published or released upon request.

        Sources

        Interview: Arbel Astrachan, Legal Advisor of the House Committee of the Knesset, email, 4 August 2014

        The State Comptroller report for elections 2013, Shay Doron, Nana 10, 26 February 2013 http://news.nana10.co.il/Article/?ArticleID=1040388

        Document: Accountability for the parties and candidates for the 19th Knesset Elections, Yosef Shapira, State Comptroller of Israel, 26 February 2014 (pages 108-125)

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      Indirect Public Funding
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        5
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        NO
        In law, use of state resources in favor of or against political parties and individual candidates is prohibited.More about indicator

        Article 2a of 'Elections Law (Propaganda Methods)' and article 28y3(a) of the 'Parties Law' prohibit the use of public resources for the use of electoral campaign regarding parties (in national elections) and candidates (in intra-party elections), respectively. In article 2a of Elections Law (Propaganda Methods) it is stated that "There won't be any use, regarding election campaigns, of funds or property originating from bodies that are subject to the control of the State Comptroller, or of corporation that the government or local authority participate in its management or capital, and there won't be any such use in land or chattels held by such body or corporation." Article 28y3(a) of the Parties Law is almost identical.

        Both articles mention two exceptions. One of them is accessible to all actors equally (the use of open or public facilities), but the second is not: "Use of assets provided by the state at the disposal of the minister, deputy minister or a member of the Knesset, or provided by the local authority at the disposal of the head of the local authority" (Elections Law (Propaganda Methods), article 2a (2); Parties Law, article 28y3(a) (2)). This exception allows certain candidates and parties to use state resources.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where there is an explicit ban on the use of state resources in favor of or against political parties and individual candidates. A YES is also earned where there are clearly defined exceptions, which are accessible to all actors equally.

        A MODERATE score is earned where an explicit ban exists but it only applies to one of the two actors, even though both can be elected. A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        A NO score is also earned where the law exists, but allows discretionary exceptions.

        Sources

        Knesset Elections Law (Propaganda Methods), 1959, article 2a https://www.knesset.gov.il/elections16/heb/laws/prop_law.htm

        Parties Law, 1992, article 28y3(a) http://www.mevaker.gov.il/he/Laws/DocLib/law-miflagot-1992.pdf

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        50
        In practice, to what extent are no state resources used in favor of or against political parties and individual candidates' electoral campaigns?More about indicator

        Both The journalist Tal Schneider and the legal counsel Jonathan J. Klinger mention the existence of law and the fact that it is enforced. However, limited and rare violations of this law exist. Schneider adds "In the last primaries I found out by pure chance an incident that shows how some don't respect the law. MK Michal Biran who was a candidate made use of a public facility to make calls to people and urge them to vote for her in the primaries. Biran replied to my accusations and said that she will give back the money spent to the state treasury". She adds that "normally the state Comptroller is the one that has the resources to uncover such incidents".

        Another article. "The Likud primaries: The Comptroller warned Haim Katz" indicates that the Comptroller had fears that in the primaries that took place in November 2012 one of the candidates (Haim Katz) will use the resources of a state owned company against the law - to promote himself in the primaries. The Comptroller stated that he had information that the candidate will use resources such as the computer systems in the primaries. The Comptroller referred also to the fact that the company sent buses in the previous primaries (November 2008) to help Katz supporters to get to the polls. An article published after the most recent (November 2012) Primaries showed that Katz still organized transportation based on the state owned company vehicles for the workers there. This time it wasn't buses but cars.


        Peer Reviewer comment: Agree. As noted in question #5, there are clearly defined exceptions (for the ban on the use of state resources in favor of or against political parties and individual candidates), but they are not equally accessible to all actors - incumbents get them for free. Ministers, deputy ministers and  members of the Knesset and heads of local authorities use the assests that are regularly provided to them by the state (in order to help them with their on-going work) during their campaigns. These assests include, for example, a minister's car, office and Personal assistants. It should be noted that they are not provided with any "extra" ot "special" public resources for their campaigns, and are not allowed to use such resources - they are only allowed to use these "regular" resources prided to them by the state.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where there is no evidence of authorities using state resources in favor of or against political parties and individual candidates. A 100 is also earned where there are clearly defined exceptions and are equally accessible to all actors.

        A 50 score is earned where: 1) documented evidence indicates occasional use of state resources in favor of or against political parties and individual candidates, or 2) clearly defined exceptions are not equally accessible to all actors.

        A 0 score is earned where documented evidence indicates regular use of state resources in favor of or against certain political parties and individual candidates.

        Sources

        The Leasing Deal of Haim Katz, Amichay Atali & Zeev Kam, Maariv, 26 November 2012, http://www.nrg.co.il/online/1/ART2/418/162.html

        Interview: Tal Schneider, Political Blogger and Reporter of 'Haplug', 5 August 2014, email

        Interview: Jonathan J. Klinger, Adv. The Legal counsel for the Israeli Public Knowledge Foundation and legal counsel for several political candidates, 28 July 2014, email

        'The Likud primaries: The Comptroller warned Haim Katz', Aviel Magnezi, Ynet, 25 November 2012 http://www.ynet.co.il/articles/0,7340,L-4311325,00.html

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        YES
        In law, political parties and individual candidates have free or subsidized access to equitable air time for electoral campaigns?More about indicator

        In Israel there is a transparent and well defined mechanism as for how much airtime each party gets: according to its size and seniority. Broadcasting for the parties is free according to article 16b & 16c of the Elections Law (Propaganda Methods).

        The law differentiates between new and veteran parties, but all of them get airtime. There is no threshold of support that must be met in order to receive this airtime - all parties and candidates' lists contesting the election are eligible to receive airtime.

        Regarding television, the law (article 15a (b) ) states that "each party and candidates’ lists will be given 7 minutes of airtime, and each party already represented in the outgoing Parliament will receive 2 additional minutes of airtime for each Member". Although the television broadcasting time is free, the program itself must be produced and financed by the parties, and approved by the Chairman of the Central Election Committee.

        Regarding radio campaign (article 15)- the broadcasts are also free, and the time is allocated "to every party or list for a period of 15 minutes. Every party represented in the outgoing Parliament will be given 4 minutes for each Member."

        Article 16c states that the law to broadcast parties' propaganda "will also oblige The Second Authority for Television and Radio" (private media). I.e both public and private media will supply airtime. However, the program itself must be produced and financed by the parties, and approved by the Chairman of the Central Election Committee.

        As opposed to national elections, in intra-party elections, individual candidate are not eligible to receive airtime.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where: 1) free or subsidized access to air time for electoral campaigns is granted in a transparent, equitable way, and 2) there are clearly defined eligibility criteria.

        A MODERATE score is earned where free or subsidized access to air time for electoral campaigns is granted in a transparent, equitable way, but eligibility criteria are not clearly defined.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        Knesset Elections Law (Propaganda Methods), 1959, article 15, 16 http://www.nevo.co.il/lawhtml/Law01/190003.htm#Seif6

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        50
        In practice, to what extent is free or subsidized access to air time provided in a transparent, equitable way to political parties and individual candidates for electoral campaigns?More about indicator

        According to several articles that examine the last elections (January 2013) the air time provided for the different parties was according to the law. The air-time was free, and was given in accordance with the law in an equitable way: 7 minutes on television and 15 on the radio. For every member a party already has, it was given extra minutes according to the legal requirements.

        As for transparency, the head of the Central Elections Committee, which is in charge of the time allocations, published all of his decisions regarding the propaganda in the last elections at the committee's website. These decisions deal, among other things, with banning specific propaganda broadcast (Central Elections Committee, 17 January 2013), and the commission also publishes the broadcast hours in each channel (Central Elections Committee, 12 December 2012). However, in the last elections the airtime allocations were not published, and thus the public was not able to access the actual amounts of airtime provided to each party.

        In an Interview with Adv. Deen Livne, legal counsel for the Central Elections Committee, he asserts that the law states the allocation of air time and that's how it's done. He explains that each list of candidates handed to the supervisor of propaganda broadcastings its specific days requests. Then a lottery decided who goes when. According to Livne all of the decisions regarding the propaganda are published online - and they are indeed. Adv Livne underlines the fact that the law specifies a list of restrictions in order to create an equitable mechanism. Nevertheless, there is no publicly available report about the allocations themselves - how much time each party finally received.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where: 1) free or subsidized access to media advertising is always provided in a transparent and equitable way, and 2) the defined eligibility criteria are applied consistently.

        A 50 score is earned where: 1) free or subsidized access to media advertising is usually provided in a transparent and equitable way, but exceptions exist, or 2) the eligibility criteria are not always applied.

        A 0 score is earned where: 1) there's rarely free or subsidized access to air time for political campaign, and 2) access exists but is not provided in a transparent, equitable way.

        Sources

        Interview with Adv. Deen Livne, legal counsel for the Central Elections Commitiee, email, 25 July 2014, 27 July 2014

        A decision published by the Central Elections Committee, written by the head of the commitee Judge Elyakim Rubinshteyn regarding the airtime allocations. 12 December 2012 (regards the last elections) http://www.bechirot.gov.il/elections19/heb/cec/NoticeList.aspx?NoticeId=139

        Another decision published by the Central Elections Commitiee, written by the head of the commitee Judge Elyakim Rubinshteyn regarding the airtime allocations. 1 January 2013 (regards the last elections) http://www.bechirot.gov.il/elections19/heb/cec/NoticeList.aspx?NoticeId=173

        "Today the Propaganda Broadcasts Begin", News2 Journalists (as a byline) website, 8 January 2013 http://www.mako.co.il/news-elections-2013/articles/Article-133b46af8581c31004.htm

        "for the first time the order of the propaganda broadcasts will be decided by lottery", Haaretz, Ilan Lior, 2 January 2013 http://www.haaretz.co.il/news/elections/1.1898712

        Website of the Central Elections Committee to the 19th Knesset, Press Release http://www.bechirot.gov.il/elections19/heb/cec/NoticeList.aspx?NoticeType=ann

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    Contribution and Expenditure Restrictions

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      General Rules on Electoral Campaign Contributions
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        9
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        MODERATE
        In law, cash contributions are banned.More about indicator

        Candidates may receive up to 200 nis (approximately 58 USD) donations in cash according to the Israeli law. Article 28d (d) to the Parties law states that "a candidate will not receive from a donor and a donor will not give to a candidate a donation in bills or change in an amount exceeding 200 nis".

        The law does not explain the framework required for contributions above 200 nis, but article 28ji in the same law states that "a candidate shall handle the contributions in a separated bank account". That is - via the banking system.


        Peer reviewer comment: Agree. As for parties, the Parties Financing Law law does not make any distinction between cash contributions and other kinds of contributions. In other words, cash contributions to parties are not banned or limited (except for the general limit on contributions to parties).

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where cash contributions are banned and all financial contributions must be made via the banking system.

        A MODERATE score is earned where cash contributions are allowed up to a maximum limit, regardless of the limit.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        Parties Law, 1992, article 28d http://www.mevaker.gov.il/he/Laws/DocLib/law-miflagot-1992.pdf

        Reviewer's sources: Parties Financing Law, 1973, articles 4 http://www.mevaker.gov.il/he/Laws/DocLib/law-mimon-miflagot-tik-31.pdf

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        10
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        YES
        In law, there is a ban on anonymous contributions.More about indicator

        The law stipulates that anonymous contributions are banned. The law explicitly describes that the donations will be given only after the donor is identified.

        Regarding parties, article 8d2 of Parties Financing Law indicates that "A party group or candidates' list shall not receive anonymous contributions - directly or indirectly. For this purpose, a contribution given by a person whose identity and address are not checked and verified by or on behalf of the party group or candidates' list are deemed to be given anonymously."

        Regarding candidates, article 28d (c) of Parties Law shows that "A candidate shall not receive a contribution unless it is given by a person whose identity and address are checked and verified by or on behalf of the candidate".

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where the law stipulates that anonymous contributions are banned.

        A MODERATE score is earned where the ban exists, but it applies only to one actor (whether political parties or individual candidates). A MODERATE score is also earned where small anonymous donations are allowed up to a maximum threshold equal to or less than the equivalent to US$300.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        Parties Financing Law, 1973, article 8d2 http://www.mevaker.gov.il/he/Laws/DocLib/law-mimon-miflagot-tik-31.pdf

        Parties Law, 1992, article 28d (c) http://www.mevaker.gov.il/he/Laws/DocLib/law-miflagot-1992.pdf

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        11
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        YES
        In law, in-kind donations to political parties and individual candidates must be reported.More about indicator

        In Israeli law, in-kind donations to individual candidates must be reported. The Parties law clearly defines that any contribution, including in-kind ('money worth' in Hebrew, ???? ???), must be reported.

        The law defines contribution as a contribution "in money or in-kind, directly or indirectly, in Israel or abroad, in cash or other commitments, except a volunteering act that is worth less than 50,000 nis (approximately 14,540 usd), and is not the volunteer's only occupation".

        As for parties, the Parties Financing Law itself does not mention in-kind donations at all. However, the official guidelines of the State Comptroller define donation as a donation "in money or in-kind, directly or indirectly" (State Comptroller Guidlines according to Party Financing Law Concerning Managing the Financial Affairs of a Party Parliamentary Group, article 1).

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where all in-kind donations must be reported to the oversight authority.

        A MODERATE score is also earned if the requirement to report such information exists, but applies only to one actor (whether political parties or individual candidates).

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        Parties Law, article 28a (3), 1992 http://www.mevaker.gov.il/he/Laws/DocLib/law-miflagot-1992.pdf

        State Comptroller Guidlines according to Party Financing Law Concerning Managing the Financial Affairs of a Party Parliamentary Group, 2009, article 1 http://www.mevaker.gov.il/he/Laws/DocLib/lawmmiflagothanhayot27.01.2009.pdf

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        12
        Score
        YES
        In law, loans to political parties and individual candidates must be reported.More about indicator

        Parties Financing Law clearly defines that all loans to parties must be reported to the oversight authority (The State Comptroller).

        Article 7a to Parties Financing Law states that "a party or a list of candidates shall not receive a loan unless it's from a bank". Article 9 (b) indicates that all parties' loans will be reported to the Comptroller- "the account book and the bank accounts will be available to State Comptroller auditing".

        Regarding candidates, article 28d1 in the Parties Law states that candidates "may receive a loan from a bank", and article 28d1 (b) indicates that the loans will be reported since "The loan will be regarded as a contribution". Article 28ji (c) for that matter indicates that "the account-book and the bank account of the candidate will be under the supervision of the State Comptroller".

        Therefore, loans to political parties and individual candidates must be reported.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where all loans must be reported to the oversight authority.

        A MODERATE score is earned where loans must be reported, but the requirement applies only to one actor (whether political parties or individual candidates).

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        Parties Financing Law, 1973, article 7a & 9b http://www.mevaker.gov.il/he/Laws/DocLib/law-mimon-miflagot-tik-31.pdf

        Parties Law, 1992, article 28d1 & 28d1 (b) & 28ji (c) http://www.mevaker.gov.il/he/Laws/DocLib/law-miflagot-1992.pdf

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      Limits on Contributions and Expenditures during Electoral Campaign Periods
      More about category
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        13
        Score
        YES
        In law, contributions from individuals are limited to a maximum amount.More about indicator

        For parties there is a ceiling that applies to all contributors - including individuals. The law states 900 shekel as a general all-year ceiling and a-1700 shekel ceiling for a year in which there are elections. These two ceilings are index linked and are being raised each year. Article 8 (b,c): "A party or a candidate list may not receive any donation not from a corporation (as declared in article a) in an amount exceeding 900 nis (approximately 261 usd) per year from a person and his house hold. In an election year or a year where there are elections to the local authorities the amount is 1700 nis (approximately 495 usd)".

        Individuals may not contribute more than a maximum amount established by the law to candidates in primaries. The general ceiling is 10,000 shekel. There are also maximum ceilings for total allowed contributions, depending of the number of qualified voters and the position (Member of the Parliament or Chairman of a party/Prime Minister)

        Article 28f (a1): "a sole contributor may contribute to a candidate a donation not above 10,000 nis (approximately 2907 usd) or a combination of donations that reach this amount, for the primaries". Article 28f (a) & (c) "in a primaries to the party chairman's position or the prime minister's position a contributor can contribute to the candidate up to 40,000 nis (approximately 11,630 usd)".

        Article 28h (a) states the sum of contributions combined each candidate can raise is in relation with the number of qualified voters in his primaries: primaries with up to 50 qualified voters: the contributions ceiling is 0 nis primaries with up to 9,999 qualified voters:the contributions ceiling is 5,000 nis +15 nis for any voter above 50 voters primaries with up to 99,999 qualified voters: the contributions ceiling is 155,000 nis +2.75 nis for any voter above 10,000 voters primaries with more than 100,000 qualified voters: the contributions ceiling is 405,000 nis +2 nis for any voter above 10,0000 voters

        Article 28h (b) declares that "a candidate to the position of the Chairman or the Prime Minister, and the number of qualified voters is less than 50,000: the ceilings above (in article 28h (1) ) will be double. If the number of qualified voters is more than 50,000: the ceilings will be four times higher".

        Peer reviewer comment: Agree. The Parties Financing Law does not deal at all with contributions from candidates' themselves, or their families, in national elections. They are therefore treated the same as other citizens. As for intra-party elections, the Parties Law, article 28f (5), states that: "The candidate and his family are allowed to donate, together… an amount equal to the amount mentioned in article 28h or 28i." Articel 28h states the sum of contributions combined each candidate can raise is in relation with the number of qualified voters in his primaries; article 28i states that a party can established lower amounts than established by the law. In other words, the candidate and his family are not limited the same as other donors, and they can contribute as much as they like, as long as the maximum ceiling for the total allowed contributions is kept.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where: 1) individuals may not contribute more than a maximum amount established by the law.

        A MODERATE score is earned where a maximum amount exists, but it applies only to contributions for one actor (whether political parties or individual candidates). A MODERATE score is also earned where individuals are forbidden from making any contribution.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        Parties Financing Law, 1973, article 8 (b & c) http://www.mevaker.gov.il/he/Laws/DocLib/law-mimon-miflagot-tik-31.pdf

        Parties Law, 1992, article 28f (a1), 28f (a) & (c), 28h (a) & (b), Article 8 (b,c) http://www.mevaker.gov.il/he/Laws/DocLib/law-miflagot-1992.pdf

        Reviewer's sources: Parties Law, 1992, article 8 (b,c), 28f (a1), 28f (a) & (c), 28f (5), 28h (a) & (b), 28i http://www.mevaker.gov.il/he/Laws/DocLib/law-miflagot-1992.pdf

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        MODERATE
        In law, contributions from corporations are limited to a maximum amount.More about indicator

        The Israeli law bans corporations' contributions to both candidates and parties.

        Parties Law, article 28d: "A candidate shall not receive any contribution from a body corporate whether in Israel or abroad. For the purposes of this provision, “body corporate” includes a registered partnership".

        Parties Financing Law, article 8: "A party group or candidates' list shall not, directly or indirectly, receive any contribution from a body corporate whether in Israel or abroad. For the purposes of this provision, “body corporate” includes a registered partnership".

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where: 1) corporations may not contribute more than a maximum amount established by the law.

        A MODERATE score is earned where a maximum amount or ban exists, but it applies only to contributions for one actor (whether political parties or individual candidates). A MODERATE score is also earned where corporations are forbidden from making any contribution.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        Parties Financing Law, 1973, article 8 http://www.mevaker.gov.il/he/Laws/DocLib/law-mimon-miflagot-tik-31.pdf

        Parties Law, 1992, article 28d http://www.mevaker.gov.il/he/Laws/DocLib/law-miflagot-1992.pdf

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        MODERATE
        In law, contributions from foreign sources are banned.More about indicator

        Parties may receive donations only from those who are registered in the Israeli voters book (who are eligible voters). Parties Financing Law, article 8 d1: "a party or a candidate list shall receive a donation directly or indirectly only from a registered voter". Therefore, parties may not receive donations from foreign sources.

        Candidates (for primaries) may receive donations from abroad - but only from individuals that live there. Foreign sources contributions are prohibited. Parties Law, article 28a (3) defines contribution as a contribution "in money or money worth, directly or indirectly, in Israel or abroad, in cash or in a commitment of any kind". Since it is written "or abroad", it is allowed to raise money from a foreigner. This law regards only primaries and not the general elections.

        A candidate, however, can't raise money from a corporation, either in Israel or abroad. Article 28d (a): "a candidate shall not receive any contribution from a body corporate whether in Israel or abroad. For the purposes of this provision, “body corporate” includes a registered partnership".

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where it is forbidden for political parties and individual candidates to receive contributions (financial or in-kind) from foreign sources.

        A MODERATE score is earned where: 1) the ban exists but it applies only to one actor (whether political parties or individual candidates), or 2) contributions from foreign sources are allowed to a maximum amount.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        Parties Financing Law, 1973, article 8 d1 http://www.mevaker.gov.il/he/Laws/DocLib/law-mimon-miflagot-tik-31.pdf

        Parties Law, 1992, article 28a (3) &28d (a) http://www.mevaker.gov.il/he/Laws/DocLib/law-miflagot-1992.pdf

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        MODERATE
        In law, contributions from third-party actors (unions, foundations, think tanks, political action committees, etc.) are limited to a maximum amount or banned.More about indicator

        Generally, the Israeli law forbids contributions to parties and candidates from organizations and allows only people to contribute.

        The law does however allow a few exceptions: contributions from Kibbutz, the General Labor Organization (The Histadrut) and agricultural societies to parties are allowed, and instead of a ceiling it is the Comptroller's job to decide whether the amount is "reasonable."

        Parties Financing Law, article 8 d1: "a party or a candidate list shall receive a donation directly or indirectly only from a registered voter". Article 8a adds that "contributions to a party from a Kibutz or an agricultural society that come instead of personal contributions of their members and according to the State Comptroller are in a reasonable amount due to the circumstances, will not be considered as donations from a corporation."

        Article 17 (a) states the "the amounts a party received from the General Labor Organization (The Histadrut) to fund the election campaign will not be considered as a contribution, as long as the party didn't exceed article 7d". Article 7d states the expenditures ceiling allowed to a party.

        Regarding candidates, article 28d2 indicates that "a Kibutz is allowed to donate to a candidate that he is its member, and the candidate may receive instead of the Kibutz members' contributions, one contribution of the Kibutz that its value does not exceed 15% of the sums specified in articles 28h or 28i (articles that specify the total combined contribution ceilings)."

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where: 1) third-party actors may not contribute more than a maximum amount established by the law, or 2) are forbidden from making any contribution.

        A MODERATE score is earned where: 1) the maximum amount or ban exists only for the majority of third-party actors, but not all, or 2) the maximum amount or ban exists, but applies only to contributions for either political parties or individual candidates.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        Parties Financing Law, 1973, article 8d1, 8a, 17 (a) http://www.mevaker.gov.il/he/Laws/DocLib/law-mimon-miflagot-tik-31.pdf

        Parties Law, 1992, article 28d2 http://www.mevaker.gov.il/he/Laws/DocLib/law-miflagot-1992.pdf

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        YES
        In law, election campaign spending by political parties and individual candidates is limited to a maximum amount.More about indicator

        The law states a ceiling for campaign spendings to parties - according to their size and seniority.

        In case of a new partyParties Financing Law, article 7 (a) states that "A candidates' list shall not incur election expenses in an amount exceeding ten funding units". In case of an incumbent party, article 7 (c) indicates that "a party composed of up to five Knesset members in the 'Determining Day' (101 days before the elections) is limited to ten financial units. A party composed of six to 10 Knesset members in the 'Determining Day' may not exceed two funding units per each Knesset member. A party exceeding 10 Knesset members in the 'Determining Day', may not exceed 2 funding units for each of the first ten members, and one and half times of one financing unit for every remaining member". All in all, according to article 7 (b), "a party group shall not incur election expenses exceeding seventy financing units."

        The candidates are also restricted. One can spend according to a ceiling that is formed by a transparent mechanism that is defined by the number of voters that participated in the inside elections (primaries) and the position the candidate is after.

        Article 28h (a) of Parties Law states the sum of election campaign spending allowed for each candidate- according to the number of qualified voters in his primaries: primaries with up to 50 qualified voters: the spending ceiling is 5,000 nis primaries with up to 9,999 qualified voters:the spending ceiling is 5,000 nis +15 nis for any voter above 50 voters primaries with up to 99,999 qualified voters: the spending ceiling is 155,000 nis +2.75 nis for any voter above 10,000 voters primaries with more than 100,000 qualified voters: the spending ceiling is 405,000 nis +2 nis for any voter above 10,0000 voters".

        Article 28h (b) declares that "a candidate to the position of the Chairman or the Prime Minister, and the number of qualified voters is less than 50,000: the ceilings above (in article 28h (1) ) will be double. If the number of qualified voters is more than 50,000: the ceilings will be four times higher".

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where it is forbidden for political parties and individual candidates to spend more than a certain amount in a political campaign.

        A MODERATE score is earned where the maximum amount exists, but it applies only to one actor (whether political parties or individual candidates).

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        Parties Financing Law, 1973, article 7 (a) & (b) & (c) http://www.mevaker.gov.il/he/Laws/DocLib/law-mimon-miflagot-tik-31.pdf

        Parties Law, 1992, article 28h (a), 28h (b) http://www.mevaker.gov.il/he/Laws/DocLib/law-miflagot-1992.pdf

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        Open Question: Do the national laws regulating political finance also apply to sub-national units? If not, to what extent do sub-national units have laws regulating political finance?More about indicator

        In Israel, the only sub-national units are local authorities. Mika Shainok Kerten, Director, Legislation & Policy from 'The Movement for Quality Government in Israel' says that "the 'Local Authorities (Elections Funding) law' determines the funding mechanism in the sub-national level. The mechanism is a little bit different than the national level and the funding is according to the number of citizens in the local authority."

        Indeed the 'Local Authorities (Elections Funding) law' states that in the sub national level the mechanism providing funding is different. Funding is calculated as to the following: "for each voter there will be a 'calculating unit' worths 33 nis" (article 3). The sum will be divided between the local parties according to their size (article 7) but – as opposed to national elections – not according to their seniority, i.e., there is no difference between new and veteran parties (article 7 (a) (1)). In a similar way to national elections, some of the lists that do not pass the threshold also receive some funding, if they win enough votes (article 7 (a) (2)). Since (unlike the parliamentary elections), voters cast a double ballot, voting separately for the mayor and for the city council, mayoral candidates also receive funding (article 7 (a1)).

        In a similar way to Parliament laws, the contributions and expenditures of the parties and the candidates are regulated. Article 16 to the law indicates that "a party or a candidate for mayor will not receive a donation from a corporation in Israel or abroad". Article 16 (b) enables a donation ceiling of 5,000 from an Israeli citizen that is not anonymous. The contributions are published by the State Comptroller. There are expenditure limits for lists (article 15 (a, b)) and mayoral candidates (article 15 (c)).

        Jonathan J. Klinger, Adv. The Legal counsel for the Israeli Public Knowledge Foundation and legal counsel for several political candidates claims that "the same acts govern parties, and the municipal elections are also covered by the Election Act (Propaganda). Municipal lists, which are not political parties, have specific sets of rules for financing, but there is no discernible gap."

        In the 'guide for the candidates in the local authorities' two lawyers from "vaynberger bretentel"- an office that specializes in local authorities elections - talked about the local elections mechanism. They explain that unlike the parliament in the local authorities one can be elected through a party or independently - and each channel has a different set of rules. They add that the law states a ceiling for expenditures, and according to them the calculation of that that ceiling is complicated, and if the candidates fail to calculate it correctly the State Comptroller will fine them.

        Micky Gitzin, A Member of the City Council of Tel-Aviv Yafo who ran in the last elections (October 2013) indicates several problems in the sub-national level: "Unlike the Primaries to the Knesset, in the local primaries one does not have to hand out to the State Comptroller a list of the contributions he received. Only the parties do. When we - the candidates - offered the Comptroller a list of our itemized contributions - he said there is no need. This is problematic since a candidate might receive a contribution, for example, from a businessman who needs help in the Municipality committees. no one will know that he helped one of the city council member to be elected". He adds that "another problem is that the public party funding is quite small."

        "In addition", he adds, "it is extremely difficult to convince the banks to give the parties loans for the local elections. So they need to turn to alternative sources - and that is a loophole. The local elections expenditures are quite high - salaries, publicity, etc. One needs to find a way to finance all that- and he might turn to businessmen, etc."

        Scoring Criteria

        Please describe the applicability of national political finance regulations at the sub-national level, being sure to answer: 1) whether national laws are applicable to sub-national campaigns; 2) if not, to what extent do sub-national units have similar laws regulating political finance; and 3) whether there are any reports of problems arising from gaps in this framework.

        Sources

        Interview: Jonathan J. Klinger, Adv. The Legal counsel for the Israeli Public Knowledge Foundation and legal counsel for several political candidates, 28 July 2014, email

        Interview: Mika Shainok Kerten, Director, Legislation & Policy, The Movement for Quality Government in Israel, 7 August 2014, email

        Interview: Micky Gitzin, Member of the City Council of Tel-Aviv Yafo (Meretz Party), 8 August 2014, phone

        The 'Local Authorities (elections funding) law, 1993 http://www.nevo.co.il/lawhtml/Law01/p213129.htm#Seif2

        Article: A guide for the candidates in the local authorities, Ron Kesler, Globes, 6 May 2013 http://www.globes.co.il/news/article.aspx?did=1000841307

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        Open Question: What are the predominant sources of funding for electoral campaigns?More about indicator

        The predominant source of funding for parties in Israel is public funding. For candidates- it is the contributions made by individuals. Corporate contributions are forbidden.

        In the Comptroller report 'Accountability for the parties and candidates for the 19th Knesset Elections, 26/2/2014' one may analyze the parties incomes. 'Yesh Atid' party (who joind the coalition) received 26,734,000 nis (approximately 7.7 millions usd) public funding, and raised 102,261 (approximately 30,000 usd) in donations. Meretz who is in the oppozition received 7,351,851 nis (approximately 2.1 millions usd) as public funding. The donations were 1,067,552 nis (approximately 1 million usd). Habait Hayehudi (that joined the coalition) received 12,698,650 nis (approximately 3.7 millions usd) as public funding and gathered 2,290 nis (approximately 660 usd) as contributions. Jonathan J. Klinger, Adv. The Legal counsel for the Israeli Public Knowledge Foundation and legal counsel for several political candidates says that "Both parties and candidates are financed by donations. Corporations and non­profits are not allowed to donate". He adds that "After the election round, the parties are compensated for their expenses according to the number of votes they received. They also receive monthly payments according to their representatives. There was a rare occasion during the last election round where Yair Lapid received a guarantee from several persons, of around 100,000ILS (28,777 usd) each, to pay its expenses in case he will not receive government funding".

        Mika Shainok Kerten, Director, Legislation & Policy in The Movement for Quality Government in Israel affirms that "one can see the amounts in the Comptroller reports".

        Arbel Astrachan, Legal Advisor of the House Committee of the Knesset, says that "the main funding source for parties is the public funding they receive according to law. A party can receive very small donations and only from households. The amounts today are a 1,000 nis (approximately 300 usd) a year and 2,300 (approximately 630 usd) in an election year". Regarding candidates Astrachan emphasizes that "the main income source for them is contributions they collect from themselves, family or people in Israel and abroad". The Political Blogger Tal Schneider says that "the big fund raisers in the primaries are those who served as ministers. They easily access Americans and use that to bring big money to their campaigns".

        And indeed in the Comptroller website one can analyze the contributions candidates receive. Mk Danny Danon (Likud) who served till July 2014 as the defense vice minster, raised at 2013-4 about 250,000 ils (approximately 72,000 usd). Of that 20,000 nis (about 5,750 usd) came from donors in Israel. The rest were Americans. Danon himself contributed 500 nis (about 140 usd) at 2013. Danon is the biggest fund raiser from abroad according to a research published in Channel 9 (June 2014), but other candidates, especially from the Likud party (who is in power) also raise money from the United States. Mk Ilan GIlon who serves in the opposition (Meretz party) raised for the last elections (January 2013) about 35,000 nis (approximately 10,000 usd). All of the donors were Israelis. He himself gave about 17,000 nis (around 5,000 usd).

        An example for a wealthy candidate that is self financed is Arel Margalit (from Haavoda party that is in the Opposition). Margalit donated to himself in the last primaries 1.5 Million NIS (about 450,000 usd) which was 99% of his budget. This is, however, rare in Israeli politics.

        Parties don't own any compaines or trusts that generate income.

        Scoring Criteria

        Please describe the important sources of funding for electoral campaigns, being sure to answer: 1) where does the preponderance of funding come from - public, individual, corporate, or other; 2) to what extent do individual candidates self-finance; and 3) do political parties have other methods of generating campaign funds, such as owning their own businesses or trusts.

        Sources

        Interview: Jonathan J. Klinger, Adv. The Legal counsel for the Israeli Public Knowledge Foundation and legal counsel for several political candidates, 28 July 2014, email

        Interview: Mika Shainok Kerten, Director, Legislation & Policy, The Movement for Quality Government in Israel, 7 August 2014, email

        Interview: Tal Schneider, Political Blogger and Reporter of 'Haplug', 5 August 2014, email

        Interview: Yoel Hasson, Former Chairman of the comptroller committee of the Knesset and Of Hatnuaa Party, and today Chairman of 'Etika'- consulting company for comptroller issues, phone, 29 July 2014

        Interview: Arbel Astrachan, Legal Advisor of the House Committee of the Knesset, email, 4 August 2014

        Danny Danon's primaries contributions, The Comptroller website, date of visit: 10 August 2014 http://primaries.publish.mevaker.gov.il/Donations.aspx?CandidateId=107&PartyId=3

        Ilan Gilon's primaries contributions, The Comptroller website, date of visit: 10 August 2014 http://primaries.publish.mevaker.gov.il/Donations.aspx?CandidateId=90&PartyId=67

        News report: ""The Legitimate Channel to Funnel Money for Members of the Knesset during their candidacy" Tomer Avital, channel 9, 30 June 2014. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aGtUeXl3UuU

        Document: Accountability for the parties and candidates for the 19th Knesset Elections, State Comptroller of Israel Yosef Shapira, State Comptroller of Israel, 26 Febreuary 2014 (attached) (pages 108-125)

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        Open Question: Have there been documented instances of violations of contribution or expenditure limits or any of the laws mentioned above (Section 2)?More about indicator

        The last elections (January 2013) Comptroller investigation report is clearly the best document to approach this indicator. Mika Shainok Kerten from The Movement for Quality Government in Israel affirms that "The State Comptroller of Israel is the one that supervises that the parties' contributions and expenditures are carried out according to the law." In the report the Comptroller reported on various law violations that it had uncovered. Several Parties transgressed the limits related to contributions. One party that stayed outside the parliament ('Haim Bekavod', page 93) raised from its own members more money than the ceiling allows (in order to cover the party expenses). To deal with this issue, The Comptroller suggests increasing the ceiling limit for parties who are not elected.

        The Comptroller also found that some of the parties used the direct public funding to cover expenditures that are not supposed to be covered by the taxpayers' money. Several parties paid fines for putting campaign ads in an illegal way (page 97). At page 99, one reads that another party made enormous expenditures in an illegal way. The party- Habait Hayehudi- paid to a supplier 9.6 million NIS (approximately 2.7 million USD) without detailing in its accounting-book the services it received in exchange (page 109). Other examples of violations are listed below:

        A news story titled 'Benet hired a private detective in the primaries and will be fined by 65,000 nis' show that a candidate (Head of Habait Hayhudi movement Naftali Benet) used the public funding money that its party received in order to hire a private detective against a fellow candidate, during the last elections. The Comptroller reviewed the expenditures, uncovered that expense, and fined Benet.

        'Balad' Party spent 2.5 Million NIS (approximately 0.7 million USD) without detailing the expense as the law demands (page 106).

        'Hatnua' party expenditures were in the last elections 16,337,227 NIS (approximately 4.7 million USD) while the maximum allowed by the law was 13,367,000 NIS (approximately 3.8 million USD). page 114

        Jonathan J. Klinger, Adv. The Legal counsel for the Israeli Public Knowledge Foundation and legal counsel for several political candidates indicates that "there were both cases in the last elections where political parties spent over their limit. The Jewish Brotherhood was fined for more than 100,000USD for not reporting their expenses and also "Hatnuaa" was fined for exceeding the expense limit."

        Tal Schneider, Political Blogger, adds that "there was one use- By Naftali Benet- of public money to hire a private investigator. The Comptroller fined him. Besides", Schneider adds, "it is difficult to make violations since the parties and candidates bank accounts are linked to the Comptroller and he has on-line supervision of their financial movements."

        Even though, also candidates tend to violate the law. The news story "50 Politicians Were Fined for Forbidden Financing" shows that many candidates (50 out of 120 that serve in the Knesset) didn't follow the law in their primaries. Inside it says that according to the Comptroller, "fifty candidates for the Knesset were fined for receiving illegal donations, exceeding the expenditure's limits, lack of details in their accounts, etc."

        According to Yoel Hasson, former chairman of the comptroller committee of the Knesset, the fines are not dramatic and hardly affect parties, so do not deter such violations, "I know of some parties that decide to transgress the law after they take in consideration the fact that they will receive penalties".

        Yoel Hasson also provides an example for a loophole that is used: "There are no Maximum ceilings for contributions from family members. It make sense because the candidate is committed to them regardless the amount they donate. But candidates use this article to launder money: other donors give exceeding amounts to family members who in their turn transfer it to the candidate."

        Scoring Criteria

        Please list and describe all documented instances of: 1) violation of contribution limits, 2) violation of expenditure limits, and 3) financial contributions that circumvent the regulatory framework. The objective of this question is to learn more about the local context, so please explain the cases in as much detail as relevant.

        Sources

        Document: Accountability for the parties and candidates for the 19th Knesset Elections, State Comptroller of Israel Yosef Shapira, State Comptroller of Israel, 26 February 2014

        Interview: Tal Schneider, Political Blogger and Reporter of 'Haplug', 5 August 2014, email

        Interview: Mika Shainok Kerten, Director, Legislation & Policy, The Movement for Quality Government in Israel, 7 August 2014, email

        Interview: Yoel Hasson, Former Chairman of the comptroller committee of the Knesset and Of Hatnuaa Party, and today Chairman of 'Etika'- consulting company for comptroller issues, phone, 29 July 2014

        Benet hired a private detective st the primaries and will be fined by 65,000 nis, Tal Sapir and Shay Doron, Nana 10, 21 August 2013 http://news.nana10.co.il/Article/?ArticleID=999222

        Interview: Jonathan J. Klinger, Adv. The Legal counsel for the Israeli Public Knowledge Foundation and legal counsel for several political candidates, 28 July 2014, email

        "50 Politicians Were Fined for Forbidden Financing: Benet is on the Top of the List, Omri Nachmias, Walla, 21 August 2013 http://news.walla.co.il/?w=/9/267192

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    Reporting and Public Disclosure

    More about category
    composite
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      Reporting Requirements to the Oversight Entity
      More about category
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        MODERATE
        In law, political parties and individual candidates report itemized contributions and expenditures both during and outside electoral campaign periods.More about indicator

        Regarding Parties, Articles 8d (b) & article 9 in the Parties Financing Law state that all parties have to manage an account book (itemized expenditures & itemized contributions) and the State Comptroller will review them. Article 9a (1) "a party shall manage an account book and will register its expenditures & contributions according to the Comptroller guidelines". Article 8d (b): " The account book will be given to the state Comptroller together with the accounts of the party or list of candidates". Article 10 (a) indicates that "Regarding parties, article 10 (a) in the Parties Financing Law indicates that "the parties will hand over their accounts regarding the elections period to the State Comptroller 16 weeks after the elections". Article 10 (c) states also that "the parties will hand over their accounts after each financial year to the Comptroller not later than May 1". Therefore the parties need to report their expenditures and contributions both inside and outside the campaign period.

        Article 28b (a) in the Parties law (1992) indicates that "candidates may receive contributions at all times". 28b (b) (2) shows that "the candidates must report any contribution to the State Comptroller". 28ka (a) clarifies that "the candidate shall report the contribution up to 14 days after it was given". All the contributions. therefore, regardless of their timing, shall be disclosed. Each one with its name and its amount given, since , article 28d (c) of Parties Law shows that "A candidate shall not receive a contribution unless it is given by a person whose identity and address are checked and verified by or on behalf of the candidate". Regarding itemized expenditures- article 28kb states that "a candidate shall report them to the Comptroller up to six weeks from the elections". A candidate may have expenditures outside the electoral campaign according to 28b (d) but he does not have to report them: "an expense that a candidate make before the election period not from donors money but for the use of the primaries will be considered as a part of the general expenditures according to article 28i & 28j (the ceilings for maximum expense)". The law doesn't require their expenses to be reported outside the campaign period.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where political parties and individual candidates are required to report itemized contributions and expenditures to the oversight authority, both during and outside electoral campaign periods.

        A MODERATE score is earned where: 1) the requirement applies for itemized contributions, but not for itemized expenditures, or 2) it applies only during the electoral campaign but not outside it. A MODERATE score is also earned where the requirement exists, but it only applies to one actor (whether political parties and individual candidates).

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        Parties Financing Law, 1973, article 8d (b, 9a (1), 10 (a) & Article 10 (c) http://www.mevaker.gov.il/he/Laws/DocLib/law-mimon-miflagot-tik-31.pdf

        Parties Law, 1992, article 28b (a), 28b (b) (2), 28ka (a), 28kb , 28d (c) http://www.mevaker.gov.il/he/Laws/DocLib/law-miflagot-1992.pdf

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        MODERATE
        In law, political parties and individual candidates are required to report their financial information on a monthly basis during the electoral campaign.More about indicator

        For both parties and candidates, there is only one report required for election campaigns - a post election report.

        Regarding parties, article 10 (a) in the Parties Financing Law indicates that "the parties will hand over their accounts regarding the elections period (101 days before the elections or 3 days after the Knesset had chosen to go to new elections - before the term was over) to the State Comptroller 16 weeks after the elections."

        Regarding candidates, article 28kb in the Parties Law states that "a candidate shall report his financial accounts for his primaries campaign, his contributions received, expenditures and loans taken, up to the date of issuing this report, to the State Comptroller- not later than six weeks from the primaries".

        Therefore the requirement exits but on a quarterly basis - a single report during the campaign.

        Regarding parties, according to article 1 in the Parties Financing Law, the "elections period – from the determined day until the day of the elections." The 'determined day' is, according to the same article, 101 days before the elections, or - in case of early elections - 3 days after the Knesset had chosen or forced to go to new elections.

        Regarding candidates, the campaign period "begins when the party decides to hold primaries and ends 14 days after the primaries" (article 28a (1)). However, as noted, the candidate's report must include information up to the date of issuing the report.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where political parties and individual candidates must report monthly their financial information to the oversight authority during the electoral campaign.

        A MODERATE score is earned where the requirement exists on a quarterly basis. A MODERATE score is also earned where the requirement only applies to one actor (whether political parties or individual candidates).

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        Parties Financing Law, 1973, 1, 10 (a) http://www.mevaker.gov.il/he/Laws/DocLib/law-mimon-miflagot-tik-31.pdf

        Parties Law, 1992, article 28kb and 28a http://www.mevaker.gov.il/he/Laws/DocLib/law-miflagot-1992.pdf

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        23
        Score
        MODERATE
        In law, political parties and individual candidates are required to report their financial information on a quarterly basis outside of electoral campaign periods.More about indicator

        Regarding parties, article 10 (c) to the Parties Financing Law states that the parties will hand over their financial information to the State Comptroller for the preceeding year, every year (outside the electoral campaign period), untill May first.

        Article 10 (c) : "the parties will hand over their accounts after each financial year to the Comptroller not later than May 1". Therefore the parties need to report their expenditures and contributions in addition outside the campaign period.

        Regarding candidates, The law does not require them to report their all financial information outside of electoral campaign period; they are required to report on all contributions, but not their expenditures. Article 28b (a) in the Parties law (1992) indicates that "candidates may receive contributions at all times". 28b (b) (2) shows that "the candidates must report any contribution to the State Comptroller". 28ka (a) clarifies that "the candidate shall report the contribution up to 14 days after it was given". All the contributions. therefore, regardless of their timing, shall be disclosed.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where political parties and individual candidates must report quarterly their financial information to the oversight authority outside of electoral campaign periods.

        A MODERATE score is earned where the requirement exists on a yearly basis. A MODERATE score is also earned where the requirement only applies to one actor (whether political parties or individual candidates).

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        Parties Financing Law, 1973, article 10 (c) http://www.mevaker.gov.il/he/Laws/DocLib/law-mimon-miflagot-tik-31.pdf

        Parties Law, article, 1992, article 28 http://www.mevaker.gov.il/he/Laws/DocLib/law-miflagot-1992.pdf

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        24
        Score
        50
        In practice, to what extent do political parties and individual candidates report itemized financial information monthly?More about indicator

        To begin with, parties have to report, according to the law, itemized financial information only on a yearly basis to the Comptroller. Candidates have to inform their itemized expenditures only if it regards the elections. During campaigns, parties are required to submit one post-election report. Candidates must, however, report itemized Contributions all year long. In the Comptroller website one may see all the itemized contributions for candidates - almost instantly.

        The last general election period was October 2012-January 2013. The post-election reports were submitted as the law requires- up to 4 months after the elections ended. It's impossible to know when the parties actually reported their information- this information is not public and the Comptroller does not share it. The reports need to include itemized information- but some of the parties ignored the law (and were fined). They didn't share with the Comptroller their entire accounts (Many examples are given in Indicator 49).

        Arbel Astrachan, Legal Advisor of the House Committee of the Knesset, says that "Parties must handle their accounts according to the guidelines of the State Comptroller. According to his guidelines from 2009 any contribution will be published in the Comptroller website along with the donor's name, city of residence and the amount of contribution. A party that has a website must publish each contribution it received within a week". Astrachan adds that "candidates must report each contribution within 14 days, and indeed they are published. During the two weeks before the primaries the candidates report their contributions up to 24 hours within receiving them - as the guideline says. The contributions are published in the Comptroller's website".

        Regarding party expenditures - according to the Comptroller's reports - they are handed to him once a year.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where: 1) political parties and individual candidates report on their financial information monthly, and 2) the reports include both itemized contributions and itemized expenditures.

        A 50 score is earned where: 1) the reports are occasionally general rather than itemized or don't contain all accounts, or 2) the reporting frequency is quarterly.

        A 0 score is earned where: 1) political parties and individual candidates rarely or never file reports, 2) the reports are filed but are rarely or never itemized or refer only to either contributions or expenditures, or 3) the reporting frequency is less than quarterly.

        Sources

        Interview: Arbel Astrachan, Legal Advisor of the House Committee of the Knesset, email, 4 August 2014

        The primaries contributions for various candidates, The Comptroller website, date of visit: 10 August 2014 http://www.mevaker.gov.il/he/mimun/donation/Pages/donationsPrime.aspx

        Document: Accountability for the parties and candidates for the 19th Knesset Elections, State Comptroller of Israel Yosef Shapira, State Comptroller of Israel, 26 February 2014

        Document: Data Regarding the Contributions the Parties Received During the Elections for the 19th Knesset, State Comptroller of Israel Yosef Shapira, State Comptroller of Israel, 26 February 2014

        The official 'Likud' party website, date of visit: 10 August 2014 http://www.likud.org.il/

        The official 'Haavoda' party website, date of visit: 10 August 2014 http://www.havoda.org.il/Web/Default.aspx

        The official 'Shas' party website, date of visit: 10 August 2014 http://www.shas.org.il/Web/He/About/tormim/Default.aspx

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        25
        Score
        50
        In practice, to what extent do financial reports by political parties and individual candidates include all types of contributions?More about indicator

        The reports submitted to the Comptroller's office usually contain all required information. However, sometimes the parties or the candidates do not submit full donor names and addresses or do not include a list of all the itemized contributions received.

        Examining the reports shows that some candidates do not always report small donations. In a few cases such as the rare case of- Shelly Yechimovich- a candidate registers any kind of contribution. She includes many 50 NIS contributions (approximately 14 USD). Jonathan J. Klinger, Adv. The Legal counsel for the Israeli Public Knowledge Foundation and legal counsel for several political candidates says that "Reports have to specify both cash and cash equivalent? cash donations are frowned upon, but are allowed up to a small cap, and provided that the donors are identified. There are no anonymous donations."

        Arbel Astrachan, Legal Advisor of the House Committee of the Knesset, highlights that "the reports should include all types of contributions- also in cash - that is allowed up to 200 NIS (approximately 57 USD)". Astrachan adds that "the public reports show only the donor's name and place of residence, but when candidates and parties inform the Comptroller of a contribution they must include an I.D number".

        Hanna Rotem, Head of the Department for Auditing Public Funding at the Comptroller's office, clarifies that "according to the Comptroller's guidelines Candidates for primaries have to report contributions within 3 days. We have a system that publishes it to the public in our website within 3 days. Usually candidates who are Members of the Knesset and are aware of the law do report consistently about contributions. Everybody must report any in-kind contribution and we in the Comptroller's office check if the instructions are carried out when we perform our inspections". Rotem adds that "sometimes the candidates (or the parties) do not follow all of the instructions, and then they are called to do so. When they break the rules they get a 'non-positive' report."

        And indeed in the Comptroller's last report (Accountability for the parties and candidates for the 19th Knesset Elections) one may find evidence that the financial reports by political parties didn't include all of the information. For instance, the news story "50 Politicians Were Fined for Forbidden Financing" shows that many candidates (50 out of 120 that serve in the Knesset) didn't follow the law in their reporting in the most recent primaries. According to the Comptroller, "fifty candidates for the Knesset were fined for receiving illegal donations, exceeding the expenditure's limits, lack of details in their accounts, etc."


        Peer reviewer comment: Agree. Both parties and candidates are required by the law and the State Comptroller to include all types of contributions in their reports, and may be fined otherwise. It seems that they usually follow this requirement – but there are quite many exceptions.

        In State Comptroller's post-election report from August 2014, one may find evidence that the financial reports by individual candidates didn't include all of the information they should include: 34% of the candidates of all the parties did not submit any report to the State Comptroller (page 28); some of the candidates did not include contributions made by themselves and their families (page 40); in some cases, especially with regard to on-line contribution, the candidates did not provide full personal details of the donors (page 36).

        The news story "50 Politicians Were Fined for Forbidden Financing" shows that many candidates (50 out of about 230 candidates who took part in intra-party elections) didn't follow the law in their reporting in the most recent primaries, including with regards to reporting onm contributions, and were fined.

        In a post-election report from February 2014 (page 104), the State Comptroller mentioned that in many cases, volunteering acts for parties were not reported as contributions, although the volunteers provided services in fields such as management and consulting – fields that are also their regular occupation. According to the Parties Finance Law (article 28a), volunteering act should be treated as contribution if the volunteer assists the party in the same field as his regular occupation.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where: 1) reports include an itemized list of all contributions indicating their type (in-kind, cash where allowed, etc.) and amount (estimated value for in-kind contributions), and 2) contain donors' names and addresses (or other personal identifier).

        A 50 score is earned where only one of the two conditions listed in the 100 criteria is met.

        A 0 score is earned where neither condition is met.

        Sources

        Interview: Arbel Astrachan, Legal Advisor of the House Committee of the Knesset, email, 4 August 2014

        Interview: Jonathan J. Klinger, Adv. The Legal counsel for the Israeli Public Knowledge Foundation and legal counsel for several political candidates, email, 28 July 2014

        Interview: Tal Schneider, Political Blogger and Reporter of 'Haplug', email, 5 August 2014

        Interview: Hanna Rotem, Head of the Department for Auditing Public Funding at the Comptroller's office, email, 10 August 2014

        Shelly Yechimovich's primaries contributions, The Comptroller website, date of visit: 10 August 2014 http://primaries.publish.mevaker.gov.il/Donations.aspx?CandidateId=46&PartyId=2

        Document: Data Regarding the Contributions the Parties Received During the Elections for the 19th Knesset, State Comptroller of Israel Yosef Shapira, State Comptroller of Israel, 26 February 2014

        "50 Politicians Were Fined for Forbidden Financing: Benet is on the Top of the List, Omri Nachmias, Walla, 21 August 2013 http://news.walla.co.il/?w=/9/2671922

        Document: Accountability for the parties and candidates for the 19th Knesset Elections, State Comptroller of Israel Yosef Shapira, State Comptroller of Israel, 26 February 2014

        Reviewer's sources: Document: Statement of audit results of candidates in primaries held by various parties on candidacy on their behalf to appointment of a member of the Nineteenth Knesset, State Comptroller of Israel Yosef Shapira, State Comptroller of Israel, 21 August 2013 http://www.mevaker.gov.il/he/Reports/Report_130/6443fd27-dd50-4c2a-9bf0-a61f33aa909a/8288.pdf

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      Availability of Electoral Campaigns' Financial Information to the Public
      More about category
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        26
        Score
        NO
        In law, financial information from political parties and individual candidates must be available to the public.More about indicator

        Regarding parties, article 10 (b) indicates that the State Comptroller must hand over a report that examines the parties financial information: "within 22 weeks upon receiving the accounts said in article (a) the Comptroller will hand over to the Chairmen of the Knesset an inspection of the accounts". There is no requirement to make this information public.

        Regarding candidates, article 28kd (a) declares that the Comptroller report - but not the accounts themselves- shall be handed over: "Within 12 weeks of the last appointed time to hand over reports (to the Comptroller), the Comptroller will hand over to the Chairmen of the Knesset, the Party Registrar and the Parties auditors a report about the auditing of the account-book of the candidates in the primaries". There is no requirement to make this information public.

        However, Article 28ka (a) states that the contributions the candidates receive will be immediately available to the public. "The Comptroller will publish what is said (the contributions) upon receiving the information".


        Peer reviewer comment: Agree. Information on contributions must be published according to the law. Article 28ka (a) of the Parties Law states that the contributions the candidates receive will be immediately available to the public. "The Comptroller will publish what is said (the contributions) upon receiving the information". Similarly, article 8 (f) of the Parties Financing Law states that: "A party parliamentary group or a list of candidates will publish the names of its donors and the amlounts of the contributions." in the official guidlines of the Comptroller, it is stated that: " 34. All donations from a person to a party parliamentary group of at least 1,000 NIS, or any other amount prescribed by the State Comptroller from time to time, will be published on the Comptroller's website in a date set by the Comptroller. The publish will include the donors' name, its residence and the amount of the contribution... 35. A party parliamentary group that has a website will publish in it, withinh 7 days from the day it recieved a donation of at least 1,000 NIS, the donors' name, its residence and the amount of the contribution."

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where in law financial information of political parties and individual candidates must be made available to the public, whether online or digitally within two days of request.

        A MODERATE score is earned where financial information must be made available to the public, but no requirement exists regarding cost, format or number of days within which it must be made available.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        Parties Financing Law, 1973, article 10 (b) http://www.mevaker.gov.il/he/Laws/DocLib/law-mimon-miflagot-tik-31.pdf

        Parties Law, 1992, article 28kd (a) & 28ka (a) http://www.mevaker.gov.il/he/Laws/DocLib/law-miflagot-1992.pdf

        Reviewer's sources: Parties Financing Law, 1973, article 8 )f) http://www.mevaker.gov.il/he/Laws/DocLib/law-mimon-miflagot-tik-31.pdf

        State Comptroller Guidlines according to Party Financing Law Concerning Managing the Financial Affairs of a Party Parliamentary Group, 2009, article 34, 35 http://www.mevaker.gov.il/he/Laws/DocLib/lawmmiflagothanhayot27.01.2009.pdf

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        27
        Score
        50
        In practice, to what extent can citizens easily access the financial information of all political parties and individual candidates?More about indicator

        Parties' contributions as well as the Comptroller reports regarding the parties financial information are available freely online. The reports can be downloaded in either pdf or word. It needs to be underlined that Parties expenditures regarding to the elections are available only through the Comptroller's reports. That is, the public cannot see the unprocessed information. Citizens as well as journalists are limited to what the Comptroller chooses to include in his reports.

        Alona Vinograd, CEO ­ Director of the Movement for Freedom of Information explaines that "the Freedom Of Information Act doesn't apply to Parties, therefore they are the one to decide if to publish their financial information to the public and they decide not to. They must report, however, all of the information to the Parties Registrar, but the information itself stays in his hands. Only the Comptroller gets to see this information - publishes it, but only parts of it. We [the public] don't see the specifics of the parties' expenditures, as salaries and assets."

        "Regarding candidates", Vinograd adds, "the contributions they receive are published in the Comptroller website. But the public know nothing of their assets or their expenditures". The Candidates' contributions are available freely on-line on the Comptroller's website.

        Mor Rubinstein, The Public Knowledge Volunteer and the Open Knowledge Foundation Open Gov community coordinator, adds that "the information in the Comptroller website is not accessible. The system is annoying and it is very complex to export info from it intelligently. The Candidates contributions are a proprietary system". He emphasized that: "The reports are not standardized and cannot be easily comparable one another. This is because you cannot download it in one chunk and you need to do what we call 'Scraping' as the data is not in an Open format, and scrapping is required in order to get the full data."

        A visit to the 'Likud' and 'Haavoda' parties (two major parties in the Coalition and Opposition accordingly) websites leads to nothing regarding financial information. There isn't any mentioning of the contributions given to them. In 'Shas' website (a major political party that is today in the Opposition) one may find a contributions list - but it is superficial. there are several names, amounts, and city of residence - but no dates. One cannot know when the contributions were made. Through Google, however, one may find the Haavoda's budget for 2013 that hides insides 'Haavoda' offical website. In the budget one may see its expenditures but only in general and without contributions.

        In order to see the contributions made to parties - one has to go to the Comptroller website. The latest document available shows the parties' itemized contributions only for the January 2013 elections and it was published at 26.2.2014


        Peer reviewer comment: Agree. The financial reports submitted by individual candidates cannot be accessed. As for parties, the Party Registrar publish on its websites the annual financial reports submitted by parties to the Comptroller since 2011. However, not all reports are published. For example, while the report of the Labor party for 2013 is published, the latest published report of Yesh Atid and Degel Hatorah are for the year 2012. The reports can be downloading in either pdf or tif\tiff. In addition, one can visit the Registrar's office (after notifying it in advance) and review all the reports in hard-copy.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where: 1) all relevant financial information is freely available online, 2) it can be obtained digitally within two days of requesting it, and 3) it is in a machine readable format (for example in csv or xml format).

        A 50 score is earned where: 1) information is available but in some cases is incomplete or lacking detail, 2) obtaining complete information takes up to a month, or 3) it's not necessarily digital or in machine readable format.

        A 0 score is earned where: 1) the information is not publicly available, or 2) obtaining it takes more than three months, or 3) the cost of obtaining it is prohibitive for the regular citizen.

        Sources

        Interview: Alona Vinograd, CEO - Director of the Movement for Freedom of Information, 28 July 2014, email

        Interview: Mor Rubinstein, The Public Knowledge Volunteer and the Open Knowledge Foundation Open Gov community coordinator, 10 August 2014, email

        The primaries contributions for various candidates, The Comptroller website, date of visit: 10 August 2014 http://www.mevaker.gov.il/he/mimun/donation/Pages/donationsPrime.aspx

        Document: Data Regarding the Contributions the Parties Received During the Elections for the 19th Knesset, State Comptroller of Israel Yosef Shapira, State Comptroller of Israel, 26 February 2014

        The official 'Likud' party website, date of visit: 10 August 2014 http://www.likud.org.il/

        The official 'Haavoda' party website, date of visit: 10 August 2014 http://www.havoda.org.il/Web/Default.aspx

        The official 'Shas' party website, date of visit: 10 August 2014 http://www.shas.org.il/Web/He/About/tormim/Default.aspx

        Haavoda budget for 2013, 'Haavoda' party website, attached http://www.google.co.il/url?q=http://www.havoda.org.il/Items/06785/%25D7%25AA%25D7%25A7%25D7%25A6%25D7%2599%25D7%2591%25202013%2520%25D7%259E%25D7%25A4%25D7%259C%25D7%2592%25D7%25AA%2520%25D7%2594%25D7%25A2%25D7%2591%25D7%2595%25D7%2593%25D7%2594%2520%25D7%2594%25D7%2599%25D7%25A9%25D7%25A8%25D7%2590%25D7%259C%25D7%2599%25D7%25AA.pdf&sa=U&ei=D0PnU-qOGdCh7AbF5YH4DQ&ved=0CBIQFjAA&sig2=X9PdFkSKDJN4AoG6J1ApyA&usg=AFQjCNFd1aT8zqE6LW2Q5ANQZ5Az_xsD5A

        Reviewer's sources:

        The official 'Meretz' website, date of visit: 8 October 2014, http://meretz.org.il/about/%D7%AA%D7%A8%D7%95%D7%9E%D7%95%D7%AA/

        Contribution for candidates in primaries, The Comptroller website, date of visit: 8 October 2014, http://primaries.publish.mevaker.gov.il/

        Financial assets and liabilities, Israel Corporations Authority, date of visit: 8 October 2014, http://index.justice.gov.il/Units/RasutHataagidim/units/RashamMiflagot/info/Pages/DohotNahasim.aspx?WPID=WPQ7&PN=1

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        28
        Score
        50
        In practice, to what extent is financial information published in a standardized format?More about indicator

        Parties' contributions as well as the Comptroller reports regarding the parties financial information are available freely on-line. The reports contain tables that display the financial information for each party in tables, that are drawn in the same way. It can be downloaded in either pdf or word. Tal Schneider, Political Blogger, says that "the information is available in the Comptroller's website but is almost unreadable. It is complicated to draw comparisons and not accessible at all". Even though the tables are the same, it is difficult to find if a donor donated to several candidates or parties, and the information is scattered between the reports. It is not unified in one data base.

        Alona Vinograd, CEO ­ Director of the Movement for Freedom of Information "The financial information is not published in a standardized format and hardly published at all. We have no idea of the salaries, for instance, in the parties, or their campaign expenditures, so there is nothing to standardize. The only standardized information is the candidates' contributions - in the Comptroller website".

        Mor Rubinstein, The Public Knowledge Volunteer and the Open Knowledge Foundation Open Gov community coordinator, emphasize that: "The reports are not standardized and cannot be easily comparable one another. This is because you cannot download it in one chunk and you need to do what we call 'Scraping'. the data is not in an Open format, and scraping is required in order to get the full data".

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where financial information for all political parties and individual candidates is available to the public in a standardized format.

        A 50 score is earned where only part of the information is published in a standardized format. A 50 score is also earned where the information is standardized, but it doesn't cover all political parties and individual candidates.

        A 0 score is earned where financial information is not available in a standardized format.

        Sources

        Interview: Tal Schneider, Political Blogger and Reporter of 'Haplug', 5 August 2014, email

        Interview: Alona Vinograd, CEO - Director of the Movement for Freedom of Information, 28 July 2014, email

        Interview: Mor Rubinstein, The Public Knowledge Volunteer and the Open Knowledge Foundation Open Gov community coordinator, 10 August 2014, email

        The primaries contributions for various candidates, The Comptroller website, date of visit: 10 August 2014 http://www.mevaker.gov.il/he/mimun/donation/Pages/donationsPrime.aspx

        Document: Data Regarding the Contributions the Parties Received During the Elections for the 19th Knesset, State Comptroller of Israel Yosef Shapira, State Comptroller of Israel, 26 February 2014

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        29
        Score
        100
        In practice, to what extent do mainstream journalism media outlets use political finance data in their reporting?More about indicator

        Numerous journalistic articles dealt with the identity of candidates' contributors in the last elections and their origin, as the attached report from channel 9 exhibits. There are also deeper investigations. A more extensive article in The Marker is titled "Elections 2013: the donations competition". The reporter checked the various donations the candidates received and also the financial situation of the different parties- according to the Comptroller's report. The report also covered the public funding that the parties are entitled to. Another aritcle from News 2 ("Thousands of Shekels on Make-up and Grief Adds") checked recently the Parties' expenditures and the loans they take from the banks.

        Nevertheless this kind of reporting is quite rare. Party financing usually doesn't pique the media's interest. Even though parties receive significant public funding and most of them are in huge debts (the previous article discuesses this point as well)- journalists tend to ignore it.

        It's important to highlight that there were endless reports in the media in the last year regarding the lack of transparency of political finance data. The media mainly dealt with the need of laws regarding financial declarations of assets of political figures. One of them -attached- is an independent check of News 2. They asked from all the candidates to expose their declaration (the majority refused).

        Alona Vinograd, CEO ­ Director of the Movement for Freedom of Information says that "The media uses financial information of parties and candidates - as long as it is available to them. Usually the media covers contributions and the Comptroller's reports. Other political finance data is uncovered due to contacts and leaks. The fact that journalists typically rely on the Comptroller's reports is problematic- he doesn't examine all the parties and candidates thoroughly".

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where at least three independent mainstream journalism media outlets have used officially published political party or individual candidate financial information as part of their reporting.

        A 50 score is earned where one independent mainstream journalism media outlet has used officially published financial information as part of its reporting.

        A 0 score is earned where no mainstream journalism media outlet has used officially published financial information as part of its reporting.

        Sources

        Interview: Alona Vinograd, CEO - Director of the Movement for Freedom of Information, 28 July 2014, email

        News report: "Elections 2013: the donations competition. Who raised the most?", Zvi Zrachia, The Marker, 11 October 2012 http://www.themarker.com/news/politics/1.1839967

        News report: "The Legitimate Channel to Funnel Money for Members of the Knesset during their candidacy" Tomer Avital, channel 9, 30 June 2014 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aGtUeXl3UuU

        News report: "What is Hiding in the Knesset Members' Declarations of Assets?", Yael Abadi, News 2, 9 June 2014 http://www.mako.co.il/news-money/economy/Article-891e33645918641004.htm

        "Thousands of Shekels on Make-up and Grief Adds", Amit Segal, News 2, 27 October 2013 http://www.mako.co.il/news-military/politics/Article-027d1c4fb3bf141004.htm

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        30
        Score
        0
        In practice, to what extent were there no news reports or other documented incidents of violation or abuse of political finance laws?More about indicator

        The media published many violations of the political finance laws in the last elections. Most of the reports, however, were follow-ups to the Comptroller reports who uncovered the violations.

        For instance, A news story titled 'Benet hired a private detective st the primaries and will be fined by 65,000 nis' showed that a candidate (Head of Habait Hayhudi movement Naftali Benet) used the public funding money that its party received in order to hire a private detective against a fellow candidate, during the last elections. The Comptroller reviewed the expenditures, uncovered that expanse, and fined Benet.

        Besides, an article named shows how the 'Likud' (the prime minister's party) paid against the law to a famous Israeli singer (Sarit Hadad) to attend an election gathering of the recent election. The article describe how The head of the Central Elections Committee Judge Elyakim Rubinshteyn filed a complaint and said that the Party broke the "Knesset Elections Law (Propaganda Methods) article 17".

        Tal Schneider, Political Blogger, says "I myself reported during the last elections (January 2013) about a double registration to the Likud and Habait Hayhudi- against the law. There were also several investigative reporting defects in the account-books of Kadima party".

        "It was not the main item in the news, but it was reported", concludes Jonathan J. Klinger, Adv. The Legal counsel for the Israeli Public Knowledge Foundation and legal counsel for several political candidates.


        Peer reviewer comment: Agree. The news story "50 Politicians Were Fined for Forbidden Financing" shows that many candidates (50 out of about 230 candidates who took part in intra-party elections) didn't follow the law in their reporting in the most recent primaries, and were fined. This is a clear example for a publication of violations of the political finance laws, base on a Comptroller report

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where there were no news reports or other documented incidents of violation or abuse of political finance laws during the most recent national election.

        A 50 score is earned where there were news reports or other documented incidents of no more than two cases of violation or abuse of political finance laws during the most recent national election.

        A 0 score is earned where there were frequent news reports or other documented incidents of violation or abuse of political finance laws during the most recent national election.

        Sources

        Interview: Jonathan J. Klinger, Adv. The Legal counsel for the Israeli Public Knowledge Foundation and legal counsel for several political candidates, 28 July 2014, email

        Interview: Tal Schneider, Political Blogger and Reporter of 'Haplug', 5 August 2014, email

        "Sarit Hadad show in the Likud- a Violation of the Law", Telem Yahav, Ynet, 4 January 13 http://www.ynet.co.il/articles/0,7340,L-4328490,00.html

        Benet hired a private detective st the primaries and will be fined by 65,000 nis, Tal Sapir and Shay Doron, Nana 10, 21 August 2013 http://news.nana10.co.il/Article/?ArticleID=999222

        Reviewer's sources: "50 Politicians Were Fined for Forbidden Financing: Benet is on the Top of the List, Omri Nachmias, Walla, 21 August 2013 http://news.walla.co.il/?w=/9/2671922

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        75
        In practice, to what extent were there no news reports or other documented incidents of vote-buying?More about indicator

        In the 2013 general election there was only one report or documented incident of vote-buying. Investigative reporters of Channel 10 found that 'Israeli Beytenu' party (a party that formed the current coalition) founded an illegal system in which each person who brought voters-lists that were committed to vote for the party will get a paid job during the elections day - which was against the law. The party transfered public funding money it received to people that agreed to vote for it.

        In the primaries that took place beforehand (November 2012) there were several incidents that the police eventually exculpated. A mainstream newspaper (Yedioth Aharonot) uncovered during the last election an incident of vote-buying of one of the candidates in Habait Hayehudi - Nissan Slomiansky, today a Member of the Knesset. It was suspected that Slomiansky hired "voters contractors" illegally and paid them in cash in order to get more registered voters. The Police didn't had enough evidence and the file was closed according to an article of July 2013 "The Police Closed The MK Slomiansky case". Another report in channel 2 tells a similar story. The police investigated a vote-buying accusations in 'Haavoda' party last primaries. According to suspicions, candidates payed money to voters in order to get their votes. The police, however, didn't find supporting evidence and closed the case.

        Tal Schneider, Political Blogger, agrees that there was the one substantiated case of vote-buying in the last elections. "Nick Kolychin from channel 10 brought important information with hidden camera".

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where there were no news reports or other documented incidents of vote-buying during the most recent national election.

        A 50 score is earned where there were news reports or other documented incidents of no more than two cases of vote-buying during the most recent national election.

        A 0 score is earned where there were frequent news reports or other documented incidents of vote-buying during the most recent national election.

        Sources

        Interview: Tal Schneider, Political Blogger and Reporter of 'Haplug', 5 August 2014, email

        "The Police Closed The MK Slomiansky file", Avi Ashkenazi, Maariv, 21 July 2013 http://www.nrg.co.il/online/1/ART2/492/077.html

        "The Vote-buying Suspicion in 'Haavoda': The Police Closed the Case", News 2 byline, News 2, 6 June 2013 http://www.mako.co.il/news-military/politics/Article-90c8a0f577a1f31004.htm

        "Special Report of Nick Kolychin and Nadav Perry", Nick Kolychin and Nadav Perry, Channel 10, 13 December 2012 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hE5voHfO8Po https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E36RRMJve5Y

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        100
        In practice, to what extent do civil society organizations use political finance data?More about indicator

        Alona Vinograd, CEO ­ Director of the Movement for Freedom of Information says that "to my impression NGO's in Israel rarely uses this kind of information in their work. There is one NGO who does it regularly - The Movement for Quality Government in Israel. They read thorughly each of the Comptroller's reports and try to notify the public of what is going on in the political system".

        Mor Rubinstein, The Public Knowledge Volunteer and the Open Knowledge Foundation Open Gov community coordinator, agrees with her "civil society organizations don't use political finance data because they don't exist. In Israel we almost don't have monitoring watch dogs. After the manifestations in 2011 there was some public interest but the lack of information and its availability along with the political culture of Israel creates a reality where people simply are not interested". Mika Shainok Kerten from The Movement for Quality Government in Israel adds that "unfortunately there is almost nothing available regarding the candidates' financial information".

        As said, the Movement for Quality Government in Israel is the one that cares the most of financial information- but usually only in cases of violations that were found in either the Comptroller's reports or in the media due to leaks. In its website, for instance, one can see how each party used its public funding money from the last elections (January 2013). It used the Comptroller's reports in order to create their reports.

        The Israel Democracy Institute also deals with this issue. One of its sub-projects is called "The Regulation of Party Financing and Corruption." A book titled "Political Corruption in Israel", published by the Israel Democracy Institute, reviewed documented violations of party finance laws, as part of the general phenomenon of political corruption.

        Another NGO, "The Movement for Governance and Democracy," asked the Knesset's Constitution, Law and Justice Committee to amend the law with regard to the finance of party parliamentary group that split from its original party. In the NGO's letter to the Committee, it quoted from a Comptroller's report, in which he recommended such a change.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where at least three civil society organizations have used officially published political party or individual candidate financial information as part of their advocacy or awareness work.

        A 50 score is earned where one civil society organization has used officially published financial information as part of its advocacy or awareness work.

        A 0 score is earned where no civil society organization has used officially published financial information as part of its work.

        Sources

        Interview: Mor Rubinstein, The Public Knowledge Volunteer and the Open Knowledge Foundation Open Gov community coordinator, 10 August 2014, email

        Interview: Alona Vinograd, CEO - Director of the Movement for Freedom of Information, 28 July 2014, email

        Interview: Mika Shainok Kerten, Director, Legislation & Policy, The Movement for Quality Government in Israel, 7/8/2014, email

        The Movement for Quality Government in Israel Website: Elections 2013, Date of Visit: 10/8/2014 http://www.mqg.org.il/%D7%A2%D7%91%D7%95%D7%93%D7%94%D7%91%D7%97%D7%99%D7%A8%D7%95%D7%AA2013/tabid/708/Default.aspx

        Navot, Doron, 2012. Political Corruption in Israe (Jerusalem: The Israel Democracy Institute).

        The Israel Democracy Institute, Government Reform, http://www.idi.org.il/%D7%AA%D7%97%D7%95%D7%9E%D7%99-%D7%A2%D7%99%D7%A1%D7%95%D7%A7-%D7%94%D7%9E%D7%9B%D7%95%D7%9F/%D7%9E%D7%91%D7%A0%D7%94-%D7%94%D7%A9%D7%9C%D7%98%D7%95%D7%9F/%D7%A8%D7%A4%D7%95%D7%A8%D7%9E%D7%95%D7%AA-%D7%91%D7%9E%D7%A2%D7%A8%D7%9B%D7%95%D7%AA-%D7%94%D7%A9%D7%9C%D7%98%D7%95%D7%9F

        The Movement for Governance and Democracy, letter sent to the Constitution, Law and Justice Committee, 28 February 2014 http://www.meshilut.org/pps/33.pdf

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        Open Question: Have there been political finance legal reforms or reform bills presented to the legislature in the last 10 years?More about indicator

        In 2007 an amendment to the Parties law passed. It enabled candidates higher ceilings for their contributions and expenditures. The amendment, however, was temporal and after one year (in which there were elections) the bill was canceled- and the previous law was enacted. The Coalition managed to legislate it and get higher ceiling for the upcoming elections after it added an article saying that it will be enacted only for one year. This is a common move in Israel- and problematic laws that may enrage the public are being legislated as long as they are temporal.

        Another important and this time permanent amendment was enacted at 2008: Amendment 14 to the Parties law allowed candidates to raise contributions at all time - also outside the election year. It also determined The State Comptroller authority to audit the Candidates accounts, and the Comptroller's duty to prepare a report regarding the Candidates' account books. Moreover, the amendment enabled the Comptroller to fine candidates who break the law. This amendment was a result of many discussions that took place in the Knesset in an attempt to improve the law. According to conversation with MK Zeev Elkin (Israel Beytenu), the article that enables contributions all year long was enacted to stop corruption. According to him, candidates have to raise money all the time, and that is what they have done- even when the law prohibited it. "They have no choice but to be prepared for primaries any time". Elkin adds that thanks to this amendment, candidates report those contributions instead of hiding them.

        Regarding legal reform attempts presented to the legislature - The State Comptroller Yossef Shapira suggested in 2013 - after the last elections - to prohibit contributions to Politicians from abroad. Shapira found that 25% of all the contributions made to candidates were from outside Israel. For some of the candidates the contributions from abroad were more than 50% of their income. Shapira said that "Donations from abroad means receiving support from foreigners that sometimes lack any links to Israel but want to be involved in the decision process". The suggestions stayed, so far, in the drawer. There were no follow-ups to this suggestion- no one talked about it after it was said.

        Former MK Yoel Hasson offered in 2008 An amendment to the Parties Law. The amendment suggested that the general ceilings for contributions and expenditures allowed to candidates will be risen (to their level in 2008- during the amendment mentioned in the beginning was in place). In the bill Hason explained that the current ceilings are too low and do not enable candidates to run a fair campaign. The bill didn't advance in the legislative process.

        Mika Shainok Kerten from The Movement for Quality Government in Israel says that "in the recent years there were many attempts of the Movement to promote reform in the Declarations of Assets of politicians and candidates. All the bills were rejected, including one we worked on in collaboration with MK Shelly Yechimovich. We believe that the public is not ready yet. We see that not everybody understands the importance of such transparency". Additionally, "today, according to law, the Declarations are put in a vault and no one can review them. We believe that this kind of transparency of politicians will help them to be cleaner. Micky Rozental, a Member of the Knesset, is trying in this period to promote a bill that will provide access to the Attorney General of Israel to the Assets Declarations".

        The resistance for the assets declaration laws come from the Coalition parties. All of them voted against it, saying that it's private information that doesn't interest the public.

        Jonathan J. Klinger, Adv. The Legal counsel for the Israeli Public Knowledge Foundation and legal counsel for several political candidates comments that in recent years there were not "any big reforms. Not really. The sole issue was to require candidates and politicians to present their capital statements, but it was not enacted".

        Peer reviewer comment: Amendments 27 (2005) and 31 (2012) of the Parties Financing Law postponed the date on which the parties are required to file a financial report to the State Comptroller from 10 weeks after the elections to 12 and then 16 weeks. The change was needed because many parties had (and still have) difficulties to submit their reports on time. The 2011 amendment also obligated new parties to submit to the Parties Registrar a statement regarding the party's assets. According to amendment 28 (2005), party parliamentary group that splits from its original party is required to proportionally participate in the party's debt repayments. This change reflects a common phenomenon in Israel, in which member of the Knesset leave (during the term of the Knesset) their original party, establish a new party parliamentary group (or join an existing one), and enjoying public finance without participating in the debt of the party they left behind – indeed, parties in Israel usually have heavy debt.

        In addition, many MK tried to promote, with no success, bills that provide greater party financing to party parliamentary group that have a high proportion of women. Interestingly, such law did pass with regard to elections to local authorities (the Local Authorities (elections funding) law (amendment no. 12), 2014). One bill proposed the same mechanism with regard to members of the Knesset under the age of 35.

        Scoring Criteria

        Please list and describe all documented instances of: 1) political finance reforms, including bills passed, executive orders signed, court rulings and any other legal act that had a direct effect on existent political finance regulation, and 2) all legal reform attempts presented to the legislature even if they were not approved. Please describe the political context that produced the reforms or reform attempts.

        Sources

        News Story: "What is Hiding in the Knesset Members' Declarations of Assets?", Yael Abadi, News 2, 9/6/14 http://www.mako.co.il/news-money/economy/Article-891e33645918641004.htm

        Interview: Jonathan J. Klinger, Adv. The Legal counsel for the Israeli Public Knowledge Foundation and legal counsel for several political candidates, 28 July 2014, email

        Interview: Mika Shainok Kerten, Director, Legislation & Policy, The Movement for Quality Government in Israel, 7 August 2014, email Interview: Mk Zeev Elkin (Likud Party- in the coalition), 16 August 2014, phone

        News Story: "The State Comptroller Suggests to Prohibit Contributions to Politicians from Abroad", Lilach Vaysman, Globes, 21 August 2013 http://www.globes.co.il/news/article.aspx?did=1000874008

        Guidelines for primaries and explanations of amendment 14 to the Parties Law, The Parties Registrar - The Justice Minister of Israel, attached

        Parties Law, 2007, article 7 http://www.mevaker.gov.il/he/Laws/DocLib/law-miflagot-1992.pdf

        Amendment 14 to the Parties Law, 2008

        A document: An amendment offered to the Parties Law - authorization to use the donations given to the primaries, Yoel Hasson, 2008

        Reviewer's sources: Amendments 27 to the Parties Financing Law, 2008.

        Amendments 28 to the Parties Financing Law, 2008.

        Amendments 31 to the Parties Financing Law, 2012.

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    Third Party Actors

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      Applicability of the Law to Third-Party Actors
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        MODERATE
        In law, third-party actors (foundations, think tanks, unions, political action committees, etc.) report itemized contributions received and expenditures to an oversight authority and the information is made publicly available.More about indicator

        The Parties Financing Law addresses 'organizations linked to parties'. They are defined in article 1 as "a group of people either united or not, that participates in the electoral campaign or in ongoing party activity . They will be seen as an extension of the party considering all or some of this characteristics: its objectives, owner identity, its board and members, the revenues allocations and the financial sources to cover losses". Each expenditure of those related organization are then considered as party expenditure and therefore will be reviewed by the Comptroller and will not made public. Article 10a (a) affirms that: "any expenditure of organizations linked to parties will be considered as a party expenditure". In a same manner Article 10a (b) affirms that: "any contribution to organizations linked to parties will be considered as a party contribution". Article 10a (c) states that: "the account-book of organizations linked to parties will be given at the same time parties are handing out its account-book".

        Think-tanks and foundations that are not directly linked to one of the parties are to follow The Foundations Law (1980). Article 36 (d) states that the foundations must report their accounts- including expenses- to the Foundations Registrar each year prior to June 30: "the financial report will be handed over to the Registrar no later then June 30 after the report period ended".

        Article 36 (a) (b) of The Foundations Law (1980): "a foundation with more than 300,000 NIS (approximately 86,000 USD) volume must specify in its financial report if it received donations from a foreign entity (a foreign country, authority or company) - but only if the donation is above 20,000 NIS (approximately 5,700 USD). Had the foundation received such donation it will include in the financial report for each donation (a) the donor name (b) the amount of the donation, (c) the donation target, (d) the donation condition, including the commitment the foundation gave regarding the donation whether it was spoken or written, directly or indirectly".

        Article 36b (c) adds that "The donation must be published in the foundations' website. If the foundation does not have a website- it must inform the Registrar who will publish the information in the Minster of Justice website".

        Regulations from 2002 regard non-foreign contributions. Article 1 of The Foundations rules (Fixing a Maximum Amount and Guidelines to Register Contribution Anonymously in the Financial Report) states: "The Maximum donation amount that a foundation may not write the donor's name in its financial report is 20,000 NIS approximately 5,700 USD)". Article 2 allows some of those contributions to remain classified: "The Registrar may grant a foundation a special permission to not write the donor's name for a more than a 20,000 NIS donation if he was convinced that the thing is just, and a written request was handed to him with the donor's name, I.D, the amount of the donation and the reason to keep him anonymous".

        Article 39 (b) in the Foundation Law states that "the foundations' documents (including its expenditures and the contributions above 20,000 NIS (approximately 5,700 USD) will be available to the public in the Registrar bureau".

        In sum, only partial information is submitted to the oversight authorities, and that information is not publicly available.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where: 1) third-party actors are required to report to the oversight authority itemized contributions received and expenditures related to their support of electoral campaigns, and 2) the information must be publicly available.

        A MODERATE score is earned where third-party actors are required to report itemized contributions received and expenditures related to their support of electoral campaigns, but the information is not required to be publicly available. A MODERATE score is also earned where regulations exist, but only apply to electoral campaigns of one actor (whether political party or individual candidate).

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        Parties Financing Law, 1973, article 1,10a (a) http://www.mevaker.gov.il/he/Laws/DocLib/law-mimon-miflagot-tik-31.pdf

        Foundations Law, 1980, Article 36 (d), 36 (a) (b), 36b (c) a, 39 (b) http://www.nevo.co.il/lawhtml/Law01/p182k1001.htm

        The Foundations rules (Fixing a Maximum Amount and Guidelines to Register Contribution Anonymously in the Financial Report), 2002, Articles 1 & 2 http://www.nevo.co.il/lawhtml/Law01/999052.htm

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        25
        In practice, to what extent do third-party actors (foundations, think tanks, unions, political action committees, etc.) report itemized contributions received and expenditures to an oversight authority?More about indicator

        Mor Rubinstein, The Public Knowledge Volunteer and the Open Knowledge Foundation Open Gov community coordinator, says that in regards to linked organizations, "the foundations don't specify to the Registrar the details. For instance take "Betytenu Olami" (a Registered Foundation that is directly linked to Israel Beytenu - a coalition party, and is operated by them). I know they received two contributions from abroad but there aren't any details about even one of the contribution in their website". A visit to the foundation file in the Registrar shows that the contributions and expenditures are poorly detailed.

        Linked organizations must report to the comptroller on their political expenditures. But in the Comptroller's reports of the recent two years there aren't any mentions of such organizations.

        A significant and documented violation of the financial law by a party linked organization was in 2001. Since then there have been fewer significant cases. As they are emblematic of the problems associated with the reports of such organizations, it is pertinent to discuss two examples from the period prior to the last elections. A Comptroller Report from late 2011 shows that a party named "Eretz Israel Shelanu" was aided by a foundation named "the headquarters for saving the people and the country"- who according to the Comptroller - had "identical objectives and ideas as the party". The comptroller said that there is evidence that the two are linked even though the foundation didn't report itemized contributions and expenditures or run its account book as a linked organization should. Also, in the website 'Black Labor', at June 2012 a pertinent letter a lawyer sent to the State Comptroller was published. The lawyer called for an investigation regarding two foundations that are acting as party linked organization though they neglect their obligations of producing extra financial information.

        There isn't any public way to see which Third-parties registered as officially party-linked organizations, other than the Comptroller's reports. Nevertheless the Comptroller's reports from older years show again and again that Third-parties tend to not register as officially party-linked organizations. But only in cases the Comptroller is holding investigations he will uncover them. Shay Hermesh, former MK (up to 2013, Kadima Party), says that "Only the obvious foundations such as "Citizens for Member of the Knesset X" would be clearly linked. the other foundations will try to act more subtly and not necessarily show that they act for someone's interest". Tal Schneider, Political Blogger, adds "we cannot know about political spending information of the linked organizations. as far as I know, it is inaccessible. at all. No one can see it".

        The financial obligations of foundations that are not considered as 'party-linked organizations' are quite poor, regarding which financial information will be disclosed.

        Alona Vinograd, CEO ­ Director of the Movement for Freedom of Information clarifies that "regarding expenditures, it's a joke. In the report to the Registrar a foundation must specify expenses but very generally. For instance it needs to list how much is allocated to supplies, salaries, activity, etc. but without detailing each expense. Furthermore, one can see the accounts only of the previous year. Therefore one has no way of knowing the state of the foundation at present."

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where all third-party actors report to an oversight authority both itemized contributions received and itemized expenditures.

        A 50 score is earned where third-party actors report to an oversight authority either itemized contributions received or expenditures, but not both. A 50 score is also earned where the reports refer only to one type of third-party actor, but do not cover others.

        A 0 score is earned where third-party actors rarely or never report itemized contributions received or expenditures.

        Sources

        Tal Schneider, Political Blogger and Reporter of 'Haplug', 5 August 2014, email.

        Interview: Shay Hermesh, former MK (up to 2013, Kadima Party), 16 August 2014, phone

        Jonathan J. Klinger, Adv. The Legal counsel for the Israeli Public Knowledge Foundation and legal counsel for several political candidates, 29/7/2014, email + telephone

        Interview: Mor Rubinstein, The Public Knowledge Volunteer and the Open Knowledge Foundation Open Gov community coordinator, 10/8/2014, email

        Alona Vinograd, CEO - Director of the Movement for Freedom of Information, 28 July 2014, email

        News Report: "The Comptroller Report: The Parties Are Parting on the Expense of the Public", Yossi Zilberman & Rina Matsliach, News 2, 3 November 2011 http://www.mako.co.il/news-military/politics/Article-ac18e18f7b96331017.htm

        News report: "Comptroller, Open an Investigation Regarding Minster Israel Katz", Dekel David Adv. Black Labor, 12 June 2012 http://www.blacklabor.org/?p=46220

        Reviewer's sources: Document: Statement of audit results of the party parliamentary groups in the 18th Knessefor the period of 1.1.11-31.12.11, State Comptroller of Israel Yosef Shapira, State Comptroller of Israel, September 2012 http://www.mevaker.gov.il/he/Reports/Report_125/0bd049b7-2494-47eb-a1e5-ae60e784092f/7805.pdf

        Document: Statement of audit results of the parties for the elections to the 15th Knesset and for prime minister, State Comptroller of Israel Eliezer Goldberg, State Comptroller of Israel, 27 January 2000 http://www.knesset.gov.il/docs/heb/amutot1.htm

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        25
        In practice, to what extent can journalists and citizens easily access the financial information of third party actors, including the political spending of those actors in support of political parties and individual candidates?More about indicator

        In Israel, journalists and citizens can receive financial information of third party actors through two alternatives. One is to order the information from the Registrar. It costs, according to the Registrar's website and several orders, 43 NIS (approximately 12 USD), and will arrive in a CD after a week. The documents are in PDF.

        The second option is to go to the 'Guidstar' website which is available to everyone freely and is operated by the Registrar, but is a separated website. The site contains all the information of these third party actors that are not linked to political parties, but sometimes without the most recent accounts. To obtain the most recent information one must get hold of the Registrar CD. The reports include the financial reports without itemized expenditures. Itemized contributions are included on the report only if they were above 20,000 NIS (approximately 5,700 USD).

        However, 'party-linked' organizations don't expose their political spending. If anyone can see it at all, it will be only the Comptroller. In recent years, the Comptroller's reports released only little information of such political expenditures to the public. It is almost never available. One may see it only if the Comptroller uncovers the expenditures, found something illegal about them, and decided to expose them.

        Tal Schneider, Political Blogger, said that "the political spending information, as far as I know, is inaccessible. No one can see it".

        Mor Rubinstein, The Public Knowledge Volunteer and the Open Knowledge Foundation Open Gov community coordinator, says "this kind of information is not accessible. The Party-linked foundations don't specify it, and it is very hard to get a hold on the foundations reports anyhow. you need to ask the Minister of Justice to send you a CD and look for it in a Sisyphean way". Rubinstein adds "take for instance "Betytenu Olami" (a Registered Foundation that is directly linked to Israel Beytenu - a coalition party, and is operated by them). I know they received two contributions from abroad but there aren't any details about even one of the contribution in their website". A visit to the foundation file in the Registrar shows that the contributions and expenditures are poorly detailed.

        A visit to Registrar's website (Guidstar) of some of the linked organizations show that many of them didn't hand out all the financial information they should have had. Such is the case with "The foundation to Support Uzi Landau (a minister from Israel Beytenu)", The Foundation to Collect Contribution for the Court Expenses of MK Tsachi Hanegbi", or "Jacob Edri to the Knesset".

        Jonathan J. Klinger, Adv. The Legal counsel for the Israeli Public Knowledge Foundation and legal counsel for several political candidates adds that "Israel has a non­profit portal run by "Guidestar" that allows to view non­profit's financial reports. The reports for candidates and parties appear in the state comptroller's website". According to him "the reports are non-exhaustive, and are generally summed up".

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where: 1) all relevant financial information is freely available online or in hard copy at the cost of photocopying, 2) it can be obtained within two days of requesting it, and 3) it is in a machine readable format (for example in csv or xml format).

        A 50 score is earned where: 1) information is available but in some cases is incomplete or lacking detail, 2) obtaining complete information takes up to a month, or 3) it's not necessarily in machine readable format.

        A 0 score is earned where: 1) the information is not publicly available, or 2) obtaining it takes more than three months, or 3) the cost of obtaining it is prohibitive for the regular citizen.

        Sources

        Interview: Jonathan J. Klinger, Adv. The Legal counsel for the Israeli Public Knowledge Foundation and legal counsel for several political candidates, 28 July 2014, email

        Interview: Tal Schneider, Political Blogger and Reporter of 'Haplug', 5 August 2014, email

        Interview: Alona Vinograd, CEO - Director of the Movement for Freedom of Information, 28 August 2014, email

        Interview: Mor Rubinstein, The Public Knowledge Volunteer and the Open Knowledge Foundation Open Gov community coordinator, 10/8/2014, email

        Guidestar (the Registrar database): "The foundation to Support Uzi Landau", date of visit: 11 August 2014 http://www.guidestar.org.il/organization/580449080

        Guidestar (the Registrar database): "Betytenu Olami (Registered Foundation)", date of visit: 11 August 2014 http://www.guidestar.org.il/organization/580356582

        Guidestar (the Registrar database): "The Foundation to Collect Contribution for the Court Expenses of MK Tsachi Hanegbi", date of visit: 11 August 2014 http://www.guidestar.org.il/organization/580462620

        Guidestar (the Registrar database): "Jacob Edri to the Knesset", date of visit: 11 August 2014 http://www.guidestar.org.il/organization/580400174

        Israel Corporations Authority's Website - Payment for Foundations Documents to the Registrar, Date of visit: 15 August 2014 http://index.justice.gov.il/Units/RasutHataagidim/units/RashamAmutot/Pages/Agrot.aspx

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        Open Question: Please describe how third party-actors (even if they are not regulated by your country's laws) obtain contributions and spend in support of political parties and/or individual candidates.More about indicator

        In Israel there aren't any third-party actors that influence campaigns in a noticeable way. The ones that exist don't keep any public records and it is almost impossible to find information that regards them.

        Former MK Shay Hermesh says that "years ago, prior to elections there used to be foundations that were founded by businessmen just to support candidates financially. Now there is a more subtle way. Workers' unions register to parties who hold primaries just before the elections in order to influence the candidates. For instance many of the Israel Aerospace Industry employees registered to the Likud. The Ports and the water industry unions did the same and joined the big parties. After the elections the ministers are afraid to promote reforms in those industries because they know the unions can hurt them politically from within."

        Michal Zilberberg, Chairperson of the Young Labor (Haavoda) Tel-Aviv branch, highlights the "German funds that funnel money to parties. There are 6 of them and each one supports a different party. The Friedrich Ebert fund helps the Israeli labor party. Those funds, however, don't help out during the campaigns rather support projects and other activity". According to Zilberberg, "Abroad there are evangelist groups who help Israeli politicians and support them financially during the campaigns- mainly to Likud members. But there is no public record. They also invite them to trips to United States during their terms in office."

        Zilberberg adds that "parties have also established cells in the universities. Haavoda has 'Ofek' which receives money from the party in order to bring students to register and spread Haavoda's ideas in campuses. If they are well guided they can be effective during the campaigns. Currently, Ofek is not effective since the various branches have different agendas. Other parties have such organizations that mainly try to bring votes, but they are not raising money."

        Tal Schneider, Political Blogger, adds that "There are several general third-party actors such as 'Mitpakdim' which urged people to register to parties so the public would have more influence. Mitpakdim managed to convince several thousand people (in the last elections) to register. On the right wing- in the surroundings of MK Moshe Feiglin, there are several Movements that work outside Parliament. They register voters, arrange meeting with students and do a lot of hard work in the streets. We don't know how much money they have".

        Two other significant third-party actors are The Public Knowledge Workshop & The Social Guards. Both of them try to give access to the general public to data regarding the Knesset, the parties and the candidates. They can influence voters since they uncover politicians' activities, but they are not linked to any party, and their work is to make the public more engaged.


        Peer reviewer comment: It seems that the influence of third party actors on campaigns in Israe is quite limited. Important third-party actors are Labor Union. It is quite common their members to register to parties who hold primaries in order to influence the candidates. For instance many of the Israel Aerospace Industry employees registered to the Likud, in order to support the Union's chairman, Haim Katz, in the primaries. An article, "The Likud primaries: The Comptroller warned Haim Katz" indicates that the Comptroller had fears that in the primaries that took palce in November 2012 Katz will use the resources of the company to promote himself in the primaries. The Comptroller stated that he had information that the candidate will use resources as the computer systems in the primaries. The Comptroller referred also to the fact that the company sent buses in the previous primaries (November 2008) to help Katz supporters to get to the polls. An article published after the most recent (November 2012) Primaries showed that Katz still organized transportation based on the state owned company vehicles for the workers there. This time it wasn't buses but cars.

        The Ports and the water industry unions did the same and joined the big parties.For examople, according to media reoprts, Alon Hasan, the chariman of the labor union of Ashdod Port, encouraged the port's workers, by using his status and influence, to join the Labor Party, in order to promote his preffered candidates - candidates who do not endangers the union's (and his personal) interests.

        Linked-organizations, that support certain party or candidate, had a great importance in the past. The most famous case involved a violation of the law by linked organizations that supported Ehud Barak, chairman of the Labor Party, in the 1999 elections. In the comptroller's report on the 1999 elections, that was published in 2000, he states that the accounts of the Labor Party "did not reflect the activities of non-party organizations, which have worked to promote the candidacy of the party chairman in the elections for prime minister, and the sources of funding for these operations." In the 2001 elections, Ariel Sharon from Halikud party also used such linked-organizations against the law. However, since then there have been fewer significant cases. One of the more recent cases can be found in a Comptroller Report from 2012, that shows that a party named "Eretz Israel Shelanu" was aided by a foundation named "the headquarters for saving the people and the country", who according to the Comptroller had "identical objectives and ideas as the party". The comptroller said that there is evidence that the two are linked. Even though the foundation didn't report itemized contributions and expenditures or run its account book as a linked organization should

        Scoring Criteria

        To answer this question please: 1) list the types of third-party actors that exist in your country and describe how they work to influence campaigns, 2) explain how important such actors are or not in the context of campaigns, including whether their expenditures are substantial in relation to that of political parties and individual candidates, and 3) if documented evidence indicates they circumvent laws intended to regulate political finance, please explain how and include references to the evidence.

        Sources

        Interview: Michal Zilberberg, Chairperson of the Young Labor (Haavoda) Tel-Aviv branch, 12 August 2014, phone

        Interview: Tal Schneider, Political Blogger and Reporter of 'Haplug', 5 August 2014, email

        Interview: Shay Hermesh, former MK (up to 2013, Kadima Party), 13 August 2014, phone

        The Social Guard's Website. Accessed on 15 August 2014. http://hamishmar.org.il/

        The Public Knowledge Workshop's Website. Accessed on 15 August 2014. http://www.hasadna.org.il/en/

        Reviewer's sources: 'The Likud primaries: The Comptroller warned Haim Katz', Aviel Magnezi, Ynet, 25 November 2012 http://www.ynet.co.il/articles/0,7340,L-4311325,00.html

        Document: Statement of audit results of the parties for the elections to the 15th Knesset and for prime minister, State Comptroller of Israel Eliezer Goldberg, State Comptroller of Israel, 27 January 2000 http://www.knesset.gov.il/docs/heb/amutot1.htm

        Document: Statement of audit results of the party parliamentary groups in the 18th Knessefor the period of 1.1.11-31.12.11, State Comptroller of Israel Yosef Shapira, State Comptroller of Israel, September 2012 http://www.mevaker.gov.il/he/Reports/Report_125/0bd049b7-2494-47eb-a1e5-ae60e784092f/7805.pdf

        'Workers of Ashdod Port are joining the Labor Party', Mako website, 7 July 2013 http://www.mako.co.il/news-military/politics/Article-273abac985abf31004.htm

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    Monitoring and Enforcement

    More about category
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    68
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      Monitoring Capabilities
      More about category
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        YES
        In law, political finance information is monitored by an independent oversight authority.More about indicator

        Parties Financing Law article 9 indicates that the State Comptroller - an independent oversight authority - has the mandate to demand and receive at any time from a party reports regarding incomes and expanses. Article 9 (b): "the account-book and the bank accounts will be available to the Comptroller's audits". 9 (c): "the Comptroller may demand at any time from the Representatives of a party a declaration, signed by them, regarding the wholeness and truthfulness of the details in the account-book or any income or outcome". Article 10 adds that "within 16 weeks from the elections results each Party shall give the Comptroller its financial reports. If a party fails to do so and the Comptroller will explain to The chairman of the Parliament that their case in not just, The chairman of the Parliament will deny the party public funding". Article 10 (c) adds that "not later than May first from the end of every financial year, representatives of a party group shall deliver to the State Comptroller its accounts for that year".

        The process therefore is quite automatic and the Comptroller must audit the parties. The audit does not need any outside approval.

        Regarding candidates, Parties Law article 28 ka (a) states that "a candidate shall deliver to the State Comptroller information on any donation he received or gave back up to 14 days from its acceptance or returning. In the period of the two weeks prior and following the primaries the candidate shall deliver to the State Comptroller information on any donation he received or gave back, up to 24 hours from its acceptance or returning". Article 28 kb (a) 1 states that "a candidate shall deliver to the State Comptroller not later than 6 weeks after the primaries all of his financial reports for the primaries". Article 28kc declares that "the candidates accounts as said in 28kb will be available to the Comptroller audit". Article 28kc (e) indicates that "the Comptroller, within the candidate accounts auditing, has the right to request and receive further information regarding the candidates campaign financing issues, in order to clarify any connections between the candidate and a person that promoted his election". There isn't any article that mentions that the Comptroller has investigation powers over candidates outside of election periods.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where: 1) an independent oversight authority is mandated to monitor political finance information, and 2) the authority has investigation and audit powers.

        A MODERATE score is earned where the independent oversight authority is mandated to monitor political finance information, but doesn't have investigation or audit powers.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        Parties Law, 1992, article 28 kb (a) 1, 28 ka (a), 28kc (e) http://www.mevaker.gov.il/he/Laws/DocLib/law-miflagot-1992.pdf

        Parties Financing Law, 1973, article 9 &10 http://www.mevaker.gov.il/he/Laws/DocLib/law-mimon-miflagot-tik-31.pdf

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        NO
        In law, high-level appointments to the oversight authority are based on merit.More about indicator

        The Basic Law 'The State Comptroller', article 7 (a) states that "The State Comptroller in Israel will be elected by the Parliament in a Confidential vote". Article 7 (b & c) adds that "(the comptroller) term is seven years. The Comptroller will have one term only".

        Article 8 indicates that "any Israeli citizen can be elected".

        The State Comptroller law article 3 (a) 2() adds that "in order to be a candidate one needs that at least 10 members of the Knesset will to suggest his candidacy'. There are no specific qualifications for the position that are required.

        Therefore the appointment process is not public, and the regulations don't require specific merit or forbid appointments involving conflicts of interest or other biases.


        Peer reviewer comment: Agree. It should be noted that in Israel there is an independent committee that examines high-level appoinments in the public service (including the candidates' skills and conflicts of interest) - such as the IDF Chief of the General Staff and the Governor of the Central Bank of Israel - but it does not examine the appoinment of the State Comptroller.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where: 1) high-level appointments must be based on merit in a public appointment process; and 2) appointees must be free of conflicts of interest due to personal loyalties, family connections, political party affiliations, business partners or other biases.

        A MODERATE score is earned where high-level appointments must be based on merit in a public appointment process, but the regulations don't forbid appointments involving conflicts of interest or other biases.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        Basic Law The State Comptroller, 1988, articles 3a, 7, 8, 22a http://www.mevaker.gov.il/he/Laws/Pages/14.aspx?AspxAutoDetectCookieSupport=1

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        25
        In practice, to what extent are high-level appointments to the oversight authority based on merit?More about indicator

        Yoel Hasson, former chairman of the comptroller committee of the Knesset and today chairman of 'Etika' private consulter company for Comptroller issues: "In Israel, the appointment of the Comptroller is both in law and in practice is being made by the parliament. The candidates are offered by the members of the parliament. In the last appointment procedure (May 2012) both the coalition and the opposition tried to find an acceptable candidate on both sides. The parliament typically select a person in sort of political process it but will never choose a politician or a former Member of the Parliament. It will always be an impartial judge - even though anyone can be elected. The Parliament will never appoint a person without a clean slate".

        Matan Gutman, Senior Advisor to the current State Comptroller states that "the Comptroller is appointed by the parliament in a confidential vote - like the president. Since the Eighties only former judges have being selected. The second most important position - the CEO of the State Comptroller office - is appointed by the Comptroller himself. The CEO is approved by the Finance Committee of the Parliament, but only the Comptroller can dismiss him".

        Even though the public saw Shapira as a good candidate, he wasn't the ideal one who had the most merit. One of the articles that discussed the subject days before the Comptroller's election was "Growing criticism Against the Appointment of Yossef Shapira for State Comptroller". It says that another candidate than Shapira has superior skills. The other candidate, Eliezer Rivlin, has 36 years of judiciary experience (unlike Shapira's 9 years). Furthermore, Rivlin - who ended losing the elections- had "senior status, proved integrity and many important rulings". The article quotes sources in the political system who were concerned that Shapira will weaken the Comptroller's office, despite the fact that he is a good judge.

        Revital Hovel, Law Corespondent at Haaretz, claims on the other hand that "the appointment process is not based on merit. The former Comptroller made lots of trouble for the politicians so they looked out for someone more convenient. It's true the Comptrollers are judges- but that doesn't mean anything. It doesn't mean they will act well as Comptrollers. The problem is that it's politicians that get to choose him. On the other hand Shapira beat Rivlin. Than means he is more decisive and knows how to play the game. Those are also important characteristics."

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where: 1) there is an advertised competition and public vetting process, 2) candidates with the most merit and without conflicts of interest or other biases are appointed.

        A 50 score is earned where the public competition is usually advertised and the vetting process public, but exceptions exist. A 50 score is also earned where candidates with the most merit and without conflicts of interest or other biases are appointed but exceptions exist.

        A 0 score is earned where there's rarely or never a public competition, or appointees are rarely selected on merit or without conflicts of interest or other biases.

        Sources

        Interview: Matan Gutman, Senior Advisor to the current State Comptroller, 30 July 2014, phone

        Interview: Yoel Hasson, Former Chairman of the comptroller committee of the Knesset, and today Chairman of 'Etika'- consulting company for comptroller issues, 29 July 2014, phone

        Interview: Revital Hovel, Law Corespondent at Haaretz, 13 August 2014, phone

        "Growing criticism Against the Appointment of Yossef Shapira for State Comptroller", Ari Shavit, Haaretz, 13 May 2012 http://www.haaretz.co.il/news/politi/1.1706248

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        MODERATE
        In law, the independence of high-level appointees is guaranteed.More about indicator

        The Basic Law 'The State Comptroller' Article 7 (b & c) states that "(the comptroller) term is seven years. The Comptroller will have one term only". According to same law, he may be removed office only if 90 (out of 120) members of the parliament will decide to do so in case of 'improper conduit' or due to illness. Article 13: "The State Comptroller will not be removed unless: 1. Due to illness that inhibits him to perform his duty- on the day the Knesset decided it, in a decision that was approved by a majority of members, after a process that will be specified in a law. 2. Due to improper conduit, in the day the Knesset decided it, in a decision that was approved by a majority of three quarters of its members, after a process that will be specified in a law."

        The process is specified in The State Comptroller Law 8b: "a Parliament committee will not decide to remove the Comptroller from office due to illness unless two thirds majority in the committee will decide it, in according with a medical diagnosis". Regarding misconduct: article 8a (a & b) "the Knesset will not remove the Comptroller from his office due to improper conduct unless a written request was handed to the Knesset Committee by at least 20 Members of the Knesset. The Knesset Committee will not suggest to remove the Comptroller from office due to improper conduct unless after he had an opportunity to state his case". Therefore The Comptroller enjoys Security of tenure. However, while the removal of the Comptroller is based on a due process, it is not conducted by a peer panel or independent oversight body, but by the parliament.

        Regarding the authority to review cases and issue decisions, article 11 of the State Comptroller law indicate the the Comptroller may issue decisions and audit organizations without seeking the permission of anyone - as long as they are on the list of public organizations stated in article 9. Article 11:" an audited organization must issue when the Comptroller decided, but not later than 4 months after his financial year ended, an account on his incomes and expenses of that year".

        The State Comptroller Law also refers to the workers of the The State Comptroller. According to article 22a, "only the Comptroller can decide to dismiss them".

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where: 1) appointees have the authority or mandate to review cases and issue decisions, 2) the law establishes security of tenure, and 3) removal or disciplinary actions are based on due process conducted by a peer panel or independent oversight body.

        A MODERATE score is earned where appointees have the authority or mandate to review cases and issue decisions, BUT one of the second two conditions mentioned in the YES criteria is not met.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        Basic Law of The State Comptroller, 1988, article 7 & 13 http://www.mevaker.gov.il/he/Laws/Pages/14.aspx?AspxAutoDetectCookieSupport=1

        The State Comptroller law, 1958, article 8, 9, & 22a

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        50
        In practice, to what extent is the independence of high-level appointees guaranteed?More about indicator

        A story that broke in September 2012 exposed the fact that The Comptroller Yossef Shapira dismissed one of his investigators - while he prepared important reports. The removed investigator was in the middle of inspecting Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's flights. The investigator, Nachum Levy, according to the article, was finalizing a report regarding the Prime Minister in which he accused him of corruption. The Comptroller commented that he wanted to appoint a different person for the job.

        In a news story named "The Cover-ups, the Appointments of Friends and the Submission to power" it is mentioned clearly that The Comptroller Shapira sometimes gives a break to the politicans. Beside the Prime Minister (it is said that the PM helped him to get elected and now he delays the report regarding his flights) Shapira decided also to not investigate as the problematic relations between the Police Chief and the Politicians.

        Revital Hovel, Law Corespondent at Haaretz, adds that "the politicians have access to the Comptroller and sometime the reports that regards them get postponed. The Comptroller's office is not corrupt, but politicians exploit their ties with it. This is what happens now with the report regarding the Prime Minister flights, and it's all because the Comptroller's selection process. The politicians are the ones that select him so they choose someone convenient".

        In the News story "After 4 postponements: A New Date to Publish The Comptroller's Report Regarding Taas- May First", it was exposed that the Comptroller prepared a report regarding a governmental enterprise that deals in security issues- but it stays unpublished. In this enterprise work several ex-politicians. "The report's publication was postponed 4 times due to a joint request from the Director-general of the Security Office and the Director-general of the Pm office . Relevant sources added that the report will be published only after the elections", it was said.

        Some investigations in the Comptroller's authority were delayed and the Comptroller is not freed from outside influence - and makes some of his decisions sometimes out of commitment to powerful politicians.

        Nevertheless, Matan Gutman, Senior Advisor to the current State Comptroller says "The Comptroller is elected for a single term of seven years. He may be removed from office only by a majority of 90 Members of the Parliament (out of 120). That is why he is independent and in no need to give any favors. The State Comptroller office employees are subordinated to the Comptroller and only he can dismiss them. To climb up the professional ladder, employees must go by means of public process (Michraz), and through an inspection - to see if they have conflicts of interests. Employees usually stay in the Comptroller office till pension".

        Gutman adds "The Ethos of the Comptroller office is independence- that is what directs the entire office. The employees see liberty of action in the highest regard. Regarding transferring employees - they can be moved by the Comptroller in an internal procedure. There isn't any outer body that is involved the procedure. No one was moved in the last two years", he says, "but there is an open case right now in which a vice president of the Comptroller office is being dismissed due to incompatibility". Gutman mentions that "employees can turn only to the 'Court for Work Cases' if they believe that the process for their removal is unjust. There is also an accountant from an external firm who inspects the books of the Comptroller".

        Yoel Hasson, former chairman of the comptroller committee of the Knesset and today chairman of 'Etika' private consulter company for Comptroller issues adds that "from my experience, there are several mechanisms that guard the Comptroller employees independent and pressure-free. First, low-ranked and high ranked workers stay in the Comptroller office till pension. Second, they earn more than their counterparts in other governmental offices. Third, the high ranked employees must have master degree - which make them even stronger. When I sat with the senior workers of the Comptroller office I saw how they stand on their ground and do not hesitate to confront high ranked officials from the government. Furthermore, they have public support. Therefore, especially in the last decade, the Comptroller employees feel secure".

        Regarding the Employee that was removed, Hasson adds that "he was one of his 'personal appointments' who are being appointed and removed directly by him and do not granted security of tenure. This is why he was easily removed. The regular workers are not that easily dismissed".

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where all of the following conditions are met: 1) appointees review cases and issue decisions without fear or favor from other branches of government, and 2) appointees are granted security of tenure and 3) no appointees are removed, disciplined or transferred without due process by a peer panel or independent oversight body.

        A 50 score is earned where any of the following conditions apply: 1) appointees generally operate without fear or favor from other branches of government but exceptions exist, or 2) some but not all appointees are granted security of tenure, or 3) appointees are occasionally removed, disciplined or transferred without due process by a peer panel or independent oversight body.

        A 0 score is earned where at least one of the following conditions apply: 1) appointees operate with fear or favor from other branches of government, or 2) are not granted security of tenure, or 3) are usually removed, disciplined or transferred without observing due process by a peer panel or independent oversight body.

        Sources

        Interview: Matan Gutman, Senior Advisor to the current State Comptroller, phone, 30 July 2014

        Interview: Yoel Hasson, Former Chairman of the comptroller committee of the Knesset, and today Chairman of 'Etika'- consulting company for comptroller issues, phone, 29 July 2014 Interview: Revital Hovel, Law Corespondent at Haaretz, 13 August 2014, phone

        "The Cover-ups, the Appointments of Friends and the Submission to power: The Comptroller Shapira Was Elected So No One Would Get Hurt", Giddy Vayts & Revital Hovek, Haaretz, 13 September 2013 http://www.haaretz.co.il/magazine/.premium-1.2118487

        "After 4 postponements: A New Date to Publish The Comptroller's Report Regarding Taas- May First", Hadar Kane, Calcalist, 31 January 2013 http://www.calcalist.co.il/local/articles/0,7340,L-3594485,00.html

        "The State Comptroller Yossef Shapira dismisses the Investogator of Bibi-tours", Giddy Vaits, Haaertz, 12 September 2012 http://www.haaretz.co.il/news/law/1.1822565

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        --
        Open Question: How does decision-making work in the oversight authority?More about indicator

        The comptroller must audit the parties and the candidates. He can decide (without asking for permission) to hold further investigations, but he must do the core examinations of their accounts in every elections, and regarding parties also every year. The process is quite automatic and the Comptroller has to do it no matter what.

        The sanctions for candidates and parties are also in the Comptroller's mandate. He does not need to seek for approval from anyone, and can decide by himself the amount of the fine (which its ceiling is defined in law). The Comptroller is the one to call whether the fine would be the maximum the law allows or less. He can, by his own judgment, decide to reduce it. The process for the determination of the amount of the fine is not public.

        Yoel Hasson, former chairman of the comptroller committee of the Knesset and today chairman of 'Etika' private consulter company for Comptroller issues indicates that "I never witnessed complaints regarding the Comptroller employees. At the most, audited people complain at the Comptroller Committee regarding Comptroller issues, but it's valueless- because nothing will come of it". Hasson adds "the parliament cannot intervene in the decision-making of the Comptroller. The Comptroller Committee of the Parliament might not receive the Comptroller point of view - but it is very rare. Once - as Committee chairman - I didn't accept a certain report but there was no consequences to it, and the Comptroller didn't shred the report".

        Matan Gutman, Senior Advisor to the current state comptroller affirms that "The main power of the Comptroller is to establish the topics that he will examine - according to what the law permits. There are approximately 120 reports a year that are assembled in four sets. The law enables the government, the Parliament and the Comptroller Committee of the Parliament to ask the Comptroller to examine a certain topic. The Comptroller will decide if his review will be a full report or a short review". Gutman adds that "so far the government never used its right to ask from the Comptroller to examine a certain topic".

        Regarding complaints about the decision-making process, Gutman says "they may be received and handled only during the investigation phase. The audited may comment on the report - before it is published. Once the review is done no one can ask for changes. There is only one channel that can effect the Comptroller's report - the High Court of Justice ('Bagatz'). Up until today the Court only intervened once. It canceled a report that uncovered defects in the Police since the Police Chief didn't receive the right to comment on the conclusions before the publication. Since then the process has changed. Now a comment is always asked before the report is finalized".

        The biggest criticism of the State Comptroller's work and decision-making process in the last year was published in an article named "The Cover-ups, the Appointments of Friends and the Submission to power: The Comptroller Shapira Was Elected So No One Would Get Hurt". In which some unnamed sources accused Shapira to "neglect any subjects that are controversial". The journalists detailed several subjects Shapira decided to not investigate as the problematic relations between the Police Chief and the Politicians.

        Revital Hovel, Law Correspondent at Haaretz, adds that "the decision-making process depends on the subject. When it comes to politicians it's different. They have access to the Comptroller and sometime the reports that regards them get postponed. The Comptroller's office is not corrupt, but politicians exploit their ties with it. This is what happens now with the report regarding the Prime Minister flights".

        Another rare story that broke just before the election that took place in January 2013 exhibited how Politicians and Candidates are sometime furious regarding the decision-making work in the oversight authority. In the article ministers were angry about the timing of releasing a new report relating to flights of Ministers and the Prime minster. Some of them claimed that the Media received the report- before they could comment on it. The head of Habait Hayehudi Party Naftali Benet claimed "why the report shows up just before the elections?"

        Scoring Criteria

        Please describe: 1) the composition of the decision-making body within the oversight authority, 2) the type of decisions it's allowed to make and makes in practice, and 3) in which cases majority is required. If there have been well substantiated complaints about the decision-making process being ineffective or politicized please explain.

        Sources

        Interview: Matan Gutman, Senior Advisor to the current State Comptroller, phone, 30/7/2014 & 13/8/2014

        Interview: Revital Hovel, Law Corespondent at Haaretz, 13/8/2014, phone

        Interview: Yoel Hasson, Former Chairman of the comptroller committee of the Knesset, and today Chairman of 'Etika'- consulting company for comptroller issues, phone, 29/7/2014

        ""The Cover-ups, the Appointments of Friends and the Submission to power: The Comptroller Shapira Was Elected So No One Would Get Hurt"", Giddy Vayts & Revital Hovek, Haaretz, 13/9/2013 http://www.haaretz.co.il/magazine/.premium-1.2118487

        ""Criticism: The Comptroller is a Headline Chaser"", Hizki Ezra, Channel 7, 28/12/2012 http://www.inn.co.il/News/News.aspx/249149

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        100
        In practice, to what extent does the authority have sufficient capacity to monitor political finance regulations?More about indicator

        Interviews and research show clearly that the Comptroller's office is able to review all submitted reports and there is no backlog awaiting review. The office is well equipped with enough budget and personnel to handle their work.

        'Analysis of the Comptroller's Office Financial Report for the Financial Year of 2012' (the report on 2013 was not available as of August 2014) shows that the Comptroller's budget has increased each year. Page 3 indicates that the Comptroller didn't finish his budget and in 2012 he used only 57.3% of his allocations (273 million NIS approximately 78 million USD). This can be explained by the fact that unlike other public bodies,whose budgets are largely determined by the Ministry of Finance, the comptroller's annual budget is determined "by the Finance Committee based on the proposal of the comptroller" (Basic Law 'The State Comptroller', artice 10).

        Matan Gutman, Senior Advisor to the current state comptroller says that "the amount of work regarding monitoring finance regulations is overwhelming. There is, however, an advanced computing system which helps us, and we use many external accountants. We manage to perform well despite the work pressure".

        Yoel Hasson, former chairman of the comptroller committee of the Knesset and today chairman of 'Etika' private consulter company for Comptroller issues adds "the Comptroller has all the logistic tools and enough budget to handle its assignments. The budget is big enough. It's true that the budget is approved by the Finance Committee of the Parliament - but no one questions it there and it is approved as asked. The Comptroller is as independent as the Parliament itself".

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where: 1) the authority has sufficient budget to monitor all incoming reports, and 2) it has sufficient staff to review all incoming reports.

        A 50 score is earned where: 1) the authority has insufficient budget to monitor all incoming reports, or 2) its staff can only review half of all incoming reports.

        A 0 score is earned where: 1) the authority can't fulfill most of its essential functions due to budget constraints, or 2) its staff only has the capacity to review 25% or less of all incoming reports.

        Sources

        Interview: Matan Gutman, Senior Advisor to the current State Comptroller, phone, 30 July 2014

        Interview: Yoel Hasson, Former Chairman of the comptroller committee of the Knesset, and today Chairman of 'Etika'- consulting company for comptroller issues, phone, 29 July 2014

        Analysis of the Comptroller's Office Financial Report for the Financial Year of 2012, Victor Patel, The Knesset Research Center, 7 August 2013

        Reviewer's sources:

        Basic Law 'The State Comptroller', artice 10, http://www.mevaker.gov.il/he/Laws/Pages/14.aspx?AspxAutoDetectCookieSupport=1

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        100
        In practice, to what extent does the authority conduct investigations or audits when necessary?More about indicator

        In The Comptroller's website one can see a list of reports regarding the last elections. The reports include audits of the parties and the candidates - and it is clear that there were many more than three investigations.

        The article "The Comptroller's Report: 3,100 abroad, and 40 dead people voted in 2013 Elections" sums up some of the Comptroller's investigations during the recent electoral campaign. In it we can see that the Comptroller audited, among other things, the polls and The Elections Committee. Another examples is a news story titled 'Benet hired a private detective at the primaries and will be fined by 65,000 nis' show that a candidate (Head of Habait Hayhudi movement Naftali Benet) used the public funding money that its party received in order to hire a private detective against a fellow candidate, during the last elections. The Comptroller reviewed the expenditures, uncovered that expense, and fined Benet.

        Matan Gutman, Senior Advisor to the current state comptroller claims that "the law urges us to examine the party funding topic, but we go beyond that and we audited in the last elections the entire electoral system. We investigated the Elections Committee, and during the election-day we sent dozens of employees to the ground and to the polls to inspect if everything goes according to law and in an exemplary way".

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where the authority conducted at least three investigations or audits during the most recent electoral campaign.

        A 50 score is earned where the authority conducted at least one investigation or audit during the most recent electoral campaign.

        A 0 score is earned where the authority didn't conduct any investigation or audit during the most recent electoral campaign.

        Sources

        "The Comptroller's Report: 3,100 abroad, and 40 dead people voted in 2013 Elections", Nana 10 byline, Nana10, 26 February 2014 http://news.nana10.co.il/Article/?ArticleID=1040626

        Benet hired a private detective st the primaries and will be fined by 65,000 nis, Tal Sapir and Shay Doron, Nana 10, 21 August 2013 http://news.nana10.co.il/Article/?ArticleID=999222

        The Comptroller's website- a list of reports regarding the last elections (January 2013), Published 26 February 2014 http://www.mevaker.gov.il/he/Reports/Pages/237.aspx

        Interview: Matan Gutman, Senior Advisor to the current State Comptroller, phone, 30 July 2014

        Interview: Yoel Hasson, Former Chairman of the comptroller committee of the Knesset, and today Chairman of 'Etika'- consulting company for comptroller issues, phone, 29 July 2014

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        In practice, to what extent does the authority publish the results of investigations or audits?More about indicator

        Generally Reports are published several months after the conclusions are made. Reports regarding the elections are published after a year. The reports regarding the last elections (January 2013), were published at 26 February 2014. A report regarding the Primaries (November 2012) was publish only by August 2013. In fact, the Comptroller waits till he finishes auditing all the parties and the candidates and only then releases two finalized reports. If he conducts a more detailed investigation of a particular party or a candidate - it will delay the general report –since it includes the details about the other parties.

        It needs to be added that not all of the information is disclosed. Alona Vinograd, CEO ­ Director of the Movement for Freedom of Information highlights that "the Comptroller will never share the raw information he collected. He will publish nothing besides the final report. If one will ask for the unprocessed information - he will receive a negative answer".

        Matan Gutman, Senior Advisor to the current state comptroller clarifies that "We publish everything, according to law. Once the reports are ready the reviews are presented to the Parliament and are made public".

        Yoel Hasson, former chairman of the comptroller committee of the Knesset and today chairman of 'Etika' private consulter company for Comptroller issues says "There are many Comptroller accounts that result in nothing. Either because the lack of findings or since they decided to dissolve the report. Generally the Comptroller has a work plan for the year. Normally a report that is being made at 2013 elections will be published at 2014".

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where the authority publishes reports of all its investigations or audits a month or less after their conclusion.

        A 50 score is earned where reports are available to the public more than a month after the conclusion of the investigation or audit.

        A 0 score is earned where reports are not available to the public or they become available after six months or more after conclusion of the investigation or audit. A 0 score is also earned where only summaries of the reports are publicly available.

        Sources

        Interview: Matan Gutman, Senior Advisor to the current State Comptroller, phone, 30 July 2014

        Interview: Alona Vinograd, CEO - Director of the Movement for Freedom of Information, 28 July 2014, email

        Interview: Yoel Hasson, Former Chairman of the comptroller committee of the Knesset, and today Chairman of 'Etika'- consulting company for comptroller issues, phone, 29 July 2014

        The Comptroller's website- a list of reports regarding the last elections (January 2013), Published 26 February 2014 http://www.mevaker.gov.il/he/Reports/Pages/237.aspx

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      Enforcement Capabilities
      More about category
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        YES
        In law, there are sanctions in response to political finance violations.More about indicator

        Parties receive 15% of the finance for elections only after the State Comptroller approves their financial report. Regarding parties, article 13c (b) in the Parties Financing Law dictates that "if the Comptroller report of a party is negative (meaning that the party broke any of the laws regarding campaign financing) the party representatives are responsible - together and separately- to give back 15% of the public funding to the state treasury". As for the regular finance outside elections, according to the same article, "if the report (the annual report of the comptroller of a party) is negative, the Speaker of the Knesset will deny the party parliamentary group or list of candidate the three next (monthly) payments."

        Article 8e states asserts that if the Comptroller found that a party received a donation in a form that is against the law - the party must transfer to the state treasury an amount twice the size of the illegal donation. The Comptroller is allowed to reduce the amount. "Where the State Comptroller found that a party received a contribution in violation of this section, the party shall transfer to the Treasury, at the time prescribed by the State Comptroller, an amount twice the amount of the contribution."

        Article 9a (a) adds that "a person who does any of the following shall be liable to imprisonment for a term of one year - (1) knowingly makes a financial undertaking that is not in accordance with the permission given and published pursuant to section 6A; (2) knowingly fails to comply with a demand made pursuant to section 10B; (3) knowingly makes a contribution in violation of the provisions of this Law; (4) knowingly receives on behalf of a party group or on behalf of a candidates' list a contribution in violation of the provisions of this Law. (b) A person who knowingly makes a false declaration under section 9(c) regarding a material particular shall be liable to imprisonment for a term of three years". Article 9a (c) specifies the penalties - imprisonment of one year or a fine - for those who ordered or approved an expenditure, knowing that it exceeds the expenditures permitted by the law.

        Regarding candidates- article 28ke1 in Parties Law announces that "if the Comptroller has found that a candidate did any of the following he will transfer to the state treasury from the day the Comptroller notified him the amount: 1. Candidates that received donations that exceeded the ceiling - an amount twice the size of the donation. 2. An illegal donation - an amount twice the size of the donation 3. If the candidate's expenditures were above the maximum stated in law - the amount that exceeded the ceiling. 4. Illegal expenditures- an amount which is the amount of the Illegal expenditure. 5. Candidate that didn't hand over to the Comptroller his financial reports- an amount that is 30% of his allowed expenditures. 6. Candidate that didn't hand over to the Comptroller his financial reports in time - an amount that is 15% of his allowed expenditures. 7. If a candidate didn't keep his accounts according to law - an amount that is 15% of his expenditures. Since the expenditures are unknown- the Comptroller will decide how much they were (the expenditures)".


        Peer Reviewer comment: Agree. It should be noted that only parties that received finance from the state can be fined. In other words, parties that were not represented in former Knesset and are not represented in the current Knesset cannot be fined at all, unless they won more than 1% of the votes in the last elections (in that case they recieve some minimal funding). However, individual officials within these parties, as well as all candidates in intra-party elections, can be punished, as will be discussed below.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where: 1) the law clearly defines violations of political finance laws, and 2) there are clearly defined sanctions for specific violations.

        A MODERATE score is earned where violations are clearly defined but sanctions for specific violations are not.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        Parties Law, 1992, article 28ke1 http://www.mevaker.gov.il/he/Laws/DocLib/law-miflagot-1992.pdf

        Parties Financing Law, 1973, article 13c (b) & 8e & 9a http://www.mevaker.gov.il/he/Laws/DocLib/law-mimon-miflagot-tik-31.pdf

        Reviewer's sources: Parties Financing Law, 1973, article 10 (e) (1) & 8 (e) & 9a
        http://www.mevaker.gov.il/he/Laws/DocLib/law-mimon-miflagot-tik-31.pdf

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        YES
        In law, the oversight authority has the power to impose sanctions.More about indicator

        The Comptroller has the power to impose sanctions independently to both parties and candidates. The sanctions, however, relate only to elections and campaign issues.

        The sanctions for parties are for breaking the campaign financing laws - receiving illegal contributions, not handing over accounts to the Comptroller, etc. Sanctions can be also imposed if the annual report of the comptroller regarding the parties' financial behavior is negative. The Comptroller can impose the fines mandated in law on the guilty parties himself. They do not need to be sent for another body for prosecution.

        Regarding candidates- The sanctions for candidates are for breaking the campaign financing laws - receiving illegal contributions, not handing over accounts to the Comptroller, etc. The Comptroller can impose the fines mandated in law on the guilty candidates himself. They do not need to be sent for another body for prosecution.

        If the the Comptroller seeks the prison term of 1 year for applicable violations in these cases, or any other cases- he must turn to the Attorney General. The Comptroller can't directly prosecute violators before the courts. According to article 14 The State Comptroller law the Comptroller is not independent to send cases to public prosecution. He can only advise the Parliament or the Prime Minister to act, or to ask from the Attorney General of Israel to send a case to public prosecution.

        Article 14 (a) "if the audit exposed defects that were not explained, or violations, in the principles of efficiency or incorruptibility, the Comptroller will hand over his report and demand to fix the defects from the audited body, and if he sees fits he will address the issue to the relevant Minister and the Prime Minister".

        Article 14 (b)(1): "if the audit exposed defects that the Comptroller believe should be discussed before issuing the report - the Comptroller will hand over to the Committee a different report that he will hand over to the Knesset and will be published, and if he had done so - the Committee might decide itself, or due to the Comptroller advice, to appoint an investigation Committee. (c): If the audit raised suspicions for illegal acts, the Comptroller should bring the subject to the attention of the Attorney General. The Attorney General will notify the Comptroller and the Committee in a 6 month time, how he dealt the subject".


        Peer Reviewer comment: Agree. It should be noted that only parties that received finance from the state can be fined. In other words, parties that were not represented in former Knesset and are not represented in the current Knesset cannot be fined at all, unless they received more than 1% of the votes in the last elections.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where: 1) the oversight authority has the power to impose sanctions, and 2) it can directly prosecute violators before the courts or is independent to send cases to public prosecution.

        A MODERATE score is earned where the oversight authority has the power to impose sanctions, but it can't directly prosecute violators before the courts or is not independent to send cases to public prosecution.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        Parties Law, 1992, article 28k, 28ke1 http://www.mevaker.gov.il/he/Laws/DocLib/law-miflagot-1992.pdf

        Parties Financing Law, 1973, article 13c (b) & 8e & 9a http://www.mevaker.gov.il/he/Laws/DocLib/law-mimon-miflagot-tik-31.pdf

        The State Comptroller Law, 1958, article 14

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        50
        In practice, to what extent do offenders comply with sanctions imposed?More about indicator

        In the last elections Comptroller's investigation report (2013) one may see the sanctions given to offenders. The Comptroller found many violations in many parties. In the former report that was published in November 2011- one may see that other parties have committed the same infractions, but usually the same parties don't tend to commit the same violation again and again. Nevertheless, each election many parties violate the law.

        According to Yoel Hasson, former chairman of the comptroller committee of the Knesset and today chairman of 'Etika' private consulter company for Comptroller issues "media publications are the Comptroller's main sanction. Besides, the only real sanction the Comptroller has and uses is the penalties that he may give to parties and candidates. But the fines are not dramatic and hardly effects them. I know of some parties that decide to transgress the law after they take in consideration the fact that they will receive penalties."

        In the last election, that Habait Hayehudi Party paid to a supplier 9.6 million NIS (approximately 2.7 million USD) without detailing in its accounting book the services it received in exchange. The party was fined by the Comptroller in 380,000 NIS (approximately 109,000 USD). It's 20% of the maximum fine. (page 109) 'Balad' Party spent 2.5 Million NIS (approximately 720,000 USD) without detailing it as the law demands (page 106). The Comptroller penalized it by 160,000 nis NIS (approximately 46,000 USD). The Comptroller could have fined Balad by 802,020 NIS (approximately 230,00 USD). i.e. He chose to fine it by 20% of the maximum penalty. (page 107) 'Hatnua' party expenditures were in the last elections 16,337,227 NIS (approximately 4.7 million USD) while it's maximum expenditures allowed by law were 13,367,000 NIS (approximately 3.8 million USD). The Comptroller fined it by 140,000 NIS (approximately 40,000 USD). The fine was 10% of the maximum penalty. (page 114)

        The law, however, doesn't allow the comptroller to sanction parties that were not admitted to the parliament, even if they broke the law. 'Kulanu Haverim' party, for instance, didn't open a designated bank account for the electoral process as the law requires. The Comptroller could not sanction it since it didn't receive public funding. (page 119)

        Jonathan J. Klinger, Adv. The Legal counsel for the Israeli Public Knowledge Foundation and legal counsel for several political candidates indicates that there were both cases in the last elections where political parties spent over their limit. The Jewish Brotherhood was fined for more than 100,000USD for not reporting their expenses and also "Hatnuaa" was fined for exceeding the expense limit".

        According to Yoel Hasson, Yoel Hasson, former chairman of the comptroller committee of the Knesset and today chairman of 'Etika' private consulter company for Comptroller issues "media publications are the Comptroller's main sanction. Besides, the only real sanction the Comptroller has and uses is the penalties that he may give to parties and candidates. But the fines are not dramatic and hardly affects them. I know of some parties that decide to transgress the law after they take in consideration the fact that they will receive penalties".

        Matan Gutman, Senior Advisor to the current state comptroller indicates that "the Comptroller main power is to publish reports and claim information. He may receive any kind of information as long it belongs to a public authority. Besides, the Comptroller may sanction parties and candidates. His sanctions are always complied".


        Peer reviewer comment: Agree. In the last elections Comptroller's investigation report (2014) one may see the sanctions given to offenders. The Comptroller found that 8 parties violated the law regarding party finance – 5 of them were fined (as for the other parties, they cannot be fined since they don't receive public finance); and 11 parties did not submit a financial report to the comptroller at all (all of them cannot be fined, since they do not receive public funding; the reports of 4 more parties were not examined for various other reasons). In the report regarding the former national elections (of 2009), that was published in November 2011 - one may see that parties have also violated the law, but usually the same parties don't tend to commit the same violation again and again. There were, however, exceptions: for example, 3 parties did not submit their report in both cases (Daam, Koah Le'hashpi'a, Or). Another party, Ale Yarok, violated the finance law in the 2009 elections, while in the 2013 elections it did not submit a report to the comptroller at all.

        The comptroller's sanctions are compiled – there are no documented cases in which parties or candidates have not paid fines. Matan Gutman, Senior Advisor to the current state comptroller indicates that "the Comptroller main power is to publish reports and claim information. He may receive any kind of information as long it belongs to a public authority. Besides, the Comptroller may sanction parties and candidates. His sanctions are always complied". The law, however, doesn't allow the comptroller to sanction parties that do not enjoy state funding, even if they break the law. 'Kulanu Haverim' party, for instance, didn't open a designated bank account for the electoral process as the law requires. The Comptroller could not sanction it since it didn't receive public funding (page 119).

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where: 1) offenders comply with the sanctions imposed without exception, and 2) they are not repeat offenders.

        A 50 score is earned where: 1) offenders usually comply with the sanctions imposed but exceptions exist, or 2) most are not repeat offenders but some exceptions exist.

        A 0 score is earned where: 1) offenders rarely comply with the sanctions imposed, or 2) most are repeat offenders.

        Sources

        Interview: Jonathan J. Klinger, Adv. The Legal counsel for the Israeli Public Knowledge Foundation and legal counsel for several political candidates, 28 July 2014, email

        Interview: Matan Gutman, Senior Advisor to the current State Comptroller, phone, 30 July 2014

        Interview: Yoel Hasson, Former Chairman of the comptroller committee of the Knesset, and today Chairman of 'Etika'- consulting company for comptroller issues, phone, 29 July 2014

        Document: Accountability for the parties and candidates for the 19th Knesset Elections, State Comptroller of Israel Yosef Shapira, State Comptroller of Israel, 26 February 2014, http://www.mevaker.gov.il/he/Reports/Report_237/febdc193-047e-4078-9dd1-a8901bc4b832/2014-Bchirot-Din.pdf

        Document: Accountability of the parties for the period of 1/3/2009 till 31/12/2010, State Comptroller of Israel Micha Lindenshtraus State Comptroller of Israel, 3 November 2011,http://www.mevaker.gov.il/he/Reports/Pages/144.aspx

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        Open Question: How strong is enforcement, and what impedes more effective enforcement?More about indicator

        The main problem of the Comptroller's office is the lack of real teeth. The sanctions to candidates and parties are quite small. Thus, the Comptroller depends on the good will of the audited when it comes to mending defects found, or in the interest that the Media shows in his reports. Several interviewees offer urgent reforms that should take place in order to make the Comptroller stronger and thus the political finance system cleaner.

        Matan Gutman, Senior Advisor to the current state comptroller says that "we shouldn't have the authority to oblige the government to adopt our recommendations - there should be separations of powers. But what we need more is transparency. We want that the public will be informed of how each institution handled the defects that we find. This is urgent, because not all of the defects are being repaired."

        Yoel Hasson, former chairman of the comptroller committee of the Knesset and today chairman of 'Etika' private consulter company for Comptroller issues adds Another problem that regards money contributions to candidates. "There are no Maximum ceilings for contributions from family members. It make sense because the candidate is committed to them regardless the amount they donate. But candidates use this article to launder money: other donors give exceeding amounts to family members who in their turn transfer it to the candidate."

        Alona Vinograd, CEO ­ Director of the Movement for Freedom of Information adds that "It all depends on the identity of the Comptroller. The more he decides to be involved the better and firmer his department's supervision will be". Revital Hovel, Law Corespondent at Haaretz agrees with her and says "this is why the appointment process must change. The fact that politicians choose the Comptroller's means everything. Besides", she adds, "the Comptroller must speak out more. He should give more interviews in order to give higher profiles to reports that don't interest the public - like defects in public funding. Furthermore he should mention more names in the reports, as the former Comptroller did. The former Comptroller also chose sometimes to write in a vague way, but less than the current Comptroller. The reports should always name names instead of general accusations- which is sometimes the case. Finally the penalties for parties and candidates who don't grant the Comptroller their financial data at all - should be much larger - to kill any incentive to do that."

        The former Comptroller suggested in 2010 to bring to justice anyone that does not comply the comptroller's report. According to former Comptroller Micha Lindenshtraus, "the approach that the Comptroller's job is done after submitting the report- is obsolete and should change." Despite this, the laws regarding the Comptroller's work haven't changed.


        Peer reviewer comment: Agree. According to Prof. Menahem Hofnung from the Hebrew University on Jerusalem, the most urgent reform is "building a Chinese wall" between the two types of public finance in Israel: finance for elections expenses and finance for regular (current) expenses. Parties in Israel often use the finance they receive for regular expenses in order to cover their expenses during elections – and it is recommended to forbid this practice, for 2 reasons: first, this money should be used to current organizational and ideological activities. The State Comptroller himself referred to the damages this practice causes: "The result is a reduction of the ideological relationship between the parties to the voters." Second, parties spend too much on elections expenses, hoping that they would later cover their debt with the finance for regular (current) expenses. In reality, however, this is not always the case – for example, if the party wins less seats than expected, and therefore it receives less funding – and as a result, the party cannot cover its deficit.

        The State Comptroller himself has mentioned some required reforms in his reports. It seems that to his opinion, the most urgent reform is banning contributions from non-Israelis to individual candidates (The ban is already in force with regard to parties). According to the report of the State Comptroller from 2013, in the last elections, 23% of the total amount of all contributions to candidates was received from non-Israeli donors, and 13 candidates received most of their contributions from abroad (page 37). The Comptroller wrote: "In light of the concern that donors from abroad, who have an interest in promoting various kinds of the interests, will affect the Israeli government, and in light of the concern that some of the contributions… may affect the integrity, I believe that candidates should not be allowed to accept donations from abroad" (page 39).

        Scoring Criteria

        Please provide a general explanation of the effectiveness of enforcement, describing: 1) any conditions that may prevent effective enforcement, and 2) explain what are the most urgent areas of reform in the country's political finance system.

        Sources

        Interview: Alona Vinograd, CEO - Director of the Movement for Freedom of Information, 28 July 2014, email

        Interview: Yoel Hasson, Former Chairman of the comptroller committee of the Knesset, and today Chairman of 'Etika'- consulting company for comptroller issues, phone, 29 July 2014

        Interview: Matan Gutman, Senior Advisor to the current State Comptroller, 30 July 2014, phone

        Interview: Revital Hovel, Law Corespondent at Haaretz, 13 August 2014, phone

        News Story: "Lindenshtraus: Bring to Justice Anyone That does not Comply the Comptroller's Report", Tomer Avital, Calcalist, 8 May 2010 http://www.calcalist.co.il/articles/0,7340,L-3403942,00.html

        Reviewer's Sources: Interview: Prof. Menahem Hofnung, the Department of Political Science, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 4 March 2012

        Doucument: Statement of audit results of candidates in primaries held by various parties on candidacy on their behalf to appointment of a member of the Nineteenth Knesset, State Comptroller of Israel Yosef Shapira, State Comptroller of Israel, 21 August 2013 http://www.mevaker.gov.il/he/Reports/Report_130/6443fd27-dd50-4c2a-9bf0-a61f33aa909a/8288.pdf

        Document: Accountability for the parties and candidate lists for the 19th Knesset Elections, State Comptroller of Israel Yosef Shapira, State Comptroller of Israel, 26 February 2014, pages 106-114 http://www.mevaker.gov.il/he/Reports/Report_237/febdc193-047e-4078-9dd1-a8901bc4b832/2014-Bchirot-Din.pdf

        Document: Accountability for the parties and candidate lists for the 19th Knesset Elections, State Comptroller of Israel Yosef Shapira, State Comptroller of Israel, 26 February 2014, pages 106-114 http://www.mevaker.gov.il/he/Reports/Report_237/febdc193-047e-4078-9dd1-a8901bc4b832/2014-Bchirot-Din.pdf

Israel has a unicameral legislature, the Knesset, of 120 members. It has a parliamentary system: The Knesset elects a symbolic head of state, the president, who after the parliamentary election consults with the heads of the elected parties to see whom amongst them can form a coalition. Then the chosen leader gets forty-two days to form a government and a coalition of 61 members or more. Afterwards the Knesset confirms him as the Prime Minister, and the government in general. Usually the prime minister will be the leader of the biggest party (in 2009 though it was the leader of the second biggest party). So far, Israel has always had a multi-party government.

The electoral system of Israel is closed-list (voters choose only parties, not individual candidates) proportional representation: the threshold was 2% in the last elections, and will be raised to 3.25% in the next elections. Lists are competing for the 120 seats of the Knesset for a 4 years term, in one multi-member district..

Campaign funds are managed by the Parties. Several parties hold before the general election an inside election (primaries) for candidates, in which they (the candidates) need to finance their own campaign. While only lists may campaign in general elections, individual candidates campaign directly in these intra-party elections.

Traditionally (at least since 1977), the major political blocks in Israel have been: right-wing and religious parties; left-wing parties; Jewish ultra-religious ('Haredim') parties; and Arab parties. The Labor Party was in power since the establishment of the state (1948) until 1977. Since then, Halikud has been in power most of the time, but also the Labor Party (1984-1986, 1992-1996, 1999-2001) and the centrist party of Kadima (2005-2009).

The most recent elections held at January 22, 2013. 32 lists competed, and 12 of them passed the threshold and won seats in the Knesset. The largest were: Halikud-Israel Beytenu (joint list of two right-wing parties, who split in July 2014) – 31 seats (26%); Yesh Atid (new centrist party) – 19 seats (16%); Labor Party – 15 seats (12.5%); Habait Hayehudi (right-wing religious party) – 12 seats (10%). Benjamin Netanyahu, the chairman of Halikud and Israel's prime minister since 2009 (and also in 1996-1999), formed the new government. The center-right coalition includes 5 parties – Halikud, Yesh Atid, Habait Hayehudi, Israel Beitenu and Hatnua (centrist party).