TLR 187- All Change – Part 2
September 5, 2018
The previous issue presented an extensive discussion of the ‘challenges’ being encountered with regard to the appointment of the next Governor of the Bank of Israel — including a review of the legal and procedural requirements, why the process is again proving so difficult, as well as the ideological and policy implications involved in finding a ‘suitable’ candidate.
This issue continues the theme of appointments to senior posts, but widens the scope of the discussion to the full range of government ministries, statutory authorities and bureaucratic agencies — in short, the entire executive branch of government. It concludes with a brief glance at the very different state of affairs prevailing in the judicial branch — with regard to the quantity and quality of appointments and the efficiency of the process involved.
The list of posts discussed here is not exhaustive, nor is the discussion of each of them meant to be thorough. Rather, I consider a slew of key positions which are currently, or were until recently, unfilled — or are about to become so, because their incumbents have announced their impending departures. In some of these, the procedures required to find and approve qualified persons to fill them are being followed without problems or delays. In others, the very opposite is true — and this contrast begs the questions why this is so and who is to blame.
The central finding — not unexpectedly, but sadly nonetheless — is that where the procedures which were designed to avoid politicisation, nepotism and foot-dragging are followed, the results are generally satisfactory or good. However, where the minister in charge of making the appointment is unwilling to follow procedures, or seeks to impose unqualified people on the selection process — or is simply ‘out to lunch’ — the results are unsatisfactory. Unfortunately, the latter outcome is becoming more commonplace.
Wherever that happens, the wheels of government are unable to turn effectively. As the number of senior posts unfilled or ill-filled rises, the specific problems threaten to multiply and become a systemic feature. While still distant, that threat is now on the horizon — which it was not before.
Because it is ministers and, above all, the prime minister, who must make the system function efficiently, the spread of bureaucratic paralysis can only be tackled by activist politicians — as the story of the judicial system makes crystal clear.
However, the current government is primarily devoted to inaction and the avoidance of tough decisions. The systemic answer to the problems noted here therefore lies at the political level, and it will emerge via political change that must — and eventually will — come via the ballot box. Which parties, factions, current leaders and potential new faces might rise or fall in the coming wave of political change will be the subject of the next issue.
Part 1: Political Appointees
- The Governor of the Bank Of Israel
- The Chief of Staff of the IDF
- The Commissioner of Police
- The Commissioner of Capital Markets, Insurance and Savings
- Other heads of Treasury divisions, departments and units
- The Civil Service Commissioner
- The Supreme Court and the judicial system