State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss submitted his last annual State Comptroller’s Report to the Knesset on Tuesday. Lindenstrauss is scheduled to retire in July after completing his seven-year term.
The report includes 1,773 pages in 64 chapters and deals with a wide range of topics including security and defense, education, healthcare, bureaucracy, transportation and crime fighting.
Lindenstrauss’s term in office has been frequently controversial, most recently over his expected decision to call for the resignation of the ministers of interior and finance following the Carmel fire and his agreement to investigate Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for alleged financial misconduct following the airing of an investigative report on Channel 10’s “HaMakor.”
Apart from the report on the Carmel forest fire, which is expected to be delivered within two weeks, Lindenstrauss is expected to make waves with several other reports before his July retirement.
One report will deal with the recent accident that took place during rehearsals for the Independence Day ceremony, in which IDF officer Hila Betzaleli was killed.
Another one, which will be submitted within a few days according to an Israeli Radio report, deals with the “Harpaz affair,” in which senior military officers may have had a hand in forging a document aimed at nixing the appointment of Maj. Gen. Yoav Galant to the position of chief of General Staff.
As signs indicate that elections are nearing, any one of the reports could cause major damage to the electoral ambitions of current or aspiring politicians.
Israel’s state comptroller serves a seven-year term, with the primary functions being examining the legality, regularity, efficiency, economy, and ethical conduct of public institutions. Throughout his years in office Lindenstrauss has made a name for himself by not shying away from controversy and by submitting hard-hitting reports that place personal responsibility for mishaps and wrongdoings on government officials and elected representatives. Critics, however, have occasionally derided him for being too fond of the media spotlight.
Lindenstrauss’s replacement has yet to be named. The two likely candidates to fill his post are Jerusalem District Court Judge Joseph Shapira and Supreme Court Justice Eliezer Rivlin. The Knesset is set to vote on it on May 15.