President Shimon Peres’s residence racked up nearly NIS 60 million ($16.5 million) in bills over the past year, a slight drop in expenses since 2012.
According to Ynet, over NIS 10 million ($2.9 million) of the total NIS 57.5 million spent were dedicated to operating the residence. Travel and diplomatic visits cost the state NIS 8,179,000 ($2,356,381), security guard employment amounted to NIS 5,675,000 ($1,634,975) and an additional NIS 4,210,000 ($1,212,906) were designated to security measures.
Also, NIS 2.7 million were distributed among former president Yitzhak Navon and the widows of former presidents Chaim Herzog and Ezer Weizman.
The President’s Residence further spent some NIS 870,000 on computer operations and NIS 740,000 on student programs.
The expenditures for the president were made public at the request of the Movement for Freedom of Information.
“We hope that next year we will no longer need to issue requests on these matters, and that the relevant officials have internalized the public’s demand for a report about their expenses,” said Alona Winograd, the movement’s chairwoman.
“The parties would do well for themselves to publish this information and make it readily available on relevant sites, thus demonstrating, in practice, their commitment to conduct a transparent and appropriate public service.”
Employees at the President’s Residence, however, told Ynet that expenses dropped by 8% in 2013 compared to 2012, as in 2012 the budget had amounted to NIS 62,704,000.