Coalition nominates Matanyahu Englman as candidate for state comptroller
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Coalition nominates Matanyahu Englman as candidate for state comptroller

For the first time in over 30 years, none of the candidates for government ombudsman are judges

State Comptroller Yosef Shapira (left) shakes hands with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (right) in December 2012. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)
State Comptroller Yosef Shapira (left) shakes hands with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (right) in December 2012. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

The prospective coalition parties made a last-minute decision on Monday, announcing that their candidate to replace State Comptroller Yosef Shapira would be Matanyahu Englman.

The decision, announced by the Prime Minister’s office just before the midnight deadline, came after they had earlier narrowed their choices down to Englman, currently CEO of the Council of Higher Education, and Michal Rosenboim, the legal adviser to the Union of Municipal Corporations.

Englman previously served as Director General of the Technion Institute of Technology in Haifa.

According to Hebrew media reports, Rosenboim’s candidacy was promoted by the Knesset’s ultra-Orthodox parties.

Matanyahu Englman (Courtesy/Technion)

The party likely to head the opposition, Blue and White, nominated Giora Romm, Israel’s former military attaché in the United States and former deputy commander of the Israeli Air Force.

Unusually, none of the three candidates are judges. Though it is not a prerequisite for the job, since 1987 every comptroller had previously served in the judiciary.

Monday was the last day for nominations to be made. The next comptroller will be chosen by secret ballot in the Knesset in early June.

A candidate must receive the votes of at least 61 MKs in order to be appointed, and several rounds of voting may take place until the required number of votes is secured.

Giora Romm on March 20, 2017 (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

It is the state comptroller’s job to review the policies and actions of the government and its agencies. According to the Knesset website he is tasked with “inspecting the legality, integrity, managerial norms, efficiency and economy of the audited bodies, as well as any other matter which he or she deems necessary.”

The comptroller issues annual reports as well as special reports on issues that he believes require attention.

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