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Cablegate: Report On Fiscal Transparency in Israel

VZCZCXRO0233
RR RUEHROV
DE RUEHTV #0652 0801012
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 201012Z MAR 08
FM AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 5931
INFO RUEHXK/ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS TEL AVIV 000652

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

PLEASE PASS TO EEB/IFD/OMA ASNOW AND RFIGUEROA

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAID ECON PREL IS
SUBJECT: REPORT ON FISCAL TRANSPARENCY IN ISRAEL

REF: STATE 16737

1. (U) The Government of Israel is a parliamentary democracy
with all of the mechanisms of checks and balances associated
with this form of government. This includes an active
opposition bloc with procedural remedies at its disposal.
Israel also has an inquisitive, open civil society with a
free press, active civil organizations, and numerous interest
groups.

2. (U) The budget procedure, within the larger context of
Israel's commitment to democracy, is and can be expected to
remain transparent. The budget is available on the internet
from the date it is first proposed through its final passage
in the Knesset. The final version is also published in book
form. Monthly updates on revenues and expenditures are also
published on the internet, and the figures are meaningful and
accurate.

3. (U) There are no particular U.S. Government-sponsored
activities that promote fiscal transparency. However, the
U.S. and Israel meet once a year at the Joint Economic
Development Group (JEDG) to discuss Israel's economy in the
context of Israel's fiscal and economic commitments to the
U.S. under the 2003 U.S.-Israel Loan Guarantee Agreement.
During those meetings, the issue of fiscal transparency is
discussed. A continued Israeli commitment to maintaining an
open budget and expenditure process remains one of the
conditions Israel must fulfill to continue to receive U.S.
loan guarantees under the program.

4. (U) No other country or multilateral institution provides
assistance in the area of fiscal transparency. However,
organizations such as the IMF do come to Israel to analyze
and report on the economic situation, and also comment on
ways Israel can enhance its fiscal transparency and
governance.

********************************************* ********************
Visit Embassy Tel Aviv's Classified Website:
http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/nea/telaviv

You can also access this site through the State Department's
Classified SIPRNET website.
********************************************* ********************
JONES

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