An Administrative Petition filed yesterday by our law firm may lead the way to improved public procurement management and reduce corruption in Israeli local authorities. The lines below explain in a nutshell the background for this important petition and illuminate some basics on Israeli local authorities' public procurement law.
The duty to make calls for tenders in Israeli Local Authorities Public Procurement Law
Israeli public procurement law imposes on public authorities a strict legal duty to make call for tenders as a prerequisite to awarding a contracts to private contractors. Nevertheless, this legal duty is subject to some exceptions. That is, under certain circumstances, public authorities are exempted from making calls for tenders and may, instead, contract private contractors via direct contract award procedures. Generally speaking, direct contract awards in local authorities' public procurement law are subject to very little transparency and public scrutiny.
This situation makes direct contract awards within local authorities a favorite channel for contracting private contractors, and obviously it makes such contracts vulnerable to corruption. Corruption in Israeli Local authorities is known to be very high, and has been considered by former Legal Advisor to the Government.
The petition filed to the High Court of Justice
Yesterday morning, my law firm filed a petition to the High Court of Justice (being the highest legal instance in Israel for administrative law disputes) against the Minister of Interior, Mr. Aryeh Deri. In the petition the High Court of Justice was requested to order the Minister of Interior to oblige the local authorities to openly publicize in advance in their internet websites, their intentions to use direct contract award procedures.
The idea behind this petition is to expose Israeli local authorities to transparency when purporting to by-pass the duty to make a call for tenders, thus making it more difficult to corrupt public officials to award public contracts to unscrupulous contractors. If the petition is granted, it is expected that local authorities will be exposed to more transparency and will become less susceptible to corruption in the public procurement field.
*The picture features the inside corridor of the Hight Court of Justice in Jerusalem.
Post publication date: June 19, 2018
Contact Dr. Shabat:
Herzliya Pituach Office
Tel: +972 9 9543895
Fax: +972 9545033
8 Johanan Hasandlar St., (south entrance) third floor,
in "Beit Lumir" Building, Herzliya Pituach, ISRAEL.