Wrangling between Olmert and Comptroller

Wednesday, August 30, 2006 |  by Staff Writer
An unprecedented argument took place yesterday between the Prime Minister’s Office and the office of the State Comptroller over the proposed appointment of the Comptroller to investigate the preparedness of the home front during the war in Lebanon.

In response to the publicized appointment by the Prime Minister, State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss said that he had only heard of the nomination from the media, and that his “examination of the war does not hinge on a nomination from the Prime Minister. By law I report only to the Knesset.” Therefore the Comptroller asked that the government help keep his complete independence.

The Comptroller also claims that his office has already begun gathering evidence which documents the political and military decision-making process before and during the war. He added that the Comptroller is completely independent, and decides on its own accord the subjects and scope of the investigations it carries out.

Officials in the Prime Minister’s office did not take these words kindly and published a statement saying that “we were astonished to hear the complaints of the Comptroller on the issue, but according to the State Comptroller Law, article 21 stipulates that ‘The Comptroller must prepare a report on any issue if requested by the Knesset, the Committee, or the Government.’”

“All actions in this matter have been and will continue to be coordinated with the Attorney General’s office,” the statement reads, “and because we only heard about this from the media, and that the Comptroller himself wrote the statement, we are convinced that he made an innocent mistake, as it is inconceivable that the State Comptroller does not know the law under which he operates.”

The officials in the PM’s office added that the Prime Minister will soon bring the issue to a vote in the Cabinet, asking to enact article 21 of the State Comptroller Law.

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