Wednesday, March 17, 2004

Three Knesset commissions of inquiry to shut down

By Gideon Alon
Haaretz - March 17, 2004

Three Knesset commissions of inquiry which have been operating for the past number of years will be shut down at the end of this year, according to an agreement between Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin and the committee chairs.
The commission of inquiry examining the sex trade in Israel headed by MK Zehava Gal-On (Meretz), the commission charged with preventing violence in sports headed by MK Avshalom Vilan (Meretz) and the commission charged with tracking and returning assets of Holocaust victims headed by MK Colette Avital (Labor) will all be shut down.
Rivlin and the commission chairs agreed they will submit reports and recommendations by the end of the year and will cease their operations.
The Knesset's permanent committees will continue to track and deal with these three issues.
Rivlin has been asking for a number of months to get rid of the Knesset's commissions of inquiry which, he believes, should operate within limited time frames and should not continue working for years.
It costs about NIS 500,000 annually to operate the three commissions of inquiry, which were established by the 15th Knesset.
Rivlin is also working to get rid of four Knesset statutory committees dealing with public complaints, foreign workers, drugs and the status of children.
The heads of these committees, MK Ran Cohen (Meretz), MY Ayoub Kara (Likud) and MK Michael Melchior (Labor), object to their elimination and announced they will fight the decision.
The decision to cancel these committees is subject to debate and approval by the Knesset's House Committee.
Rivlin has already asked the House Committee to discuss his decision to cancel the committees, but the debate on the matter has not yet begun.

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