The State Comptroller published its 2005 Report and it severely condemns Dr Yossi Dreizin and the Ministry of National Infrastructures for their abject failure to carry out the Government's Decision to build several seawater desalination facilities with a total capacity of 315 million cubic meters by the year 2004.
From 2001 to 2005 I worked very closely with (for) them and can vouch for their self-important and full of air, inflated personalities, and their technical and executive impotence. Having evacuated my opinion of my former bosses, lets hear what the State Comptroller has to say about them.
The Comptroller reminds its readers that the Government formally took the decision of building two large desalination plants - one in Hadera and another in Ashkelon, both through private enterprises, and to build a third one in Ashdod by Mekorot, the National Water Corporation, a State owned Company. In addition, the Government decided to build several small desalination plants through private enterprises, without deciding at that stage about their actual siting.
In February 2000 the Government ordered the Ministry of Treasure to fund the projects, and in 2001 it ordered the organization of an interministerial committee to advance the projects (the idea was to publish public bids).
In fact, only one of the projects, the 100 million cubic meter per year plant in Ashkelon, was built till now. In Palmachim there are working on a small, 30 million cu m plant, that may be working around 2007.
The consorcium building the Ashkelon plant sued the Government and was rewarded with a payment of 92 million shekel "advance" (20 million US dollar). The Comptroller's Report says something obscure on this affair, and I dont pretend to understand it. Knowing the personalities in play, I dont think Dreizin or some other functionary did something wrong. Correction ! In fact I am sure they did everything possible wrong, but I presume that no personal corruption is involved.
Regarding the Hadera plant, the original bidding was annuled and the new one, published in 2004, was not yet closed in 2006.
The Ashdod plant did not take off because the Treasure interpreted the original decision as conditional on the privatization of Mekorot, which never happened. And if I may add, with the Minister Fuad in place, will never take place. Fuad is a Labor party leader, and Mekorot vaad (workers union) is one of his sources of power.
The small plants never advanced farther than initial contacts and meetings with potential entrepreneurs and investors.
The Comptroller closes his short report on Yossi Dreizin and Co. with a lapidary sentence: "The Government should extract consequences from this extensive failure to carry out its decisions, a failure that endangers Israel's future water supply."
Of course, nothing will happen. Dreizin and his friends will continue working very hard and till very late in the night in very important meetings, drinking tasteless Nescafe and eating cheap Elite waffles, exploding learned Aramean bon mots in their pilpulim and pitputim and enjoying their incredibly high verbal capabilities and buying useless computer models that no one ever applies to reality but give the impression of hard and intelligent activity, evermore inflated and self important in their nice and secure Government jobs.
All in all, they are not bad guys, they are decent and patriotic, they try to carry out Government decisions, which is not easy at all. The problem is that they try to do it within the framework of bureaucracy, through meetings and papers and with advisers and reports and more reports and protocols and batteries of legal advisors. They are deadly afraid of being cought in infraction of the Holy Sacred Rules Book of Bureacratic Procedure (which exists in their imagination only). They are afraid of doing anything in fact. In one word, they are uncapable, impotent.
It is most revealing that the State Comptroller does not critizes them for some procedural violation or professional mistake or financial irregularity or for taking bad decisions. He is simply saying they are not doing their jobs.
Kol ha Kavod to the Comptroller. But they need not worry, they have "kviut", their jobs are protected, secure and they will go on (failing) forever.