Press Release

Minister Shaked: 'When a Minister is Elected, He Has to Lay the Railroad Tracks, Not Just Drive the Engine'

At Eli Hurvitz Conference, PM Director-General Groner says, 'We will be strengthened when ministries no longer focus on micromanagement'

Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked used her platform at IDI's Eli Hurvitz Conference on Economy and Society to define good governance.

"Good governance is often perceived as the ability to implement decisions successfully and effectively as a train going along the tracks on the shortest and safest route. That is not correct," Shaked said.

Shaked noted that a politician is elected to define objectives, not just carryout those laid down by others.

"To drive a train on a track that someone else has laid down, you don’t have to be a leader. Israel needs leaders," she said. "When a minister is elected, (s)he has to lay the railroad tracks, not just drive the engine."

Shaked's comments were made during a session entitled, "How to Make the Israeli Government More Effective," based on research prepared by the Israel Democracy Institute over the last two years.

At the same session, Director-General of the Prime Minister's Office Eli Groner said that directors of government agencies must be given the authority to effectively run their departments.

"In Israel, instead of checks and balances, we have breaks and balances," Groner said. "Everyone will be strengthened when ministries no longer focus on micromanagement. … We should not forget that our main goal is to give better services to the citizens of Israel."

IDI President Yohanan Plesner, who has been working closely with IDI researchers on the correlation between increased politicization and decreased effectiveness, said, "We are trending downwards with regards to effectiveness in the civil service. We must continue to test how different factors, such as regulations, influence effectiveness. We must set a deadline and be more ambitious with regards to civil service reforms."

OECD data from 2014 shows Israel as being less effective in comparison to others; Israel ranked 21 out of 24 for effectiveness of the civil service and the gap has been widening over the last few years.

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About the Eli Hurvitz Conference on Economy and Society
The Eli Hurvitz Conference on Economy and Society (formerly the Caesarea Forum) will take place May 24-25, 2016 at the Dan Hotel (Lehi St 32, Jerusalem, 97856) and bring together leading economists, government ministers and officials, prominent business people, public servants, academic experts, and other top representatives from the public and private sectors. In total, there will be 70 people sitting around the able, engaging in deep, quality discussions and delving into the most important related topics on the public agenda.

This year, the conference will focus on the challenges of government and the economy, and the influence that political stability has on the ability of the government to advance reforms and impact the performance of the business sector and the effectiveness of civil service. It will also look at the right way to integrate innovation into the government ministries, the dynamic and rapid changes of the functioning of the workforce, the collapse of the financial market, the result of people retiring at older ages, and the role business press plays in Israel.