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The State Comptroller: The Chief Scientist must improve the administrative procedures of the R&D budgets

"No clear priorities and goals have been established for the purpose of supervising and controlling the assistance programs of the chief scientist, and the measurement of their contribution to R&D in the industry must be improved," states the auditor

A mobile laboratory in Tzafit. Photo: Weizmann Institute
A mobile laboratory in Tzafit. Photo: Weizmann Institute

In the months of August-December 2011, the state auditor's office inspected the activities of the chief scientist and of bodies that advise the government that have an affinity for industrial research and development, science and technology. The inspection was done at the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Employment (MIT); in the Ministry of Finance - in the Budgets Division and the Accountant General; at the Israeli National Academy of Sciences; in the National Council for Research and Civil Development (hereinafter - the National Research and Development Council) operating in the Ministry of Science and Technology; In the Planning and Budgeting Committee of the Council for Higher Education (hereinafter - VT) and in the National Economic Council in the Prime Minister's Office.
In the report published today (Wed, 17/10/2012) the auditor writes: "From studies done on the aid contribution of the chief scientist at the Ministry of the Ministry of Science and Technology it appears that the government aid encourages R&D that would not have been carried out without it. However, the Chief Scientist must improve the administrative procedures of the R&D budgets, in the areas pointed out by the State Comptroller's Office in this report. No clear priorities and goals were established for the supervision and control of the aid programs of the chief scientist, and the measurement of their contribution to R&D in the industry must be improved."
"R&D and innovation in Israel are essential for the development and advancement of the national economy, therefore the government must set long-term goals regarding research and development. In order to achieve this goal, it is necessary to formulate a national policy that will provide an answer to the sectors on which the government will decide and to monitor its implementation. The arrangements for providing advice to the government on R&D and technology issues at the national level are lacking. To that end, it is necessary to improve the coordination and cooperation between the Ministry of Defense and the government in accordance with the duties of the Ministry of Defense as defined by law."

The main findings
• There are several bodies whose role is to advise the government on R&D, innovation and technology. Between these bodies there is almost no coordination and there is no central direction regarding the governmental and industrial R&D goals that the government must focus on.
• The research committee discusses at each of its meetings approximately 35 R&D programs (approximately 2,000 programs per year) after each program receives a grade from 1 to 5 from a professional examiner. The committee does not compare all the R&D plans that were submitted to the chief scientist and have not yet been discussed, but only examines the group of plans discussed at that meeting. Due to this working method, the committee does not have an overall picture regarding the level of all the R&D programs, and programs that received a low grade receive aid at the expense of programs that received a higher grade.
• In each of the years 2008-2010, the chief scientist received a budget increase towards the end of the budget year. The chief scientist discussed about a quarter of the R&D plans submitted in these years during the months of November-December, close to receiving the budget supplement. This budget management method is one of the reasons why about 44% of the companies have to wait for assistance for a longer period of time than the chief scientist's procedure stipulates.
• In government decisions from 2000-2003 to strengthen the settlements of the conflict line in the north, it was determined that companies will receive increased aid at a rate of 25% of the approved plan's cost if the R&D and production are carried out in the conflict line areas. Although the validity of the government's decisions expired at the end of 2003, the chief scientist continued to provide increased aid to R&D programs on the conflict line, and only in January 2012 did he decide to stop this aid as of June 1.6.12, XNUMX. In all the years in which aid was granted to R&D programs carried out in the conflict line areas, the chief scientist did not differentiate between the subcontractors from the various regions and granted the aid to all contractors regardless of their geographic location.
• The research committee and the appeals committee do not adequately record the reasons for their decisions in the chief scientist's computerized system. As a result, proper administrative procedures were damaged and the process of controlling the decisions was damaged.
• The chief scientist did not establish clear criteria for the success of aid routes and to measure their efficiency and effectiveness, nor did he define goals that each aid route must achieve. The information in the chief scientist's computerized system on the business activities of companies that received aid is partial and is therefore not used properly for the purpose of monitoring the benefit of the aid routes.
• The Accountant General at the Ministry of Finance and the Chief Scientist were not prepared from the legal and economic point of view to handle the shares of incubator companies (the entrepreneurs of the research project) that were pledged for the benefit of the state, to guarantee repayment of loans they received as part of the technological incubators. Only in 2011 was the body chosen to handle the shares and assets of the companies, but the procedures for handling the shares have not yet been formulated, and no actions have been taken to preserve the state's interest in these companies.
• In 2011, an agreement was signed for Israel to join the CERN project as a full member. Five government ministries and agencies are budgeting for Israel's participation in the CERN project, but it has not been determined which of them is responsible for the concentration of activity with the organization, and no appropriate organizational infrastructure has been built in order to derive the maximum benefit from Israel's participation in the project.
• In the years 2009-2011, the chief scientist performed few interim audits in the companies that received aid, thus impairing their supervision. The Chief Scientist does not have a set target for the number of audits he must perform each year and there are no guidelines on which companies must be audited during the year.
• In the midst of the economic crisis that occurred in 2008, the chief scientist initiated a program to absorb R&D personnel who were fired from the high-tech industry in the traditional industry. The TMT Ministry failed to prepare the plan in a short time schedule and did not examine the reasons for the delays in its preparation.
• The Chief Scientist and the Ministry of Environmental Protection have not formulated agreed regulations regarding the criteria for maintaining environmental quality that the companies must meet in order to receive assistance from the Chief Scientist.

7 תגובות

  1. Thank you Nissim,

    Regarding education, as you said before, it starts with the parents. If a parent allows his child to party at trans parties until late hours, or if a parent allows his child to put piercings or a tattoo on his body, or if he allows his son to drink, or smoke or speak badly to an adult, or be rude to a teacher or not sit and study and most importantly - does not teach him how to drive In other people: that other people also have feelings, which should be taken into account, that you should listen to the person who is talking to you, and really listen, even if he is talking nonsense. Maybe there is something behind what he says, maybe he means to tell you but you don't understand, because you want to hear what you want. And why do people think they are better than you, why can't we accept people who are different from us, of course if they are fair and do not interfere. So let's go back to the beginning, if a parent allows all of this - it's hard to move forward like that.
    But if a parent demands from his child to respect other people, and not in an artificial way, but to really listen to the other, to try to help another person, if he is having a hard time alone. If a parent guides his child, that everyone wants to enjoy what is available and, in fact, nothing comes at the expense of the other, there is a place for everyone. If only a parent would teach his child that it is possible to live together, it is much more effective, it is much more economical, it saves a lot of grief.
    I, from experience, can testify that it is possible, if you only want. If we get out of our own bubble, it seems that there are others around us who want the same thing. Want peace, quiet, happiness...
    It's like playing ball: I pass to you, you pass to her, she passes to him and so on. You have to start with the smallest, most routine thing - teach your child to respect others, help others, listen to others, even if it sounds funny, and even if I'm being cynical, because it works.
    And if the parents demand it from their children, they will also demand it from the teachers. And so, like a ball game, things will unfold.

  2. Rose Bauer
    You said a number of things that I disagree with.
    Medical studies for example. I don't know of any way that a doctor's son has priority over another person. There are few places in the faculties of medicine and what mainly determines is psychometric scores and matriculation. Do you want more places in the faculties? This means raising taxes or reducing other faculties. Your choice 🙂

    We are constantly engaged in security and fighting to allow the country to exist. Israel is the country in the world that is in existential danger. There is no other country in the world that other countries openly say that they intend to destroy - and even work to achieve this goal.
    Rose - don't delude yourself that giving territory to the other side will bring peace with it. The territories are not the reason for the hatred towards us. I am not expressing a political position here, I am simply describing the reality to you.

    The idea of ​​great schools is great. But - where do you propose to take the money?

  3. You are absolutely right, Nissim
    The problem starts with parents, who don't care enough about what is happening with their children.
    But even if you really care, you still encounter so many difficulties in the education systems, also in kindergartens, in schools and even in higher education. Why, for example, are there schools or kindergartens where you have to be the son of... in order to be admitted to them, and they, too, don't really provide what is needed.
    Why do you have to be "connected" well, or get astronomical grades in order to be admitted to sought-after subjects at the university,
    Why would a person who wants to be a doctor succeed in getting what he wants if he is the son of a doctor?
    And why does a person have to leave his homeland, the land of his ancestors, which he loves so much, in order to fulfill himself, because the education system, in the schools and higher studies - does not care enough.
    Why are we constantly busy with security and fighting, instead of educating our children to love the other, to respect the other, not artificially, but really, to give someone else the feeling that they are good and that you respect them.
    It also refers to other peoples who live among us. Why not educate to love the other, the different, from an early age.
    Why is it very fashionable to be a soldier, a hero, or to be "getting along" or "fixing someone else" but not to be a good person, who respects those around him, who doesn't try to take from others. A person who thinks that there is room for everyone, if you just try to give another a chance.
    Why should people be afraid of losing their children in wars? Why do you have to worry about security all the time?
    After thousands of years of fighting - isn't it time to stop and think, maybe this isn't the way? that if we educate our children to love, to feel empathy with someone else's plight, even someone else who is not Jewish, or not Israeli, if we listen to each other in a real way and see that we all have a place, we all have an opportunity, we don't have to step on each other to achieve more , for example, in order to be admitted to an "Elite" school in Jerusalem, one does not need to be the son of a senior officer in the army, for example, or a judge in the Supreme Court.
    Why not establish elite schools for everyone? All our children deserve a good education, all our children deserve to respect and be respected by others.

  4. Rose Bauer
    The problem starts long before that. Parents first - they are responsible for what happens outside of school hours. Only they can determine with their child doing a tattoo or piercing. This is not the role of the Ministry of Education.
    The second place is the kindergarten. This is the basis. And there the situation is much worse. Anyone can be a kindergarten teacher, not least an assistant. And when the kindergarten teacher does try to establish procedures for education in the kindergarten, the parents object and the Ministry of Education folds and demands that the kindergarten teacher give up.
    Both the Ministry of Education and the Teachers' Union see the kindergarten as a babysitter and nothing more.
    So what do you expect to happen later?

  5. It's strange to me that they talk about R&D budgets in the industry and don't look back at the schools where there are no budgets at all!
    Why don't we invest in good educators for our children, why don't schools encourage good teachers who see this profession as a mission to improve the education of generations?
    Why are children allowed to drink, smoke, put tattoos on their bodies, piercings and why are children allowed to party until the wee hours of the night to the sound of resounding trance music?
    Why is there an "Alita" school in Jerusalem, where one of the senior teachers among them claims that a child who volunteers to help a veterinarian with surgeries on animals in order to save them is unsightly.
    Why don't they demand more from the children? Why don't we allow our children to have more?
    After all, we are by the book, so why don't we apply it?
    It boggles my mind that there are such a large number of teenagers who do not take matriculation exams and do not finish high school
    And I don't care
    And it hurts me that being a good student is not in fashion

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