Court says details of taxation of natural resource exploitation must be made public

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The Jerusalem District Court partially grants a freedom of information request that details of payments to a sovereign wealth fund be made public.

The petition was filed by environmental organization Adam Teva V’Din after the tax authority refused to disclose which companies paid and which did not participate in a sovereign wealth fund set up to ensure that the public benefits properly from the exploitation of the country’s natural resources. , including natural gas and minerals.

Judge Eli Abarbanel rejects the government’s position that it is not responsible for weighing the companies’ right to secrecy against the public’s right to know.

He finds that the tax administration official responsible for access to information requests failed to strike a balance between the two interests and did not consult either the head of administration or the Minister of Finance on the way forward.

He judges that this “defect” is sufficient to justify a partial acceptance of the request and instructs the tax administration to review its response to Adam Teva V’Din’s request, “by balancing the just interests”.

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