Ports Authority Law, 1961 (Summary)

A Ports Authority is established by this Law as a corporation to manage Israel’s ports, which were previously managed by the Government. According to the Law, the "functions of the Authority shall be to plan, build, develop, manage, maintain, operate and control the ports" of Eilat, Ashdod, Haifa, Jaffa and Tel Aviv, each as a "self-supporting enterprise". The Minister of Transport is responsible for the implementation of this Law and the general supervision of the Ports Authority.

The Authority

* The Authority consists of eleven to thirteen members, a majority of which must be public representatives and the remainder State employees. Members of the Authority are appointed by the Government upon the nomination of the Minister of Transport, and serve a term of three years.

* Public representatives of the Ports Authority must include members of Israel’s largest labor union and representatives of the export industry.

* Members of the Ports Authority serve on a volunteer basis and receive no remuneration for their efforts.

Functions of the Authority

* The Authority shall appoint a Director General of the Authority and a Deputy Director of the Authority upon the proposal of the Minister of Transport, and define their functions. The Director "shall be responsible to the Authority for the carrying out of the functions and decisions of the Authority".

* The Authority shall appoint port managers and may employ employees. Port managers are responsible to the Director General of the Authority.

* The Authority may propose the making of regulations under the Ports Ordinance relating to its ports to the Minister of Transport. Regulations concerning Port Authority ports may be promulgated by the Minister only after consultation with the Authority.

* The Authority is responsible to "prescribe rules for the operation, management and control of its ports and for the efficient exercise of its functions and powers under this Law". The approval of the Minister of Transport is required to close a port.

* The Authority must submit a budget and account sheet to the Ministry of Transport each year.

Port Councils

* The Government may establish a "Port Council" for any of its ports, composed of state employees, a member of the Authority, a representative of the World Zionist Organization and representatives of the public and the exporting industry.

* "The functions of a Port Council shall be to maintain, operate and manage, economically and efficiently, through the port manager … the port for which it has been appointed". However, the Port Council must act within a budget approved by the Authority. A Port Council may submit to the Minister Of Transport for his approval rules for the management of a port.

* The Minister of Transport will decide on all disagreements between a Port Council and thee Ports Authority.