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Israel's civil service, in general, and the structure of its government offices, in particular, have been fraught with problems ever since the state was established. This article examines the process which led to the creation of government offices from 1943 to 1948. Based on historical and institutional analysis, it shows that a great deal of thought was given to the structure of the government service. The outcome was a well-founded structure for government offices, well able to stand the test of modern administrative challenges. The distortions in the execution of this plan stemmed, and still stem, in the main, from non-compliance with the detailed original plans owing, mainly, to political considerations. Since the establishment of the state there has been continuous criticism of the structure of government administration and there have been numerous proposals for change. Almost every one of these proposals was aimed at the elimination of three main shortcomings: curtailment of the number of

government offices; reorganization of the functions of the various offices in order to maximize coordination; and development of directional planning and coordinated supervision of activities - the need for which the earlier planning had tried to obviate in its proposals.