The whining number: Treasury gives lottery chairman and directors 30 days to stop squabbling
Chairman and board have not only been at odds about the appointment of a new director general but also about allocations of the lottery's profits - and control of the organization.
The Finance Ministry has given the national lottery 30 days to get its house in order and settle an internal dispute between chairman Uzi Dayan and the board. The treasury is refusing to grant Mifal Hapayis permission to expand its games and marketing until a solution is found.
The ministry's attorney general, Michal Abadi-Boiangiu, sent a letter with her demands to Dayan, lottery legal adviser Aviad Hacohen and board members. She also demanded they reach an agreement on the appointment of a new director general.
Dayan and the board have not only been at odds about the appointment of a new director general but also about allocations of the lottery's profits - and control of the organization. The board recently attempted to revoke Dayan's signatory rights on behalf of Mifal Hapayis.
The board, led by the head of the Union of Local Authorities, Shlomo Buhbut, and the head of the Union of Regional Councils, Shmuel Rifman, have been pushing the appointment of Jacky Wakim, the former head of finance for the Haifa municipality, as director general.
Abadi-Boiangiu emphasized the importance of honesty and uprightness in the selection of a new director general, including providing full and accurate information on the candidates' application forms. This seems to imply that the treasury will not approve the appointment of Wakim, who is suspected of hiding that he has previously been investigated by the police.
The accountant general reminded all those involved that the lottery handles enormous amounts of public money and is under the supervision of the Finance Ministry - and is tasked with working for the good of the public all over the country. She said the recent infighting has damaged the lottery and its reputation, and may affect its future operations.
She also said the treasury would not accept a situation where the board made decisions on its own after the chairman ended a meeting, and the board had no authority to revoke the chairman's powers. In addition, the board would have to conduct a documented and in-depth examination of the candidates for director general - and their meeting the standards of honesty at the highest level. She also said it was unacceptable for a board member to present himself as an equal to the chairman and present his own candidate for director general, bypassing the chairman, as it is the chairman's role to supervise lottery employees.
Buhbut and others on Monday attempted to make Dayan a nonexecutive chairman and make it an unsalaried post - but failed.
It was recently revealed that the Mifal Hapayis budget for 2012 does not include the traditional millions in funding for the ULA and the regional councils, headed by Buhbut and Rifman.