Transportation and Road Safety Minister Shaul Mofaz (Kadima) has appointed Lior Carmel to head the founding administration for the National Road Safety Authority. Carmel positioned 37 on Kadima's list in elections for the 17th Knesset. Following the elections, in May 2006, Carmel resigned from the Knesset list but remained a party member. Sources in the Knesset said yesterday that Carmel lacks professional experience in fighting road accidents, adding that the appointment is based on his political affiliation with Kadima.

Carmel's appointment as a permanent director of the National Authority for Road Safety is subject to the approval of the committee charged with evaluating public service appointments. In light of his party affiliation, Carmel will be required to demonstrate his capability to fulfill the role.

Carmel served for six years as the director of the Scouts Movement. He holds a Bachelor's degree in behavioral science from the Tel Aviv Academic College and a Master's in management science, specializing in human resources, from New York Polytechnic University. Carmel also attended a course in organization and management consultation at Tel Aviv University.

Sources in the Knesset added that there have recently been a number of senior appointments to the founding administration, and that persons from outside the authority have been appointed to positions that could have been filled by professional employees from within the authority.

A spokesman for the Transportation Ministry responded that "Carmel's rich and successful experience in education, and particularly in his position as director of the Scouts Movement, conforms with Mofaz's intentions for the appointment of the head of the National Road Safety Authority. Mofaz sees education as crucial in the prevention of road accidents, and therefore the appointment of a person with a background in education to establish the authority is clear and obvious."

Carmel said he had resigned from Kadima's Knesset list, but not from the party: "I manage the founding administration, and I am employed for a period of three to six months. The founding administrator should be firstly an administrator. My professional record shows that I have acquired experience in administration."