Moti Sklar
Moti Sklar. Photo by Emil Salman
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State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss called on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to intervene immediately in the Broadcasting Authority's management, citing severe shortcomings.

Lindenstrauss had audited the authority, and is set to publish his report in May.

"Given the severity of the findings, the flaws should be addressed immediately, and this should not wait until the annual report is released. This must be done in order to minimize damage," Lindenstrauss said in a press release.

Lindenstrauss reviewed the authority's administration and organization. His audit includes a special chapter on Director General Moti Sklar, whose term ends this summer.

This is the first time a chapter has been dedicated to the authority's head - even Sklar's predecessor Yosef Barel, who also drew harsh criticism, did not receive a special report.

Lindenstrauss's letter indicates that this chapter is expected to be particularly harsh, detailing managerial and organizational failures.

Lindenstrauss hints that the authority's hiring and management practices violated public propriety.

The report addresses Sklar's handling of "personnel matters, which did not meet legal and administrative regulations."

"These actions could instill an improper managerial culture at the Broadcasting Authority. These faults cannot be deemed acceptable ... the Broadcasting Authority is financed with public funds, and its managers are obligated to maintain integrity," Lindenstrauss said.

The comptroller notes shortcomings involving the current Broadcasting Authority law and the amendment in the works, and says politicizing the authority could harm its independent status.

Regarding the appointment of authority plenum members, "any political consideration should be dropped in order to ensure the Broadcasting Authority's independence."

The draft amendment does not ensure political connections are not a factor, and Lindenstrauss calls on the prime minister to "revise the law as soon as possible."

The Broadcasting Authority responded, "Broadcasting Authority chairman Dr. Amir Gilat, is studying the findings and plans to fix the problems soon. The chairman hopes the government will appoint a new plenum to enable the necessary decisions regarding manpower and budget. The chairman is determined to change the authority's organizational culture and to instill values of proper administration and provide proper services to taxpayers."

The authority said on behalf of Sklar that he "accepts the criticism regarding personnel issues, and primarily, the employment of journalists and talent. Most of the problems noted have already been addressed, and the rest of the issues will be resolved through the planned Broadcasting Authority reform. ...

"It is no secret that the Broadcasting Authority has been fighting for its very existence. However, things that did not meet regulations will be fixed."