Did Israel Radio Director Engage in Outside Work Without Permission?

The Civil Service Commission is looking into allegations that Miki Miro did, which would violate both civil service and Israel Broadcasting Authority regulations.

The Civil Service Commission has asked the Israel Broadcasting Authority to investigate whether Israel Radio director Miki Miro has been working several outside jobs without permission, in violation of both civil service and IBA regulations.

According to a complaint submitted around two weeks ago to the head of the Civil Service Commission's investigations department, Nati Levitt, Miro has worked as a lecturer in several different places over the last few years without receiving permission to do so. He also maintained a personal blog and Internet site where IBA affairs were discussed. Both of these would seem to be disciplinary offenses and serious breaches of IBA regulations.

Miki Miro - Eli Hershkowitz
Eli Hershkowitz

Miro has worked at the IBA since 1978. In addition to being director of Israel Radio, he is a senior presenter: He edits and hosts the "Sha'at Hevra" and "Baderech el Hateva" programs and edits the station's news magazines. Following his appointment as director in June, there were claims that his selection was motivated by political considerations.

His alleged violations were described in a detailed complaint submitted to Levitt at the beginning of the month. According to the Civil Service Commission, they were forwarded to IBA Director General Yoni Ben-Menachem about a week ago.

IBA regulations state that "a worker many not engage in any private work outside of his job unless he receives written permission." The complaint against Miro asserts that he engaged in outside work for years, but never received permission to do so.

IBA officials confirmed that Miro never asked for permission to engage in outside work. They also said that when he was sent a formal letter inquiring about this issue a few years ago, he denied doing any outside work.

According to the complaint, however, Miro lectured for several years at a Hebrew University course on "Media in the service of society," including in the present academic year. He also taught a course on "The Fundamentals of Radio" at Ariel College in 2008-09 and another course at the Social-Economic College in Tel Aviv.

In addition, it said, Miro on several occasions interviewed people who were connected to his outside work as a lecturer or included them as interviewees on programs he edited.

The complaint also cited other alleged violations of civil service and IBA regulations regarding outside work. For instance, Miro is the editor of the Koteret Ezrahit website, where at one point during the Olmert government's tenure he published an article calling for the Knesset to be dissolved. He also has a personal blog where in the past he published criticism of the very reforms in the IBA that he is now supposed to implement as radio director.

Finally, it cited a long list of Miro's outside jobs moderating panels and events. Most recently, he moderated a special event organized by the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews at last month's Sderot Conference. The day after, he broadcast his show from the conference. This incident took place after the IBA published updated regulations that say "An IBA employee may not work at any job, even if it is unpaid, and may not in any way be involved in any business, if this entails a conflict of interests with his position or his work at the IBA or if such a situation might arise."

It's quite likely that had he asked, Miro could have obtained the IBA's permission for his outside work. But IBA sources said he never sought such permission.

The Civil Service Commission said, "The complaint was sent to the IBA director general for his review and comments," which is the first step toward opening an investigation. The IBA said it was "unaware of any complaint." Miro declined to comment for this report.