Electric Corporation Internal Auditor Resigns After Vowing to Stay On

Resignation follows a report in TheMarker last week that the auditor had tampered with an employment tender, but kept his job.

The Israel Electric Corporation's internal auditor announced his resignation on Monday, following a report in TheMarker last Thursday revealing allegations that he had improperly interfered in a company job tender.

The auditor, Yigal Harel, did not provide any reason for his resignation, which comes two years after he entered the position. Harel is the third IEC internal auditor to run into trouble in recent years. Before Harel, there was Eli Sverdlov, who retired in 2007 following an external auditor's report recommending that he be fired and IEC's entire internal auditing unit be outsourced. In 2009, Shay Rosenstock was appointed to the position, but he was replaced after coming into conflict with the board.

Last week, the audit committee of IEC decided not to fire Harel after his apparently improper attempt to influence the tender for the appointment of his own deputy. Instead, the IEC sufficed with an administrative censure.

This company's decision came despite an external audit report that strongly criticized Harel and other senior IEC figures for their involvement in the tender. The company admitted last Tuesday that Harel had made an error of judgment. However, nothing about this mistake would prevent him from continuing his term, the company stated at the time.

The company's announcement that Harel would stay on was greeted with surprise, in light of recent reports that the external audit of the matter submitted to the company included unequivocally severe findings.

In July, TheMarker revealed that an investigation was underway at the IEC following information that Harel had switched a negative annual assessment of the candidate he supported for deputy internal auditor, Hai Grinas, with a positive assessment he had written himself. Harel did not report this to members of the candidate-search committee, of which he was a part.

Tal Cohen