Court Tells Lottery to Find New Chief

Court orders a compromise between Mifal Hapayis chairman Uzi Dayan and the board over appointment of Jacky Vakim as director general.

Uzi Dayan, chairman of the Mifal Hapayis national lottery, won a partial victory in his battle with the lottery’s board over the appointment of a new director general.

The Tel Aviv Labor Court ordered a compromise between Dayan and the board yesterday, and invalidated the board’s appointment of Jacky Vakim as director general. Dayan opposed the choice of Vakim because he claimed Vakim had hid the fact that he’d been under police investigation from the search committee that chose him, and because of Vakim’s close connections to the members of the board. Vakim was the chief financial officer of the Haifa municipality and served on the Payis board. He was appointed as the lottery’s director general two months ago.

A national lottery booth.

The Labor Court ordered the search committee to reconvene within one week. Then, by July 6, the committee must present Dayan with three candidates out of the 63 who applied for the post, and must rank them in order of qualification. Dayan will be able to choose any among the three and will not have to choose the highest ranked candidate − but the board will have to approve Dayan’s choice.

The committee will be allowed to nominate Vakim again. But Dayan will be allowed to attend the committee’s meeting with him, and the committee must consider his opinion. Members will also have to question Vakim on why he withheld information on his previous application for the post.

The lottery has NIS 5 billion in annual revenues, making the director general post highly sought after. If Dayan and the board cannot agree on a candidate, the regulator is likely to intervene. In this case, the Finance Ministry’s accountant general, Michal Abadi-Boiangiu, is responsible for the national lottery, and she recently threatened to revoke the Payis’ license if an appropriate agreement is not reached.

Vakim is the one who petitioned the Labor Court after Dayan refused to appoint him to the post, following the board’s selection. Vakim asked the court to force Dayan to recognize the appointment, but the court decided in the end to force the two sides to compromise.