Israel's Justice Minister Questioned Over Perks to Bar-Ilan University Staff

State Comptroller office questions Justice Minister Yaakov Neeman about employment terms at university of which he was chairman of the executive council.

Justice Minister Yaakov Neeman was recently questioned by the State Comptroller’s Office about alleged financial irregularities at Bar-Ilan University during the period in which he served as chairman of the university’s executive council.

Staff from the office of State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss questioned Neeman about employment terms provided at the university to senior staff, as part of an investigation opened months ago. Neeman was chairman of Bar-Ilan’s executive council until his 2009 appointment as Justice Minister.

Yaakov Neeman - Moti Kimche - 22022012
Moti Kimche

Lindenstrauss’ spokesman, Shlomo Raz, confirmed that the meeting with Neeman had taken place, but the minister declined to comment. The meeting between Lindenstrauss’ staff and Neeman was customary under such circumstances, as are meetings “with those that could be damaged in the future by the [Comptroller’s] report,” a source said.

As reported in Haaretz earlier this month, the Finance Ministry wages director also sought clarification recently over Bar-Ilan employment benefits that allegedly violated the law. The Finance Ministry has singled out the compensation package granted to the university’s director general, Haim Glick, as possibly going beyond what the law allows state-funded institutions, such as Bar-Ilan, to pay.

In addition to questions that have been raised about Glick’s monthly compensation, the ministry has asked Glick and the university to explain alleged bonus payments, including NIS 70,000 for the successful implementation of a particular project.