IEC Forces Accountant Out: Comptroller to Investigate

The Government Companies Authority asked for the Israel Electric Corporation's accountant to be replaced, and Deloitte Brightman Almagor Zohar has reassigned Adir Inbar and placed a different partner in charge of the IEC's reports. GCA director general Doron Cohen asked for the change, even though many of the authority's professional staff opposed such an action.

Inbar, a certified public accountant and a senior partner at the firm, revealed the problems with IEC employees' pensions, and the way they were accounted for.

State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss intends to examine the removal, as part of a special report he is preparing on the IEC's financial reporting of its pension obligations.

Inbar's removal came after years of serious disputes between him and the IEC, and the company has been pressuring the GCA for years to get rid of him. Until now, the authority had withstood the pressure.

Cohen says he changed his mind after he became convinced that Inbar's continued work would endanger the IEC's ability to file its financial reports on time. Inbar is considered an expert on international accounting standards and is a member of the Standards Advisory Council of the International Accounting Standards Board and vice president of the Institute of Certified Public Accountants in Israel.

It was Inbar who insisted the IEC was recognizing excessive pension demands for employees, agreeing to pay larger pensions than they are entitled to. The company seemingly paid billions more than necessary to and worsened its financial situation in the process - and caused consumers to pay higher electric rates.