A series of senior representatives of the Finance Ministry, the Histadrut labor
federation and the Journalists’ Association have complained year in and year out
that the Israel Broadcasting Authority (IBA) is mismanaged and that is the
underlying reason for its perpetual deficit and its overloaded
The issues of the deficit and the staff have been raised time
and again in the State Comptroller’s Report, but never as scathingly as in the
swan song of outgoing State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss.
withering report on the IBA, the state comptroller painted a picture of
mismanagement, negligence and irresponsibility that resulted not only in an
ongoing multimillion-shekel deficit, and an organization vastly top heavy with
unnecessary staff, but also a problem of property ownership.
no one bothered over the years to check out whether properties supposedly
belonging to the IBA have actually been registered as such, a factor that came
to light when the Finance Ministry, which was unwilling to keep bolstering the
faltering financial status of the IBA, said that the only way it could get rid
of its deficit and progress with its reforms, was to sell off the bulk of its
properties in Jerusalem.
But when it came to taking an inventory of the
properties, the IBA was lacking in legally binding proof of ownership. The IBA
has been operating in state-owned properties in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and
Some of these properties were long ago officially transferred to
the IBA, but the IBA neglected to do the required paper work.
result, it is not yet in the position to sell off the properties and the reforms
cannot be implemented.
As for mismanagement, the state comptroller
indirectly pointed a finger at Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu who is also the
minister responsible for overseeing the workings of the IBA in accordance with
the Broadcasting Authority Law.
Netanyahu initially appointed Yuli
Edelstein to the position, but following the latter’s resignation, Netanyahu
took it over himself in September 2010, but did not appoint a new 31-member
plenum until March 2011. Without a plenum from which the board of management is
selected, there was no board of management until April 2011. Both the plenum and
the board of management are vital in the decision- making processes of the IBA,
and without them, the IBA was unable to function efficiently.
years, all these factors have contributed to the erosion of the IBA’s image in
the eyes of the public, concluded the state comptroller.