NII director general to step down

September 18, 2007 21:13
1 minute read.

Dr. Yigal Ben Shalom, the director general of the National Insurance Institute, announced Tuesday that he would be resigning from his position as head of the country's social security services after four years in office. Ben Shalom presented his letter of resignation to Minister of Welfare and Social Services Isaac Herzog, requesting that his tenure not be extended and explaining that he would be moving on to new projects. The two agreed that he would stay in his position until January, giving the minister enough time to appoint and train a replacement. Ben Shalom's resignation comes less than three months after the police announced it was investigating allegations of major corruption by three senior NII officials. A spokesman for the troubled government agency told The Jerusalem Post Tuesday that Ben Shalom's departure was not connected to the scandal. In July, the police announced that the National Economic Crimes Unit had carried out an undercover investigation at the NII, probing suspicions that the officials received bribes during contracting processes. Three suspects, including the assistant director general of logistics and the manager of the same department, were arrested while still in office. A fourth suspect also arrested by police acted as a go-between providing contractors with inside information and bribing them for cash. In March, the Post reported on an NII decision to scrap an NIS 30 million overhaul of the bureau's computer system after seven years. A source at the agency told the Post that he had suspected foul play in that incident too. Rebecca Anna Stoil contributed to this report.

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