Comptroller criticizes city's handling of billboard fees

Lindenstrauss found that the city had lost the NIS 4 million over the past five years by not managing the advertising issue properly.

By MIRIAM BULWAR DAVID-HAY (TRANSLATED)
February 24, 2008 13:16
1 minute read.

The city of Haifa has lost some NIS 4 million by not collecting fees from advertisers using public billboards and by not managing public advertising properly, State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss has found. In a report presented to the Knesset recently, Lindenstrauss declared that there were "serious faults" in Haifa's handling of public advertising, reports Yediot Haifa. According to the report, Lindenstrauss found that the city had lost the NIS 4 million over the past five years by not managing the advertising issue properly, and said it should act swiftly to avoid further losses in the future. He gave as an example one company that should have paid NIS 200,000 to date for its advertising on a bridge, but said the city had done nothing to collect the money. In addition, Lindenstrauss said that not only did the city not collect fees, but it paid for electricity to light up some of the billboards and did not collect the money for this either. He said the city should have collected some NIS 450,000 from one company alone for electricity. The Comptroller also said the city had not made any orderly list of advertisers or the moneys they owed or paid, and did not have any organized accounting system, with some payments being made but not registered in the books, discounts being given for no apparent reason and without any records being kept, and receipts not being issued or being issued at random. Just one employee was responsible for handling the entire issue, and there was no supervision of his work. "This is against all regulations for proper management and scrutiny," Lindenstrauss said. A municipal spokesman said the city was taking the report seriously, and was "acting in accordance with the report's comments."


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