National Lottery board improperly influenced dispensation of funds

Members charged lavish trips abroad to company, diverted donations.

Israel's Justice and Finance Ministers should initiate legislation ensuring that the State Lottery (Mifal Hapayis) operates according to public norms, the State Comptroller wrote in his report. The comptroller cited irregularities and personal interests in Mifal Hapayis's donations to institutions and organizations, stressing that since the lottery was operating with public funds it must act accordingly. He noted that the lottery should make public a listing of all its donations, adding that many of these donations were given to groups and organizations in the center of the country as opposed to the periphery due to illicit personal interests. "The conclusions of this report find that individuals of the board, including the chairman of Mifal Hapayis, did not deal with the money - which is the public's money - with the required sensitivity and responsibility, and acted out of their own personal interests," the report, which was released for publication Wednesday, stated. The report also took the senior officials of the lottery to task for distributing lavish gifts to individuals for the holidays and said they should make do with greeting cards. "As ones trusted with the property of the public, the lottery must act with the public's money responsibly and cautiously as any one of its managers would act with his own personal money," the report stated. The report also noted that the lottery has pledged to stop distributing personal gifts. The report also rapped the senior board members of Mifal Hapayis for going on a plethora of trips abroad and incurring steep company expenses, and for failing to deal seriously with grave allegations of irregularities among workers in the organization. The comptroller also criticized the Israeli Olympic Committee for failing to have a sufficient number of women on its board, and for not having proper representation in various sports. The report said that such decisions were not taken properly, and work against the advancement of sport in Israel.