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Jewish Agency Acts to Stem Spending Abuses by Officials

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The Jewish Agency and the World Zionist Organization are clamping down on spending by senior officials.

New policies announced last week will eliminate the use of corporate credit cards, require detailed monthly expense reports and ban the personal use of “frequent flier” bonuses accrued through agency travel.

Also, everyone, including the chairman and the directors-general, will be accountable to someone for their expenditures.

The rules were recommended by a committee formed last February after the revelation that the agency’s chairman, Simcha Dinitz, had personal credit card bills paid by the Jewish Agency and was otherwise lax in handling expenses.

The district attorney here has reportedly recommended that Dinitz be charged on fraud counts that could bring up to a 10-year sentence.

The new rules apply to about 50 agency officials.

Agency Treasurer Hanan Ben-Yehuda told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that the procedures for work-related expenses already on the books provided too little accountability and too many loopholes. “Now, everyone is responsible to someone else.”

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