The cabinet today approved Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor foreign trade administration deputy director-general Ronit Kan as the next director general of the Antitrust Authority. At the same time, Minister of Industry, Trade and Labor and acting Minister of Finance Ehud Olmert was criticized for the way he chose her, using the search committee as a fig leaf.
Appointed two months ago, the search committee met only once, on last Thursday, when it interviewed 12 of the 30 candidates who met the threshold criteria. Although Olmert asked the search committee to recommend three finalists, committee chairman Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor director general Raanan Dinur added Kan as a fourth candidate, even though she was not one of the three finalists.
The search committee overrode objections by two members, Deputy Attorney General for Civil Law Adv. Tana Spanic and antitrust expert Prof. Zohar Goshen. Dinur, Civil Service commissioner Shmuel Hollander and former Antitrust Authority director general Yoram A. Turbowicz voted in favor of Kan.
The Ministry of Industry declined to comment on the process, but claimed that Kan was not the fourth candidate added to the list of finalists. The ministry declined to answer a question why other candidates were recommended when it was known that Olmert wanted Kan for the job.
Olmert said in response, “As a matter of policy, when choosing among equally qualified candidates for senior posts, I give women preference. Kan has a range of administrative talents and experience on economic issues. She is an excellent and appreciated administrator.”
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes.co.il - on October 30, 2005