MK Lavie: ‘The Israel Postal Service’s very own Black Friday.’
The debate held today at the Economics Committee, was requested by MK Dr Aliza Lavie and MK Amar Bar Lev. The debate was immediately requested owing to the investigatory program, ‘Hakol Kolel,’ on Channel 10, revealing the Israel Postal Company had been conducting auctions on unclaimed packages and making profit on those auctions.
Today, a discussion was held at the Knesset Economics Committee, initiated by MK Aliza Lavie, together with MK Amar Bar-Lev, in order to clarify the issue of the public auctions and the unclaimed packages. The Israel Postal Service provided answers, some satisfactory and some unsatisfactory. In the coming weeks, we hope to receive clarifications from the Postal Service to see how they will be dealing with their deficiencies, making the process more transparent.
The particularly troubling investigation that was brought to light on Channel 10’s, ‘Hakol Kolel,’ program whereby the Israel Postal Service has been conducting public auctions for products worth thousands of shekels, that have been marked as ‘missing packages,’ packages that for some unknown reason have failed to reach their destination. According to the investigation, the auctions have been occurring every six months and most of the public is unaware of the existence of these auctions. Further, many of the buyers are themselves postal workers and know of the existence of the auctions by virtue of working for the company. The products are sold at lower than market prices – with purchasing gaps of more than 10%. The sales proceeds of the auctions have been appropriated by the Israel Postal Service, despite the packages having already been purchased and paid for by the customers when they were ordered. The Ombudsman for complaints by the public pointed out that the Israel Postal Service has one of the highest levels of complaints that they receive, either because packages have not reached their destination, they have arrived late, or they have arrived in an unsatisfactory condition. The findings of this report have indeed raised troubling ethical questions about the conduct of the mail, primarily, who has authorized the auctions, how the decision to have these auctions was made and why the postal workers hold primary entitlement with regards to participation.