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NEW YORK (JTA) — A special panel tasked with examining the governance and strategic vision of the Claims Conference is recommending that the organization shift its long-term focus to Holocaust education and remembrance, JTA has learned.
The panel was appointed last year following a scandal involving the Claims Conference’s failure to detect a $57 million fraud scheme there that persisted until 2009. It also recommended cutting in half the size of the board’s executive committee and the number of special board committees.
The special panel did not, however, recommend any changes to the composition of the Claims Conference’s board, which critics have complained is unrepresentative because it does not include enough Israeli or survivor groups and includes too many once-robust Jewish organizations that are quite small today.
The new recommendations, outlined in two hefty documents sent to Claims Conference board members last week and this week and obtained by JTA, will go to a vote when the board holds its annual meeting in New York on July 8.
Consisting of board members and outside experts and guided by Accenture consultants, the special panel was charged with reviewing the administration, management and governance structure of the Claims Conference, which obtains Holocaust restitution and compensation from Germany and Austria. The central question the panel examined was what the Claims Conference should do after the last of the survivors dies.

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