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Israel Implementation Report 2017-2019

Israel’s third action plan mainly focused on disclosing government-held information, strengthening transparency legislation, and using technology to improve access to government services. While many commitments were substantially or fully implemented, they mostly did not lead to significant changes in government practice due to low levels of ambition. Commitment 5 resulted in notable changes by starting to publish the legislative and budgetary amendments.

Table 1. At a glance

Participating since:  2012
Action plan under review: 3rd
Report type: Implementation
Number of commitments:  14

Action plan development
Is there a Multistakeholder forum: Yes
Level of public influence:  Consult
Acted contrary to OGP process: Yes

Action plan design
Commitments relevant to OGP values:   11(79%)
Transformative commitments:                1 (7%)
Potentially starred:                                 1 (7%)

Action plan implementation
Starred commitments:  0
Completed commitments:  4 (29%)
Commitments with Major DIOG*: 1 (7%)
Commitments with Outstanding DIOG*: 0
Level of public influence:  Inform
Acted contrary to OGP process:  No

*DIOG: Did it Open Government

The Open Government Partnership (OGP) is a global partnership that brings together government reformers and civil society leaders to create action plans that make governments more inclusive, responsive, and accountable. The Independent Reporting Mechanism (IRM) monitors all action plans to ensure governments follow through on commitments. Israel joined OGP in 2012. Since, Israel has implemented three action plans. This report evaluates the implementation of Israel’s third action plan.

General overview of action plan

Over half of the commitments in Israel’s third action plan saw substantial or full completion by the end of the implementation period. However, due to the low levels of ambition, their results in changing government practice were mostly marginal. Some commitments that could have improved public access to information, such as pro-actively disclosing information under the Freedom of Information (FOI) Law and increasing access to information held by local governments, were ultimately not implemented.

Commitment 5 resulted in the publication of legal and budgetary amendments to the Israeli Parliament (Knesset)’s National Legislation Database. This represents a significant improvement to the transparency of legislation and the budget process compared to before the action plan. However, other important information envisioned under the commitment, namely draft bills and secondary legislation, was not published to the database.

Table 2. Noteworthy commitments

Commitment description Status at the end of implementation cycle.
5. Increase the transparency of information about primary and secondary legislation

Make secondary legislation information publicly available through the “Legislation Depository” in the Knesset website

This commitment resulted in the publication of all legal amendments and budgetary amendments to the Knesset’s National Legislation Database. The publication of this information has significantly improved transparency and accessibility of amended legislation and changes to the budget compared to before the action plan. However, the other important information envisioned under this commitment, namely draft bills and secondary legislation, were not added to the database.
8. Promote Legislative Amendments regarding active publication of information

Amend the Freedom of Information Law to increase disclosure obligations for government agencies, with a focus on

This commitment which called for amending Israel’s Freedom of Information (FOI) law, particularly around pro-active disclosure of information, was not fulfilled.
10. Make databases publicly accessible

Map and proactively disclose all government databases to the public.

The implementation of this commitment is ongoing. So far, the number of government databases available on the data.gov website has increased four times compared to before the start of the action plan. However, the current number of available databases is still relatively low compared to other countries.

Five Key IRM Recommendations

The IRM key recommendations are prepared in the IRM Design Report. They aim to inform the development of the next action plan and guide implementation of the current action plan. In Israel’s 2017–2019 Design Report, the IRM recommended the following:

Seek high-level political support (after the formation of a new government) to oversee the OGP process.
Conduct at least three consultation meetings for the multi-stakeholder forum and provide a reasoned response to participants.
Consider other government agencies, such as the Governance and Society division, to lead and coordinate the OGP process
Consider in detail whether future commitments will lead to changes in government practice along with core OGP values of access to information, civic participation, and public accountability.
Have more ambitious and specific goals in future commitments in general, and improve the FOI law in particular.

 

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