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Israel

Government Call Centers (IL0026)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: Israel Action Plan 2017-2019

Action Plan Cycle: 2017

Status: Inactive

Institutions

Lead Institution: Unit for the Improvement of Government Service to the Public, the Government ICT Authority

Support Institution(s): E-Government, all government ministries, The winning supplier

Policy Areas

Marginalized Communities, Public Participation, Public Service Delivery, Social Accountability Measures & Feedback Loops

IRM Review

IRM Report: Israel Implementation Report 2017-2019, Israel Design Report 2017-2019

Starred: Pending IRM Review

Early Results: Did Not Change

Design i

Verifiable: Yes

Relevant to OGP Values: Access to Information

Potential Impact:

Implementation i

Completion:

Description

What is the public problem that the commitment will address?
There is a need for a central government response, in which information about the various government services and the various service channels for receiving them will be provided to the public, while encouraging the public to use the self-service channels. The response will be provided in various languages, through a multi-channel response, and will make the service accessible to the handicapped. What is the commitment?
Setting up a central government call center. How will the commitment solve the public contribute to problem?
The central government telephone response system will provide answers to questions relating to the various government services, such as: providing support for online services, finding information in the various government entities' websites, providing general information about the various government services (contacting options, operating hours, addresses, procedures for receiving services and more), providing information about processes being implemented with the involvement of a number of government entities. Why is this commitment relevant to OGP values?
Transparency: making information publicly accessible about government services, thus improving the access to information.; Milestone Activity with a verifiable deliverable: Selecting the winner supplier
7/2017
12/2017
Set up
1/2018
4/2018
Operation
5/2018

IRM Midterm Status Summary

4. Setting up a central call center for government ministries

Language of the commitment as it appears in the action plan: [10]

“There is a need for a central government response, in which information about the various government services and the various service channels for receiving them will be provided to the public, while encouraging the public to use the self-service channels. The response will be provided in various languages, through a multi-channel response, and will make the service accessible to the handicapped.

The central government telephone response system will provide answers to questions relating to the various government services, such as: providing support for online services, finding information in the various government entities’ websites, providing general information about the various government services (contacting options, operating hours, addresses, procedures for receiving services and more), providing information about processes being implemented with the involvement of a number of government entities.”

Milestone

4.1 Selecting the winner supplier

4.2 Set up

4.3 Operation

Start Date: July 2017

End Date: May 2018

Context and Objectives

Government bureaucracy in Israel has been known for years as cumbersome and as having low standards of service. [11] According to a 2011 report of the State Comptroller, heavy bureaucracy pushes many citizens to use “fixers” in their encounters with government agencies. [12] The report also describes how agencies often require citizens to provide them with information they already have or how they are required to scatter between different offices to fulfill their rights to related services. For instance, people with disabilities were required to be examined by different medical committees for different services such as monthly allowance and a handicapped parking permit. [13]

This commitment aims to improve public services to the public by creating one central call center that residents can call to receive information about different services. It continues from Commitment 10 in Israel’s first action plan (2012–2013), which focused on the planning and preparation for the call center, where as the current commitment envisages its launch. [14]  Because the call center could consolidate basic and existing information, such as addresses of government buildings and email addresses of government agencies or service suppliers, the commitment is relevant to the OGP value of access to information. However, it would not necessarily offer any transparency of the way agencies operate or other information to help the public understand government operations.

The creation of the call center is easily verified. Its potential impact regarding the goal of improving government service to the public is minor. It could save citizens the need to search for relevant information in different sources and could be especially important for senior citizens and citizens with disabilities who have difficulty accessing the information, and do not easily enjoy the relevant information online. However, because the call center will only consolidate basic information, the potential impact is minor.

Next steps

Since the call center is already fully operational and (at phone no. 1299), the IRM researchers do not recommend carrying this commitment forward to future action plans.

[10] Government OCT Authority, Open Government Action Plan for 2018–2019, pgs. 21–22 https://www.opengovpartnership.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/Israel_Action-Plan_2017-2019_EN.pdf
[11] A 2009 OECD shows that administrative burdens on business start-ups is “a good deal higher than OECD average”. OECD Economic Surveys: Israel 2009, p. 136 (2010). A 90sUS State Department study reported, “the extensive red tape involved when dealing with the Israeli government” as one of three main reasons for the low level of foreign investment in the country. Assaf Razin, Efraim Sadka and Henry Kaufman, The Economy of Modern Israel: Malaise and Promise p. 220 (1993).
[12] 62 annual audit report for the year 2011, Part I, p. 4, [in Hebrew] available at: https://www.mevaker.gov.il/he/Reports/Report_117/983a254c-f68f-4ec6-b630-a5ef74cdeba7/7513.pdf
[13] Id., p. 5.

IRM End of Term Status Summary

4. Setting up a central call center for government ministries

Language of the commitment as it appears in the action plan: [21]

“There is a need for a central government response, in which information about the various government services and the various service channels for receiving them will be provided to the public, while encouraging the public to use the self-service channels. The response will be provided in various languages, through a multi-channel response, and will make the service accessible to the handicapped.

The central government telephone response system will provide answers to questions relating to the various government services, such as: providing support for online services, finding information in the various government entities’ websites, providing general information about the various government services (contacting options, operating hours, addresses, procedures for receiving services and more), providing information about processes being implemented with the involvement of a number of government entities.”

Milestone

4.1 Selecting the winner supplier

4.2 Set up

4.3 Operation

Start Date: July 2017

End Date: May 2018

This commitment aimed to improve public service delivery by creating one central call center for residents to receive information about different services. [22] The underlying issue that this commitment was to meet was the low standards of service in Israeli government bureaucracy. [23] It continued a commitment from Israel’s first action plan, which focused on the planning of the call center, and this commitment was to implement it.

The commitment was fully completed. While there was a delay in launching the center compared to the original timeframe in the action plan, that delay was not major, especially given the scope of the project. (It was launched in August 2018 instead of May 2018.) The IRM researchers tested the call center by calling a few times and talking to service representatives, and found it to be responsive and comprehensive in the services it offers. Thus, the commitment was implemented not only by the book, but also in spirit. Overall, however, this commitment’s implementation has not opened any new information or participation channels to citizens.

[21] “Open Government Action Plan for 2018–2019”, Government OCT Authority, pp. 21–22, https://www.opengovpartnership.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/Israel_Action-Plan_2017-2019_EN.pdf.

[22] For a more detailed description of the commitment, see “Open Government Action Plan for 2018–2019”, Government OCT Authority, pg. 20, https://www.opengovpartnership.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/Israel_Action-Plan_2017-2019_EN.pdf.

[23] Ibid.


Commitments

  1. Civic Participation Processes in Government

    IL0023, 2017, Capacity Building

  2. Resolution Implementation Reports

    IL0024, 2017, E-Government

  3. Action Plan Performance Indicators

    IL0025, 2017, E-Government

  4. Government Call Centers

    IL0026, 2017, Marginalized Communities

  5. National Legislation Database

    IL0027, 2017, E-Government

  6. National Plan for the Reduction of Greenhouse Gas Emissions

    IL0028, 2017, Anti-Corruption

  7. Transparency Criteria

    IL0029, 2017, Access to Information

  8. Publication of Information Legislative Amendments

    IL0030, 2017, Access to Information

  9. Transparency, Participation, Accessibility of Information in Local Authorities and Ministry of the Interior

    IL0031, 2017, E-Government

  10. Publicly Accessible Databases

    IL0032, 2017, Access to Information

  11. Remotely Accessing Government Services

    IL0033, 2017, Access to Justice

  12. Paperless Government

    IL0034, 2017, E-Government

  13. Open-Source Code

    IL0035, 2017, Access to Information

  14. Evaluation of Open Government Plan

    IL0036, 2017,

  15. Contracting Between the Government and Private Sector

    IL0016, 2015, Access to Information

  16. Unified Website for Government Offices

    IL0017, 2015,

  17. Data.Gov

    IL0018, 2015, Access to Information

  18. Public's Satisfaction with Government Services

    IL0019, 2015, Public Participation

  19. ATI on Legislation

    IL0020, 2015, Open Regulations

  20. Civic Participation Tools

    IL0021, 2015, E-Government

  21. Civic Participation

    IL0022, 2015, Open Regulations

  22. Review of the Governmental Freedom of Information Unit's Authority

    IL0014, 2015, Access to Information

  23. Web for FOI

    IL0015, 2015, Access to Information

  24. Establishing a Cross-Sector Forum That Promotes Open Government Programs

    IL0001, 2012, Public Participation

  25. State Budget Information Accessibility

    IL0002, 2012, Fiscal Openness

  26. Publication of Work Plans in Government Offices

    IL0003, 2012, E-Government

  27. Establishing a System of Measurement and Review and Publicizing a Government Service Report to the Public

    IL0004, 2012, Capacity Building

  28. Cooperation Between the Government and the Public in Developing Online Applications

    IL0005, 2012, Private Sector

  29. Public Participation in Policymaking Processes

    IL0006, 2012, Open Regulations

  30. Establishing a Freedom of Information Unit in the Ministry of Justice

    IL0007, 2012, Access to Information

  31. Developing Technology Infrastructure for Providing Government Services

    IL0008, 2012, E-Government

  32. Inter-Office Committee for Improving Business Processes

    IL0009, 2012, E-Government

  33. Creating a Government Contact Center (NAMAL - Meeting Point for Citizens)

    IL0010, 2012, E-Government

  34. Online Catalog of Government Services

    IL0011, 2012, E-Government

  35. Establishing a Unit for Government Service to the Public

    IL0012, 2012, Public Service Delivery

  36. Establishing a National Information Technology (IT) Unit Headed by a Government CIO

    IL0013, 2012, E-Government

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