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Israel

Paperless Government (IL0034)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: Israel Action Plan 2017-2019

Action Plan Cycle: 2017

Status: Inactive

Institutions

Lead Institution: E-Government, the Government ICT Authority

Support Institution(s): The Prime Minister’s Office – Director-General’s office, the Government ICT Authority, Digital Israel, the Ministry of Justice – Department of Counseling and Legislation, Administration of Border Crossings, Population and Immigration, the Cyber Division

Policy Areas

E-Government, Public Participation, Public Service Delivery

IRM Review

IRM Report: Israel Design Report 2017-2019

Starred: Pending IRM Review

Early Results: Pending IRM Review

Design i

Verifiable: Yes

Relevant to OGP Values: Not Relevant

Potential Impact:

Implementation i

Completion:

Description

What is the public problem that the commitment will address?
The communications between citizens and the government need to be improved, with an emphasis on reducing the bureaucratic burden, improving the service to citizens (with an emphasis on simplicity, convenience and availability), information security, protecting the privacy of personal information, efficiency and government savings. What is the commitment?
Within the scope of Government Resolution 1008, the decision was made to provide an online communications channel for the public’s use, for the purpose of communicating with government ministries. As part of this course of action, the commitment will include the establishment of a digital communications channel through a personal e-mail address – at the citizen’s decision and according to his choice, which will serve as an official e-mail address for all government ministries and, in the future, it will be possible to expand this arrangement also to additional public bodies, subject to any law. In order to implement this policy, the government will establish a central database of e-mail addresses, which the ministries will use to make contact with citizens who will opt to communicate with the government via this channel, and will also enable government ministries to send communications to these addresses for the purposes of reminders and initiating contact, subject to the citizen’s consent. Concurrently, a communications channel will be developed for sending text messages or voice messages to citizens, while using the citizen’s mobile phone number, and also in this instance, this process will be implemented solely with the approval and consent of the citizen.; How will the commitment contribute to solve the public problem?
In the era when most communications are via e-mail and smartphone, enabling online communications between citizens and the government constitutes a significant leap in making information and services publicly accessible. The immediate availability, convenience and ease of use of online communications enables greater flexibility and adjustment to citizens’ pace of living, while balancing between accessibility and privacy protection. These aspects also promote the above-mentioned objectives, such as – improving the service and reducing the bureaucratic burden imposed on citizens and businesses. Why is this commitment relevant to OGP values?
Promoting online communications channels contributes to the values of Open Government, harnesses technology to improve government service to citizens and increases the access to services, through increasing the access to government ministries, streamlining the work processes opposite government bodies, and saves time, money and paper.; Additional information
Implementing this commitment requires the establishment of a database of e-mail addresses and mobile phone numbers of citizens, which will be established and maintained by the Administration of Border Crossings, Population and Immigration. At issue is not registry details, but data that will be stored in this central government database. Inter alia, the process will include analyzing the technical and legal possibility of collecting and improving existing data on e-mail addresses and mobile phone numbers that were already collected in the past by various ministries. The use of the digital channel will solely be at the citizens’ discretion, using an “opt-in” approach.; Milestone Activity with a verifiable deliverable: Collecting half a million addresses (subject to the receipt of legal approval of this course of action)
January 2018
March 2018
Linking of at least two ministries
January 2018
March 2018
Sending acquisitions
January 2018
March 2018
Pilot dispatch to e-mail addresses
April 2018
June 2018 Analyzing the results and decision-making about continuation of the process
July 2018
September 2018

IRM Midterm Status Summary

12. Paperless government

Language of the commitment as it appears in the action plan: [34]

“Within the scope of Government Resolution 1008, the decision was made to provide an online communications channel for the public’s use, for the purpose of communicating with government ministries. As part of this course of action, the commitment will include the establishment of a digital communications channel through a personal e-mail address – at the citizen’s decision and according to his choice, which will serve as an official e-mail address for all government ministries and, in the future, it will be possible to expand this arrangement also to additional public bodies, subject to any law. In order to implement this policy, the government will establish a central database of e-mail addresses, which the ministries will use to make contact with citizens who will opt to communicate with the government via this channel, and will also enable government ministries to send communications to these addresses for the purposes of reminders and initiating contact, subject to the citizen’s consent. Concurrently, a communications channel will be developed for sending text messages or voice messages to citizens, while using the citizen’s mobile phone number, and also in this instance, this process will be implemented solely with the approval and consent of the citizen.”

Milestones

12.1 Collecting half a million addresses (subject to the receipt of legal approval of this course of action)

12.2 Linking of at least two ministries

12.3 Sending acquisitions

12.4 Pilot dispatch to e-mail addresses

12.5 Analyzing the results and decision-making about continuation of the process

Start Date: January 2018

End date: September 2018

Context and Objectives

Currently, communication between citizens and government agencies in Israel are often inefficient and time consuming. Many agencies will only correspond with citizens via postal mail or fax machines (which few citizens have regular access to). These channels of communication also have a negative effect on the environment. To change this reality, the government had adopted resolution 1008, [35] which this commitment seeks to implement.

This commitment is not directly relevant to OGP values. The government claims that implementing it will “promote . . . objectives such as – improving the service and reducing the bureaucratic burden imposed on citizens and businesses” and help streamline the work processes for government bodies and save time, money, and paper. While these are all worthwhile objectives, their connection to OGP values is unclear.

The nature of the commitment (the collection of emails from citizens, dispatching to them, etc.) implies that it is more focused on making citizens accessible to the government rather than the other way around. This might prove to be a useful step in streamlining bi-directional communications between government and citizens (for instance, sending official notices through email), but it is not required to support citizens’ access to government. This commitment (like Commitment 11) was not discussed with CSOs during the action plan development process.

The various milestones under this commitment are mostly verifiable. The government should be able to report on its success/failure to collect the required emails along with the legal objections, if any, within the government. However, the commitment’s overall potential impact is low. Under some scenarios, the channels of communications that will be opened between citizens and government could theoretically be used to support public participation in government processes and to share information. However, while this commitment could potentially improve the government’s plan of going “paperless,” its potential to open government in practice is low due to its internal nature.

Next steps

The IRM researchers recommend not including this commitment in future action plans. Moving forward, however, the IRM researchers recommend finding ways in which the database of emails can be used not to merely improve communication between government and citizens and access to services but also to open channels for consultation and engagement processes in offline and online settings.

[34] Government OCT Authority, Open Government Action Plan for 2018–2019, pgs. 43–45 https://www.opengovpartnership.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/Israel_Action-Plan_2017-2019_EN.pdf
[35] Government resolution 1008 of January 17, 2016. Available at: https://www.gov.il/he/Departments/policies/2016_dec1008 [in Hebrew]

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, Audits and Controls

  7. Transparency Criteria

    IL0029, 2017, Public Participation

  8. Publication of Information Legislative Amendments

    IL0030, 2017, Legislation & Regulation

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

    IL0031, 2017, E-Government

  10. Publicly Accessible Databases

    IL0032, 2017, E-Government

  11. Remotely Accessing Government Services

    IL0033, 2017, Capacity Building

  12. Paperless Government

    IL0034, 2017, E-Government

  13. Open-Source Code

    IL0035, 2017, E-Government

  14. Evaluation of Open Government Plan

    IL0036, 2017, OGP

  15. Contracting Between the Government and Private Sector

    IL0016, 2015, Open Contracting and Procurement

  16. Unified Website for Government Offices

    IL0017, 2015, Records Management

  17. Data.Gov

    IL0018, 2015, Open Data

  18. Public's Satisfaction with Government Services

    IL0019, 2015, Public Participation

  19. ATI on Legislation

    IL0020, 2015, Records Management

  20. Civic Participation Tools

    IL0021, 2015, E-Government

  21. Civic Participation

    IL0022, 2015, Public Participation

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

    IL0014, 2015, Capacity Building

  23. Web for FOI

    IL0015, 2015, Right 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 Transparency

  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, Public Participation

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

    IL0007, 2012, Judiciary

  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