Now You can Email Government Offices and Kupot Cholim
The Knesset approved the bill requiring all governmental bodies including Kupot Cholim to receive requests and documents by e-mail.
The Knesset plenum approved the second and third reading of the bill initiated by MK Sharan Haskel and MK Biton, requiring all governmental bodies including Kupot Cholim to receive requests and documents from the public through digital means including e-mail. Individuals that find it difficult to use digital means will still be able to use the good old fax machine.
This bill met with many objections from several government ministries that vehemently refused to make the change to e-mail.
MK Sharan Heschel said that "efficient and quality government and accessible public services not only allow openness, growth and improved quality of life, but also help to establish and strengthen democracy in Israel. A regime of officials who are accessible to their associates and friends translates to corruption and public frustration, and efficient, quick and easy service for everyone translates to public trust in the government."
In addition to the ease and efficiency that it brings, the law is also positive from the viewpoint of the environment. Using electronic means will enable the public to transfer and receive documents without printing them, and saving paper is an important environmental consideration. About 35 percent of the trees cut worldwide become paper. Over the past 30 years, the use of paper in the world has increased by 400 percent, with more than 900 tons of paper being used annually in Israel. In addition, the paper manufacturing process is considered one of the most polluting manufacturing processes.
The public bodies to which the law applies are:
Government ministries - excluding the General Security Service, the Intelligence and Special Operations Institute, the Atomic Energy Commission, the Witness Protection Authority, and units and divisions of the Ministry of Defense and its non-service units.
The Israel Defense Forces - regarding units that provide service to the public
Office of the President of the State
The Knesset Administration
State Comptroller's Office
The Center for the Collection of Fines, Fees and Expenses and other bodies having judicial authority by law, all in matters other than judicial or quasi-judicial proceedings
The Israel Police - regarding units or police stations that provide service to the public
The National Fire and Rescue Authority and the Prisons Service - regarding units providing public service
Municipality, local councils or regional councils
A local corporation in which at least half of the capital or at least half the voting power therein is held, directly or indirectly, by a local authority or by another local corporation
The public bodies to which the law does not apply:
Credit card companies
"Israeli Shortcut"chairman Zev Zer heralds this advance in government services as a part of Israel’s service revolution which is easing life for the little citizen. No longer will residents have to send letters, faxes and even show up physically at government offices during limited reception hours. Reducing Israel’s bureaucratic maze means less hours spent on wrangling with government offices and less frustration for everyone.