Israeli Cabinet Approves Creation of New FOI Unit

23 March 2011

The Israeli Cabinet March 6 approved the creation of a central freedom of information unit, to be housed within the Ministry of Justice.

The unit is authorized to “to guide government ministries in regard to wrong-doing revealed in their handling of FOI requests.” 

In addition, the new office will create a website to provide information, set guidelines for publishing information proactively, establish procedures for handling FOI requests, and collect information on the implementation of the law.  

The expansion of the unit will be considered after two years of operation, according to the resolution establishing it. The unit will not have the power to force disclosures. The head of the unit will be at the level of a ministry’s legal advisor. 

The establishment of an oversight body has been advocated by the Movement for Freedom of Information in Israel, which praised the development in its summary.

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