Knesset Takes Steps Toward Greater Transparency

23 July 2015

Under MK Stav Shaffir’s advocacy and leadership, the Knesset decided to form a special committee to improve transparency and public access to government information. The move was strongly advocated by opposition head MK Yitzhak Herzog and had support across the political spectrum. The Shatil-established and led Open Democracy Forum also participated in this effort, which particularly targets government budget decisions for greater transparency and accountability.

Shaffir, who was one of the leaders of the 2011 social protests, told The Marker (Israel’s leading economic publication): “I am part of the generation that grew up with ready access to information that is not hidden from the public. My generation expects to be involved and take part in decisions leading the state and our society forward. Unfortunately…there are still countless dark corners to illuminate …by setting new norms for the conduct of government institutions.”

In 1998, Shatil, together with NIF, flagship NIF grantee the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI), and the Center for Jewish Pluralism guided the passage of Israel’s first comprehensive Freedom of Information Law, safeguarding the right of the pubic to access information in the hands of local and national authorities. The current achievement is one more step against corruption and toward greater openness in government.

Photo Credit: Flickr user exeteranna