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Freedom of Information

Freedom of Information

As of August 2008, the Freedom of Information Law applies to public authorities, one of which is “Mekorot”. Pursuant to the law, the definition of “public authority” includes the following entities: government offices, the Office of the country’s President, the Knesset, the State Comptroller, the courts, local authorities, corporations incorporated under law or established by local authorities and government companies. Its purpose is to be a means for discovering information held by a public authority, when – according to the nature of the information – it is held by the authority in trust on behalf of the public. Transparency of information to the public is designed to promote the values of democracy, allowing citizens to take part in public discourse and improve the activities of the authority itself. The law prescribed the manner for handling requests, the concerns the authority should consider when examining a request submitted to it etc. Its implementation consists of the following activities:

• Handling requests for information
• Publishing material on the topic of environmental protection in a proactive manner on the website
• Publishing an annual report as required by law


 

Commissioner in charge of the implementation of the Freedom of Information Law in “Mekorot”: Liat Shemer

 

What information does the law refer to?
All information in the public domain that is written, recorded, filmed, photographed or computerized. “Mekorot” publishes as a public service, free of charge, extensive information relating to its operations on the company's website at: www.mekorot.co.il

What information does the law not refer to?
Information whose disclosure could harm national security, foreign relations, public security or the safety or welfare of any person, and information whose disclosure is a violation of privacy (unless the disclosure is permitted by law) and information which should not be disclosed by law, as well as other information whose disclosure may disrupt the functioning of the public authority, its ability to act and to plan, negotiate, or related to internal discussions and more ... sections listed in the law.

Who can request information?
A resident according to the Population Registry, a corporation incorporated under Israeli law and anyone who is not a citizen or resident – regarding information on his rights in Israel (such as a foreign worker).


Procedures
A request for information must be submitted in writing to the Commissioner. The applicant does not have to indicate the reason for his request. The information will be made available to the applicant in the format it is held in by the Authority and it is not required to process the information according to his needs.
The applicant is entitled to appeal against the decision of the Authority to reject the request for information, to the Administrative Affairs Court.


Payment
The receipt of information is conditional on payment of a fee under the Freedom of Information Law Regulations, however under certain circumstances an exemption from fees may be given:
• Information the person requests on himself
• Information that must be made available to the public
Although exemption from the fee as set forth above, the costs of production and handling costs can be charged (starting from the third hour).