Lindenstrauss and Rivlin 311.
(photo credit: Marc Sellem Israel/The Jerusalem Post)
State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss submitted the annual State Ombudsman’s
report to Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin on Monday.
The report, which
compiles public complaints about all the government ministries and state
agencies and institutions found that 14,000 complaints were lodged in 2011, an
all-time record and a 44 percent increase since 2005.
Lindenstrauss for the report, stating that the Ombudsman’s office had become a
central institution and that the large increase in the number of complaints
filed to the office was a testament to the trust that the public placed in
Lindenstrauss described the submission of the report as a day of
celebration for Israeli democracy and citizenry.
“The ombudsman’s office
is an independent body and in recent years it has reached out to the public by
opening branches in cities like Beersheba and Nazareth, and soon in Kiryat
Shmona and in Lod.”
Lindenstrauss commented that while in most other
countries the state comptroller and the ombudsman were separate entities, the
combination of both roles under a single roof, as it is in Israel, was “a
success story, with one agency complementing the other.”
Office’s Director General Hillel Shamgar said the combination enabled the office
to identify problems that are beyond the scope of an individual
According to the report, at 30% Israel features a higher
amount of justified complaints than most other countries. The public bodies that
featured the highest percentage of justified complaints were the Israel
Broadcasting Association at 45%, the Transportation Ministry at 42% and the
police at 39%.
The institution that received the largest number of
complaints was the National Insurance Institute, with 1,332. In second place
came the police with 689 complaints, and the Finance Ministry with 482
Rounding up the top five were the Ministry of Interior and
the Ministry of Justice.
Tel Aviv was the municipality that received the
most complaints, followed by Jerusalem, Haifa and Beersheba.
featured examples of complaints that the Ombudsman’s office received on a range
of issues from sexual discrimination in the workplace to failure to treat
ongoing noise disturbances in local authorities.
Each complaint is
described along with the Ombudsman’s analysis and the responsible body’s
response to the complaint.
One of the most important matters that the
Ombudsman’s Office deals with is the treatment of workplace
The report stated that the number of whistleblowers who
turned to the Ombudsman to complain about improper treatment in the workplace
following their actions ballooned from 58 last year to 68 this year.
such complaint featured in the report was lodged by a Haifa municipal worker who
was fired after reporting on corruption in City Hall.
According to the
report, the man, who worked as a parking inspector, revealed that his managers
had instructed him to avoid fining their associates, and even canceled tickets
given to people close to them. He was fired shortly after writing to the mayor
about the corruption.
After receiving the complaint, the Ombudsman
conducted an investigation and finding the complaint justified, ordered the city
to hire him back.