Filing a Complaint against Israeli Government Offices
How and When Can You File a Complaint against Israeli Government Offices?
In this article Advocate Joshua Pex, an Israeli lawyer from our law firm, will explain what you need to know about submitting a complaint against Israeli government offices. When dealing with governmental and administrative bodies, individuals are sometimes harmed. In fact it may happen that official Israeli authorities or individual state workers will act outside of their legal bounds.
The ombudsman works to protect Israeli citizens and residents from harmful decisions of governmental and administrative authorities. Since 1971, the state comptroller of Israel has also functioned as ombudsman for the state of Israel. The ombudsman receives and investigates complaints submitted by individuals against public authorities. If an investigation following the complaint against Israeli government offices confirms that there is a problem in a public authority’s operations, the state comptroller and ombudsman will order its Audit Unit to perform an audit and give its recommendations to that public authority.
Which Governmental Bodies Can One File a Complaint Against?
A complaint can be filed against any governmental body which is under the jurisdiction of the state comptroller. This includes government ministries such as the Israeli Ministry of Interior (Misrad HaPanim), the Department of Immigration to Israel office, the border control office, institutions, enterprises, corporations of the state, local municipal authorities, and other bodies or institutions which are specified in the law.
When Can You Not Submit a Complaint against Israeli Government Offices?
Complaints against the president, the Knesset (Israeli parliament) or its members, the government or its ministers, courts, police officers, or prison officers; and complaints made by soldiers or civil servants of administrative bodies will not be investigated by the ombudsman because they are not under his/her jurisdiction. If an individual mistakenly submits a complaint against a body that is not under the state comptroller’s legal jurisdiction, the ombudsman will notify and, if possible, redirect the complainant to the proper body.
What Can One Complain About?
The complaint must be about an act, omission, or delay committed by the administrative authority. This act must have directly harmed or directly withheld a benefit from the complainant or the subject of the complaint if it is being filed on behalf of another person. Also, the complaint must be about an act that was performed illegally, without authorization, contrary to administrative procedures, with undue inflexibility, or with blatant injustice.
Who May Submit a Complaint?
The right to file a complaint with the ombudsman is applicable to any person. This includes but is not limited to citizens, foreigners, residents, tourists, and those abroad. The ombudsman does not accept anonymous complaints. It does, however, accept complaints that are filed by a lawyer on behalf of a client, as long as that person confirms that s/he has given the lawyer power of attorney to represent them in this complaint against Israeli government offices.
How to File a Complaint against Israeli Government Offices
There is no charge for filing a complaint against Israeli government offices. A complaint may be legibly handwritten or typed. It can be written in any language of the complainant which will be translated. The complainant must provide his/her name and address in the complaint. In order to speed up the process, the complainant should provide his/her identification and contact numbers as well.
The complaint can be filed by dropping the complaint into a designated mail box at any public complaint office, by mail, fax, e-mail, through online form submission, or by verbal complaints made in person at a public complaint office. A complaint cannot be submitted by telephone. It is important that the complainant must include details and documents relating to the complaint such as dates, case numbers, name of branch/district of the body being complained about, etc. Copies of correspondence relevant to the complaint should be attached to the complaint as well. It is recommended that the complainant keep original documents for future use.
Our law firm has lawyers with vast experience representing clients in Israel. We would be happy to assist those who wish to turn to the ombudsman of Israel with a complaint or provide legal advice according to our areas of practice. Please contact us for more information.