Can Speedier Phone Service Improve Public Trust in Goverment?

Initiative aimed at improving government services will set a maximum time within which calls must be answered.

An initiative aimed at improving government services would set a maximum time within which calls must be answered. The plan also calls on the government to set goals to address citizens' problems and provide increased access to services online.

Drafted by Improvement of Government Services Minister Michael Eitan, the plan will be submitted to the cabinet today. Government ministries would be required to answer callers within 20 seconds, and 75% of callers would have their issues addressed during the first call.

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According to the initiative, 90% of people would receive 90% of the services available after waiting for no more than 30 minutes; also, 80% of government services would be computerized and people would be able to schedule appointments online. The plan also requires that a review of government services be published annually and that the government set up a centralized customer service division.

In addition, all government offices would have the same reception hours.

The proposal calls for an interministerial committee to examine how to put the reforms into place, and then submit its conclusions by October 1. The whole process is to be budgeted at NIS 16 million in 2011 and NIS 34 million in 2012.

"Improving government services is part of an inclusive process designed to build trust between the citizen and the state - based on transparency, responsibility and reporting, and resting on the principles of open governance," said Eitan. "The plan will improve government service, reduce barriers and allow citizens to manage their affairs with greater ease."