Survey: Justice Is Ministry Most Riddled With Bureaucracy, Say Businesses

Their favorite agency, all other things being equal: National Insurance Institute.

The government body businesses most hate to deal with because of its red tape is the Justice Ministry. The easiest for businesses to deal with bureaucracy-wise is the National Insurance Institute, says the Federation of Israeli Chambers of Commerce in its Bureacracy Index for the first quarter of 2012, published on Monday.

The Bureacracy Index measures the quality of service and the "customer experience" provided by the various government bodies. Compilation of the index is based on four criteria, the first being the availability of service representatives.

Uriel Lynn
Tomer Appelbaum

The second is the time required to handle requests. The third is customer relations, which has to do with the "customer experience," and the fourth is the quality of the solution. The Chambers of Commerce also studies procedures within the ministries as they process applications.

The surveys boil down to a grade: 1 is hopelessly bogged down in red tape and 10 is smooth bureaucratic procedures.

Seen over time, the government has been improving as far as bureaucratic obstructions are concerned. The higher the index, the lesser the red tape strangling businesses. The index, which has been compiled and published since the start of 2008, hit a new high in the first quarter of 2012, of 6.84 points. Its previous record high had been a year before.

A number of ministries demonstrated improvement, according to the surveyed businesses: health, transportation, and finance, and so did the National Insurance Institute. But several showed a turn for the worse: justice, interior, and the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor.

To compile the index, the researchers examined commonly-needed government functions such as issuing or renewing licenses, passports and other official documents, and the facility of making payments.

The NII showed the biggest improvement from the previous quarter, the survey found.

The second best performer year over year was the Industry, Trade and Labor Ministry, followed by the Transportation Ministry.

The Justice Ministry, which is presently headed by Yaakov Neeman, continued to bring up the rear, as it has since it was first included in the index a year ago.

The average time required to handle requests by government in general was 2.8 times the time businesses would consider reasonable: eight and a half weeks instead of three, the survey found.

The Justice Ministry had an average time for dealing with requests of 26.5 weeks.

Uriel Lynn, the president of the Chambers of Commerce, commented that here has been a significant improvement in government service and that the business sector finds itself less embroiled in red tape - but a long way remains to go.

Removing or lowering bureaucratic hurdles would go a way to boosting economic growth without adding extra budgets, Lynn said.