Advocating the Proposed “Public Service Law”

In recent months, CECI has embarked upon a large effort to update and renew public sector legislation and create an ethical foundation for its activities.


CECI has concluded that the Israeli legislation, involving the work of the public service, is regulated by outdated laws mostly from the 1950's and 60's.(To view an article written for CECI on this topic,  "Towards Basic Law - Public Service - More Public Responsibility and Social Cohesion” by Prof. Assaf Meydani)

In a seminar entitled "Basic Law: Civil Service – Challenges and Opportunities", we discussed the need to update existing legislation and the main principles which need to be incorporated into such legislation.


The seminar was held in collaboration with Knesset Member Roy Folkman, the participation of Civil Service Commissioner Moshe Dayan, Former Director General of the Prime Minister's Office Raanan Dinur, Justice Ministry Director-General Emmy Palmor and Former Civil Service Commissioner Prof. Itzhak Galnoor. 

Following the seminar, CECI created a work team which convened over the past months to create and propose principles for legislation. The team included senior researchers and government officials, as well as organizations dedicated to governance and public administration.  Discussions were held against the backdrop of recent developments, such as the public service reform and additional processes relating to the public service.

Besides creating this team, we also implemented research tools to examine the global situation in this area. Our review included the examination of case studies from countries in which meaningful legislative updates have been achieved in recent years (Click on the link).  The analysis enabled a better diagnosis of the principles included in the existing legislation.  The goal is to examine how to adjust and adopt these principles into Israeli legislation.

Based on this work, CECI wrote a status report, the conclusion of which is that the main missing component in current legislation is the "ethical framework".  This framework defines the moral foundation by which civil servants are expected to act, where their loyalties should be directed, what their professional obligations include and what their relationships with elected officials should be, etc.


Based on this status report, a number of components were developed towards an improved legislation, including the following:


• The loyalty duty of civil servants - a clear definition stating that civil servants are first and foremost dedicated to the public interest, and they should act accordingly.


• Defining the relationship with the elected politicians’ and the civil servants' commitment to act according to the policy that has been defined by the political system and to provide the political ranks with quality, professional alternatives while protecting public resources.


• Defining a standard set of values for civil servants - such as professionalism, equality, refraining from favoritism and maintaining a high level of service and courtesy towards the public.


• Implementing the "performance" approach - commitment of civil servants to meet targets, initiate publication of information and results, transparency, etc.


These components are currently being developed by CECI into a comprehensive legislative reform.