Jerusalem, Israel - Feb. 22, 2018 - Speaker of the Knesset Yuli Edelstein recently hosted Ambassadors and Senior Diplomats serving in Israel to an annual event held in the Israeli Knesset Building. February 20 - 22, 2018, Yardena Meller-Horovitz, Secretary General of the Knesset and Albert Sakharovich, Director General of the Knesset welcomed to Jerusalem the first Conference of Heads of Parliamentary Administration at the Knesset.
The Knesset has invested resources in sustainability, accessibility and transparency over the past several years. At this gathering representatives from Armenia, Belarus, Brazil, Canada, Council of Europe, Czech Republic, European Parliament, Germany, Ghana, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Mexico, Moldova, Netherlands, Poland, Portuguese Republic, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Sweden, Swiss Confederation, Uganda, and Ukraine met with Israelis to learn, discuss and share information. The conference languages were English, Polish, Spanish, Russian, and Hebrew.
Tours of "Green Knesset," Beit Hatfusot: Museum of Jewish People in Tel Aviv, and Yad Vashem were included in the schedule, as well as the Western Wall, Mount of Olives and Church of Holy Sepulcher.
Israeli law requires all service websites to be accessible. Robin Treistman, who oversaw the massive project, said the Knesset website is now available in four languages, Hebrew, English, Arabic, and Russian. Documents going back to 1948 had to have accessible templates. Canada in its new legislative building is including a family friendly area." After the first panel on accessibility, Emmanuel Anyimadu of Ghana asked a question which led into the second session after lunch in the Israel Prize Winners Hall, on transparency.
Details of the Knesset structure, the elected 120 members who are to be in the plenum on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, with committee meetings during the week, were presented to the international visitors. Attendance is accessible on line. The illuminated attendance board showed no Members of Knesset in the building as the conference delegates finished their sessions on the first day of meetings.
Details on the digitization of legislation were presented by Knesset lawyer, Gali Ben-Or. Every bill has its own page, its own url. The progress of each law is color coded in stop light colors, with blue indicating it has passed into law. Presently Israel has 952 laws. Quite a change from the last time the system received review, compiled in three aging volumes going back decades.
Also, each Member of Knesset has their own page where all their expenditures are to be listed. Trips and travel expenses must mention sponsors.
While some delegates at the Parliamentary Conference had been in Israel before, for many it was their first visit. The conference was a first step in collaborations to make legislation and governments more efficient, bringing participants from around the globe together, originating from Jerusalem.