ISRAEL | Office of the State Comptroller and Ombudsman plays prominent role during coronavirus crisis

To date, the Office of the Ombudsman has received over 1,200 complaints relating to the coronavirus crisis. 79% of the complaints in which the investigation has been completed were found justified or were rectified.

In the middle of March, Israel, like many other countries, went into lockdown as a result of the spread of Covid-19. The consequences of the lockdown were felt immediately, as offices, companies, businesses, to name a few, were forced to close their gates and people were confined to the close vicinity of their homes.

The Office of the Ombudsman at the Office of the State Comptroller and Ombudsman (the Office), has continued to provide services to the public, within the restrictions imposed by the relevant government authorities. Over 1,200 of the complaints received during the lockdown and since relate to the coronavirus crisis. Most of the complaints concern the National Insurance Institute (NII), the body responsible for paying unemployment benefit to the thousands of employees who were forced to leave their jobs or take unpaid vacation as a result of the lockdown. Complaints about other issues relating to the coronavirus were filed against the health services and the Israel Tax Authority, as well as the National Housing Company, the Israel Postal Company and others.

According to State Comptroller and Ombudsman, Mr. Matanyahu Englman: "The importance of handling a specific complaint is that it is also possible to learn from it about a widespread problem. In these cases, the Office points out the need to rectify the general defect, both in order to alleviate as much as possible the harm already caused by it and to prevent future harm to others".

In the words of Dr. Esther Ben-Haim, Head of the Office of the Ombudsman:  "As at all times, but even more so in this difficult and challenging coronavirus period, we are making every effort to render the Office accessible to populations that deserve special attention, particularly those living in the periphery".

The Office continues to work tirelessly to assist the public and to bring about immediate solutions to the many problems arising from the pandemic that has shaken the world.


Source: Office of the State Comptroller and Ombudsman of Israel

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