The chairman of the Internal Affairs and Environment Knesset Committee, MK David Amsalem (Likud) submitted to the Knesset office a bill to improve transparency at local authority committee meetings.
The proposal states that local authorities should be required to record on video and broadcast live the local council meetings on the municipal websites or on another open site. Local authorities will be required to publish the recordings of the meetings as well as the minutes on their internet sites within two weeks of the meetings. The recordings will be available for viewing and for downloading and they will have the same copyrights as government publications. The same regulations will apply to council meetings taking place outside the local authorities' offices.
The bill also proposes allowing residents to be present at the meetings. At present they are allowed to view the meeting on screens outside the meeting room and are not allowed to enter. The new law would allow residents free access to the meetings.
The bill was also initiated by "The Social Guard", a grassroots organization fighting for more transparency in local authorities. The organization asked Amsalem to require local authorities to broadcast their local council meetings on the internet.
The organization's local authorities department representative, Yossi Tzarfati ,welcomed the bill and said that "it fulfills an important principle - that local council meetings, like any other governmental body, should be available for viewing to the broader public."