The Cabinet, this morning, unanimously approved the declaration of intentions and the policy statement formulated by the Prime Minister's Office on relations between sectors in Israel. In the framework of the decision, it was determined – inter alia – that: there will be a continuous dialogue between the sectors, in the format of roundtable discussions; a data bank will be established to ensure transparency; and social criteria will be formulated for Government tenders to operate social services. In continuation of a previous Government decision, the employers tax on non-profit associations ("the third sector") has been canceled.
The Government policy is based on three goals: strengthening cooperation -- and establishing relations – between the sectors, while maintaining the independence of the partners; increased involvement of associations in civil society and in operating social services, while encouraging dialogue with them before policy decisions are made; and encouraging processes that contribute to the strengthening, professionalism, oversight and transparency of civil society, while establishing similar norms for Government and the business sector vis-à-vis their activities in this framework.
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said: "There is an impression that when citizens do a certain action, they immediately talk about the failure of the Government. This is not so. The Government does not need to do, was never designed to do, and will never succeed in doing, everything. The fact that the State of Israel has citizens who care is an inseparable part of our life here and in advanced democracies. In other countries, social action is praised, nobody complains against the Government. Therefore, the effort to establish and institutionalize patterns of communication between sectors is of great importance."
See http://tinyurl.com/222s32 for further details, including – inter alia – the complete text of today's Government decision, the policy statement, the declaration of intentions and a PowerPoint presentation.