In response to Gisha petition: Military publishes 12 new procedures

First of three phases. Screenshot of a COGAT procedure

First of three phases. Screenshot of a COGAT procedure

February 5, 2015. Yesterday, the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories posted to its website 12 of the procedures that govern its operations (Hebrew). This is the first of three phases, according to COGAT’s undertaking before the court in a Freedom of Information petition filed by Gisha. Though COGAT had agreed to publish the procedures in Arabic as well, they have so far been published only in Hebrew.

Gisha petitioned the court under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) (AP 51147-05-14 Gisha v. Office of the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories), to instruct COGAT to obey Section 6(a) of the law and make all written guidelines governing its operations available to the public.

In their reply to the petition, the respondents stated that they did not deny their obligation under the FOIA to publish all procedures governing their operations and that they undertook to publish them upon completion of preparation work at their headquarters, which was underway at the time. COGAT said they had published 30 new procedures in October 2014. The court was not satisfied with this general statement and instructed the respondents to submit a detailed plan of the preparation work undertaken at COGAT headquarters for updating the procedures and posting them to the unit’s website.

The respondents’ reply, submitted December 3, 2014 (Hebrew) included a detailed plan for updating and publishing about 60 procedures in Hebrew and Arabic. COGAT undertook to publish the procedures within six months, in three phases, the first of which was implemented yesterday, February 4, 2015.