The Knesset`s Research and Information Center (RIC) on Wednesday marked the 15th anniversary of its establishment with a conference titled ”Employment in a Changing World: Dilemmas, Challenges and Solutions”.
Knesset Director-General Ronen Plot opened the seminar by praising former Knesset Speaker Avraham Burg, who took part in seminar, for his role in founding the center. The RIC, he said, ”is at the same level as all the research centers in the various parliaments we visit, and we host delegations from all over the world that want to learn about the center`s work.” Plot said the Knesset would work to expand the center`s workforce ”in light of the many requests that are coming in from Knesset members.”
Knesset Secretary General Yardena Meller-Horowitz said ”like any other innovative process of change, the establishment of the RIC was initially met with resistance,” while former Speaker Burg said: ”Particularly today, in the era of the Internet and Google searches, the RIC`s work in collecting data and information and examining their credibility is crucial. The RIC is currently fulfilling the exact purpose for which it was created: It is an independent body that provides objective and reliable information to MKs in order to assist them in their work.”
Bank of Israel Governor Dr. Karnit Flug noted that ”just in the past year, an election year, the RIC published more than 100 position papers on a vast array of topics which interest elected officials and the entire public.” The information provided by the RIC ”allows MKs to make more educated decisions,” she told the conference. ”The Knesset`s job is to use this information to introduce better legislation for the citizens of the state, and many times this is in fact what happens.”
RIC Director Dr. Shirley Avrami said the center is focused ”not only on conducting good research, but also on how to make the information available so that Knesset members will be able to use it.” The MKs` ”growing demand for our documents is the reason for our existence, and I thank them for that,” she added.
MK Yael German (Yesh Atid) said she became familiar with the RIC`s work during her tenure as mayor of Herzliya and noted that the center`s publications deal with the ”entire spectrum of public problems.”
”The RIC allows us, as MKs, to do our job with regards to the criticism of the executive branch,” she said. MK Masud Ganaim (Joint List) said the RIC ”adds dignity and prestige” to the Knesset.