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Republic of Moldova

Public Service Delivery (MD0074)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: Republic of Moldova Action Plan 2018-2020

Action Plan Cycle: 2018

Status: Active

Institutions

Lead Institution: Public Services Agency, E- Governance Agency, State Chancellery, Ministry of Justice

Support Institution(s): NA

Policy Areas

Capacity Building, E-Government, Judiciary, Justice, Local Commitments

IRM Review

IRM Report: Republic of Moldova Transitional Results Report 2019-2020, Republic of Moldova Design Report 2019-2020

Starred: Pending IRM Review

Early Results: Marginal

Design i

Verifiable: Yes

Relevant to OGP Values: Access to Information , Public Accountability

Potential Impact:

Implementation i

Completion:

Description

6. Developing citizen-centered public services by optimizing and streamlining public service delivery processes
Lead implementing
agency/actor Public Services Agency, E- Governance Agency, State Chancellery, Ministry of Justice
Commitment description
What is the public problem that the commitment will address? The commitment aims at addressing the issues concerning bureaucratic procedures and administrative burden on citizens and business environment in public service delivery. In addition, it has the goal of contributing to overcoming the problems concerning narrow institutional approach and the modus operandi of the public institutions, when it comes to public services delivery.
What is the commitment? Developing citizen-centered public services by optimizing and streamlining public service delivery processes.
How will the commitment contribute to solve the public problem? The implementation of the commitment will contribute to the improvement the citizens’ knowledge about the use of electronic public services. Additionally, the commitment aims at reengineering and digitization of 3 public services and facilitating access to information about public services and justice. Moreover, the commitment contains activities related to the development of multifunctional network centers for delivery of public services across the country and modernization of call center of the Public Services Agency.
Why is this commitment relevant to OGP values? Technology and innovation for transparency and accountability
Milestone Activity with a verifiable deliverable Responsible authority Deadline Progress indicators
Organizing communication and training activities for citizens and business environment on the use of electronic public services State Chancellery,
E-Governance Agency,
Ministry of Economy and Infrastructure,
Organization for Small and Medium Enterprise Sector Development Annual Number of trained people,
Annual communication and training programs developed
Modernization of 3 public services (issuing the driver’s license, granting unemployment benefits, disability determination process and work capacity) E-Governance Agency, Public Services Agency,
Ministry of Health, Labor and Social Protection, National Employment Agency, National House of Social Insurance,
National Council for Determining Disability and Work Capacity Quarter II, 2020 3 public services modernized
Piloting and institutionalizing unified centers for providing governmental administrative services (CUPS) State Chancellery,
E-Governance Agency Quarter IV, 2020 At least 10 unified providers of governmental administrative services operational
Developing the national network of multifunctional centers for delivery of public services Public Services Agency Quarter IV, 2019 Functional network, number of covered domains, number of services provided
Modernizing the call center of the Public Services Agency Public Services Agency Quarter IV, 2020 Modernized and functional call center
Extending the network of paralegals in rural and urban localities for the provision of primary legal assistance and access to justice National Legal Aid Council,
Ministry of Justice Annual Network of paralegals expanded by 10 units annually,
number of beneficiaries of primary legal aid offered by paralegals
Creating an electronic system for recording interviews between the probation counselor and subject of probation in order to ensure the transparency and prevention of corruption acts Ministry of Justice; National Probation Inspectorate Quarter IV, 2020 Electronic system created and implemented,
number of meetings

IRM Midterm Status Summary

6. Citizen-centered public services

Language of the commitment as it appears in the action plan: Developing citizen-centered public services by optimizing and streamlining public service delivery processes [80]

6.1 Organizing communication and training activities for citizens and business environment on the use of electronic public services

6.2 Modernization of 3 public services (issuing the driver’s license, granting unemployment benefits, disability determination process and work capacity)

6.3 Piloting and institutionalizing unified centers for providing governmental administrative services (CUPS)

6.4 Developing the national network of multifunctional centers for delivery of public services

6.5 Modernizing the call center of the Public Services Agency

6.6 Extending the network of paralegals in rural and urban localities for the provision of primary legal assistance and access to justice

6.7 Creating an electronic system for recording interviews between the probation counselor and subject of probation in order to ensure the transparency and prevention of corruption acts

Start Date: 2019              

End Date: 2020

Commitment Overview

Verifiability

OGP Value Relevance (as written)

Potential Impact

Completion

Did It Open Government?

Not specific enough to be verifiable

Specific enough to be verifiable

Access to Information

Civic Participation

Public Accountability

Technology & Innovation for Transparency & Accountability

None

Minor

Moderate

Transformative

Not Started

Limited

Substantial

Completed

Worsened

Did Not Change

Marginal

Major

Outstanding

6. Overall

Assessed at the end of action plan cycle.

Assessed at the end of action plan cycle.

                                       

Context and Objectives

In 2015, Moldova launched an assessment of its public administration, based on the public administration principles developed by SIGMA [81] for the EU’s European Neighborhood Partnership countries. [82] The results were used to develop a 2016-2020 [83] strategy and action plan for the public services modernization reform 2017-2021. [84]

The first three milestones of this commitment are taken from a major E-Governance Agency project to modernize public services delivery, financed by the World Bank. [85] The organization of the communication and knowledge-sharing activities for citizens and businesses on the use of electronic public services will be covered by all public authorities delivering such services [86] (6.1). While there is currently a project-level communication strategy in place, each public authority involved in the project is responsible for its own communication of e-services, and there is no supervisory authority tasked with monitoring the activities of all authorities. [87] Furthermore, three public services (issuing drivers licenses, granting unemployment benefits, and disability determination process and work capacity) will be digitized in the first year of the project (6.2). The project also involves piloting and institutionalizing Unified Centers for Public Service Delivery (CUPS) (6.3). If implemented, they could provide clearer and more easily accessible services to citizens.

As part of the public administration reform strategy, the government has created the Public Services Agency. [88] The Agency plans to build a network of multifunctional public service centers throughout the country and update its call center service to provide more targeted information to the public (6.4 and 6.5).

Extending the network of paralegals (6.6) is an important activity that could provide legal information to different social groups who would not otherwise have access to such services. [89] Created in 2010 with help from the Soros Foundation Moldova, the paralegal network is currently managed by the National Legal Aid Council (NLAC). [90] In 2018, the paralegal network was extended to cover socially vulnerable groups, and the NLAC intends to add 10 additional paralegals annually to the network. [91] As a result, more citizens could receive valuable paralegal assistance without going to court and it could help strengthen the legal culture in the country, which is currently low. [92] It could also help reduce the burden on the court system by solving many civil cases outside of the courts. [93]

Milestone 6.7 calls for creating an electronic system for recording interviews between probation counselors and the subject of probation, to replace the existing paper-based system. These recordings could help reduce corruption or mistreatment at the point when interviews are conducted. [94] However, these recordings are meant for the internal purposes of the inspectorate to make the work of inspectors more efficient. It is unclear from the commitment who will have access to the recordings besides the inspectors themselves.

This commitment is relevant to the OGP value of access to information due to the planned communication and training activities for citizens and businesses on the use of electronic public services (6.1). It is also relevant to the OGP value of public accountability through the extension of the paralegal network (6.6). This commitment brings together many important activities which, if fully implemented, could have a significant impact on government practice. Specifically, it could bring the government closer to citizens by facilitating access to relevant services, though it is too early to state what the impact for citizens will be.

Next steps

In the area of access to justice, the IRM recommends further expanding the network of paralegals (with a focus on socially and economically vulnerable groups) and promoting how paralegals can help citizens, given that their work is not always well known among the public. [95] The government could also consider integrating alternative dispute resolution mechanisms into the judicial system to help reduce the burden of cases on local courts and lead to faster resolutions.

The IRM also recommends including a commitment in the next action plan that directly addresses the persistent issues related to the lack of independence and transparency in Moldova’s judicial system. Future commitments could aim to improve the transparency of the selection, promotion, and dismissal procedures for judges. Moldova could also commit to ensuring that all court cases are assigned randomly.  

[80] OGP, Moldova Action Plan 2018-2020, https://www.opengovpartnership.org/documents/moldova-action-plan-2018-2020

[81] The Principles of Public Administration: A Framework ENP countries, http://www.sigmaweb.org/publications/Principles-ENP-Eng.pdf

[82] European Commission, European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) Countries, https://ec.europa.eu/culture/policy/international-cooperation/neighbourhood_en

[83] Government Decision no. 911 of 25.07.2016 on the approval of the Strategy for the reform of the public administration 2016-2020, http://lex.justice.md/index.php?action=view&view=doc&lang=1&id=366209

[84] Government Decision no. 966 of 09.08.2016 on the approval of the action plan for the reform on modernizing public services 2017-2021, http://lex.justice.md/index.php?action=view&view=doc&lang=1&id=366273

[85] Modernization of government services project, http://www.egov.md/en/file/4484/download?token=MxH7-NMi; E-Government Agency, News about the Moldovan Modernization of Government Services Project, http://www.egov.md/en/communication/news/modernization-government-services-improved-accessibility-efficiency-and-quality

[86] Interview Cornelia Amihalachioae, E-Governance Agency, 10 April 2019.

[87] Ibid.

[88] Government Decision no. 314 of 22. 05. 2017, http://www.legis.md/cautare/getResults?doc_id=119451&lang=ru

[89] Telephone interview with Violeta Odagiu, executive director of the National Association of Paralegals from Moldova, 10 April 2019.

[90] National Legal Aid Council, https://cnajgs.md/en/structure/page/nlac

[91] Telephone interview with Violeta Odagiu, executive director of the National Association of Paralegals from Moldova, 10 April 2019.

[92] Ibid.

[93] Telephone interview with Ion Guzun, Legal Resources Center, 5 April 2019.

[94] Interview with Mahu Iurie, National Probation Inspectorate, 6 April 2019.

[95] Telephone interview with Violeta Odagiu, executive director of the National Association of Paralegals from Moldova, 10 April 2019.

IRM End of Term Status Summary

6. Citizen-centered public services

Completion: Substantial

Aim of the commitment

This commitment aimed to improve the quality of public service delivery through clearer and easier to access services. It included various activities from a World Bank-funded project and carried out by the Electronic Governance Agency (EGA). [1] The commitment also planned to extend the Republic of Moldova’s network of paralegals and create an electronic system for recording interviews between probation counselors and the subject of probation.

Did it open government?

Marginal

This commitment included a variety of standalone milestones, and only some of them saw early results from their implementation. Therefore, the IRM has discussed the milestones that contributed to results in this section. The other milestones are discussed in greater detail in Section 2.4.

For milestone 6.4, the Public Services Agency (PSA) added five more multifunctional public service centers in 2019, reaching a total of 39 centers in the country. [2] Additionally, the 2020-2023 Government Action Plan added a sub-action to further develop the national network of public service centers. [3] According to the PSA, extending the network of centers has helped reduce queuing and waiting times for PSA services. [4] PSA also started modernizing its call centers (for milestone 6.5), which was ongoing at the end of the action plan. [5] As part of the modernization, PSA refurbished its spaces and filled vacancies for operators. [6] According to the PSA, it now covers 70 percent of all incoming calls, compared to 50 percent prior to the modernization. [7]

For milestone 6.6, the National Legal Aid Council (NLAC) [8] extended the national paralegals network by 10 units (to 62 [9]) in 2019, which provided 60,327 consultations that year. [10] The NLAC also requested a more intense recruitment of paralegals to fill the many vacancies. [11] The State Chancellery reported [12] that, in 2020, there were 71 paralegals active in the Republic of Moldova (19 more than before 2019). [13] However, according to the State Chancellery, only 52 of these paralegals were involved in state supported legal aid processes. [14] Most paralegals work in rural areas, [15] and provided 9,537 [16] consultations in 2020. The goal of extending the network is to increase the coverage of paralegal services to include more localities, [17] as paralegals are still the main providers of legal aid in rural areas. [18] The number of paralegals continues to fluctuate due to high turnover, determined mainly by insufficient remuneration and lack of induction trainingNLAC intends to address these shortcomings while it expands the network. NLAC is also addressing the training gap by planning induction training programs. [19] By adding the paralegal profession to the classification of occupations, and by carrying out induction training, NLAC believes the extension of the network will be more effective. [20]

For milestone 6.1, EGA trained 650 persons in 2019 on the use of modernized public services. Another 10,000 persons were informed of e-services indirectly during events where EGA was either a partner or moderator, and through information materials. [107]

In 2019, EGA completed the reengineering of three public services [108] under milestone 6.2: issuing drivers licenses, granting unemployment benefits, and determining disability and work capacity, leading to the approval of the modernization solutions (the TO-BE schemes). The activities at this stage involved creating working groups and focal points in the pilot service providers, training public servants responsible for the modernization of the respective services, the approval of the schemes and of the operational processes’ maps per service, and the approval by the providers of the modernization solutions. The second stage of the process, digitization, started in 2020, and currently the normative framework is being adjusted. [109]

For milestone 6.3, EGA presented the policy concept for the Unified Centers for Public Service Delivery (CUPS) in December 2019 to the government and conducted a feasibility study which identified 22 public services for the CUPS pilot. In July 2020, stakeholders identified the localities where the pilot CUPS will be organized: 17 within local mayoralties and five within consulates. The regulatory and infrastructure preparations for the pilot were ongoing at the end of the action plan. [110]

For milestone 6.7, the National Probation Inspectorate piloted the new electronic system for recording interviews between probation counselors and the subject of probation in August 2020 in the Chisinau office, and intends to expand it to all probation offices in 2021, after the purchase of the connection platform. [111] The system includes a video connection (conference or chat) between beneficiaries and inspectors. (If beneficiaries do not own a device with the necessary technical specifications, they can go to the headquarters where they can connect with the inspector in a specially equipped booth.) The platform to establish the connection was purchased, but additional in-house developments are still required. No public information about this project is available yet. [112] According to the Inspectorate, the use of the pilot electronic recording system allowed probation counselors to organize more meetings with subjects and in more comfortable conditions. [113] The new recording system proved its usefulness during the pandemic, when on-site visits were not allowed. [114] The State Chancellery reports that in 2020 the Inspectorate has recorded 50 meetings using the new electronic system. [115]

[1] OGP, Republic of Moldova Design Report 2019-2020, pages 35-37, https://www.opengovpartnership.org/documents/moldova-design-report-2019-2020/
[2] Action Plan Implementation Report 2019-2020 for 2019, published on the web page of the State Chancellery, national OGP repository area, https://cancelaria.gov.md/sites/default/files/raport_privind_implementarea_hg_1172_anul_2019.pdf
[3] Republic of Moldova, Government Action Plan 2020-2023, https://www.legis.md/cautare/getResults?doc_id=119405&lang=ro
[4] Telephone discussion with Ruslana Rotaru, Public Services Agency, 6 November 2020.
[5] Telephone discussion with Ruslana Rotaru, Public Services Agency, 6 November 2020.
[6] Public Services Agency, http://www.asp.gov.md/ro/node/5397
[7] Telephone discussion with Ruslana Rotaru, Public Services Agency, 6 November 2020.
[8] National Legal Aid Center Order no.5 of 26.02.2019 on extending the network of paralegals, https://cnajgs.md/uploads/asset/file/ro/1386/Hot%C4%83r%C3%A2rea_nr.5_din_02.02.2019.PDF
[9] Only 57 were de facto active according to the Annual Report of National Legal Aid Council for 2019: National Legal Aid Council activity report for 2019, page 20, https://cnajgs.md/uploads/asset/file/ro/1466/Raport_de_activitate_al_CNAJGS_2019__2_.pdf
[11] National Legal Aid Council, Order no.6 of 26.02.2020 on the need to recruit more paralegals, https://cnajgs.md/uploads/asset/file/ro/1471/img-200228095949.pdf
[12] Quarterly OGP 2019-2020 Action Plan Implementation Report published on the webpage of the State Chancellery, national OGP repository area: https://cancelaria.gov.md/sites/default/files/raportul_privind_implementarea_planului_de_actiuni_pentru_o_guvernare_deschisa_pentru_anii_2019-2020_in_sem_i_2020.pdf
[13] National Legal Aid Council, activity report for 2019, page 20, https://cnajgs.md/uploads/asset/file/ro/1466/Raport_de_activitate_al_CNAJGS_2019__2_.pdf
[14] Open Government Action Plan 2019-2020, Implementation Monitoring Report for 2020, https://cancelaria.gov.md/sites/default/files/raport_monitorizare_hg_1172_anul_2020.pdf
[16] Open Government Action Plan 2019-2020, Implementation Monitoring Report for 2020, https://cancelaria.gov.md/sites/default/files/raport_monitorizare_hg_1172_anul_2020.pdf
[17] Interview with Violeta Odagiu, executive director of the National Association of Paralegals from Moldova, 4 November 2020.
[18] National Legal Aid Council, activity report for 2019, page 20, https://cnajgs.md/uploads/asset/file/ro/1466/Raport_de_activitate_al_CNAJGS_2019__2_.pdf
[19] Interview with Violeta Odagiu, executive director of the National Association of Paralegals from Moldova, 4 November 2020.
[20] Ibid.
- intentional sequence break -
[107] This information was reported in the Quarterly Action Plan Implementation Report 2019-2020, 1st quarter of 2020, published on the national OGP repository (on the webpage of the State Chancellery), https://cancelaria.gov.md/sites/default/files/raportul_privind_implementarea_planului_de_actiuni_pentru_o_guvernare_deschisa_pentru_anii_2019-2020_in_sem_i_2020.pdf, however in the Action Plan Implementation Report 2019-2020 for 2019, https://cancelaria.gov.md/sites/default/files/raport_privind_implementarea_hg_1172_anul_2019.pdf, the data are different as it indicates 550 persons instead of 650, and 20,000 instead of 10,000. A clarification regarding this inconsistency was not yet obtained.
[108] In addition to these three services, towards the end of 2019 was launched the reengineering of services from the field of population documentation, social insurance and civil registry. (Information provided by the EGA during the public comment period of this report)
[109] Action Plan Implementation Report 2019-2020 for 2019, https://cancelaria.gov.md/sites/default/files/raport_privind_implementarea_hg_1172_anul_2019.pdf; Quarterly Action Plan Implementation Report 2019-2020, 1st quarter of 2020, https://cancelaria.gov.md/sites/default/files/raportul_privind_implementarea_planului_de_actiuni_pentru_o_guvernare_deschisa_pentru_anii_2019-2020_in_sem_i_2020.pdf Comments provided by the EGA during the IRM public comment period.
[110] Interview with Tatiana Sincovschi, CUPS Coordinator, Electronic Governance Agency, 17 November 2020.
[111] Interview with Mahu Iurie, National Probation Inspectorate, 4 November 2020.
[112] Ibid.
[113] Ibid.
[114] Ibid.
[115] Open Government Action Plan 2019-2020, Implementation Monitoring Report for 2020, https://cancelaria.gov.md/sites/default/files/raport_monitorizare_hg_1172_anul_2020.pdf

Commitments

Open Government Partnership