The digitalisation of administrative services in the Republic of Moldova is irreversible

A chuch in Chisinau (sursă: Pixabay, CC0)

Interview with the Moldovan journalist Oleg Kosih about e-government in Bessarabia

Vladimir Mitev

This interview was broadcast on 16th February 2021 in the program “Something More” on the program “Horizon” on the Bulgarian National Radio.

Georgi Markov: Transparency in governance, facilitation of citizens and reduction of risks for citizens in direct contact with the administration. These are some of the ideas that the authorities in the Republic of Moldova are implementing by providing a number of administrative services electronically. This type of interaction is already familiar to citizens and they are used to it. If it is interrupted for any reason, they will seek responsibility for why they are deprived of this opportunity. This opinion was expressed by the Moldovan journalist and founder of the Bulgarian Spirit Foundation Oleg Kosih in a conversation with his colleague from the site “The Bridge of Friendship” Vladimir Mitev. Oleg Kosih recalls the way in which electronic services were formed in the Republic of Moldova and tells how people accept this idea.

Vladimir Mitev: At the end of last year, the Moldovan government announced a new electronic service for its citizens. Every Moldovan can now check the financial reports of companies in the Republic of Moldova and this is considered another step towards greater transparency in governance. What e-services does the Moldovan government currently provide and how do they make governance more transparent?

Oleg Kosih: This service is one of the dozens that Moldovan citizens are so used to that it does not impress them much. The financial reporting service is really important. For example, it is useful for journalists or entrepreneurs.

Many government services for citizens went in electronic form. They can be done online. All this happened not in one day or in one year. It started 20 years ago. At that time, Moldovan passports were the most modern in the post-Soviet space as an issuing mechanism. For the last 20 years, the Republic of Moldova has not only relied on its efforts, but also actively cooperated with international organizations. Recently, the interaction with the countries of the Baltic region has been intensive. For example, our specialists exchange experience with Estonians. And the Estonians are an example for the whole of Europe in this respect. They have made a lot of progress, but Moldova is not far behind.

There is a possibility through mobile operators for something like an electronic signature. What is this service?

The whole procedure for obtaining this electronic signature is also online. This signature is linked to the SIM card. Mobile operators have tariff plans. On average, one use of this electronic signature costs 1 Moldovan lei (5 euro cents). This signature is valid for all public and private organizations.

These e-services and the movement towards transparency are unfolding at a time when the political forces that usually talk about fighting corruption were not in power. It seems that in the Republic of Moldova, everyone is striving for more open government, regardless of who is in power…

Moldovan voters have high demands on the government. Both left and right politicians report that people do not like to stand in line and wait for weeks. Therefore, it is necessary to implement electronic services, as they remove the human element from the state administration. If I need a document, I fill out the standard form on the site, and in a week I go and get the document. There is no way that every government in Moldova will not implement these services. If it stops doing it, people will say, “They did it before you. Why did you stop it? ” The process is now irreversible.

Photo: Oleg Kosih (source: Pixabay, CC0)

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