CUPS – the project that brings public services closer to people
Electronic public services are becoming more accessible to people in villages and Moldovan citizens in the diaspora, for whom distance, lack of information or financial resources are impediments to requesting a public service. This is possible due to the launch of the Unified Centres for Public Service Provision (CUPS).
Today, 4 February 2022, new CUPS were launched in 16 rural localities, as part of an online event attended by members of the Government, representatives of central and local authorities and development partners. The event is a continuation of the pilot project, implemented by the e-Governance Agency, which covers a total of 17 selected localities from Moldova, after the first CUPS has already been piloted, in December 2021, in Lozova.
The centres are located in or near the town halls, are equipped with access ramp for people with special needs and provide the population with advanced computers, connected to the Internet, which can be used free of charge. The CUPS specialist is there to guide and help each visitor. The citizens will also be able to benefit from information and training sessions on the use of digital tools, to acquire the technology use skills in order to access electronic services.
Thus, CUPS become common access points to a wide range of public services available in electronic format - efficient, transparent and accessible to a significant number of citizens - about 75 thousand people representing the population of the 17 localities. The pioneers of this transformation project at local level are the local authorities of Lozova, Albota de Sus, Bilicenii Vechi, Chiperceni, Colibasi, Corjeuti, Holercani, Pelinia, Limbenii Noi, Mereni, Parcova, Panasesti, Pepeni, Peresecina, Pirjolteni, Sculeni and Taxobeni, which did their best to bring innovation to the local administration authority and now provide modernized public services to the people. The services of the Centre are available to both the local citizens and those from the neighbouring villages.
In her message, Natalia Gavrilita said that the Government would continue to implement the public sector digitalization agenda, in accordance with the strategic priorities set out in the Government’s Program. In this context, CUPS are designed to support the efforts to modernize the government and improve the quality of public services provided to the citizens of the Republic of Moldova.
"Moldova has the advantage of being a small country, populated by people who know how to learn quickly and adapt to change. Modern technology is a challenge for many, but the benefits it brings - for learning, for economics, for socialization and for organization - are enormous. Migrating government services online saves time, money, nerves and makes everyone's life easier,” said the prime minister.
In turn, the Deputy Prime Minister for Digitalization Iurie Turcanu said that the Government would continue to pay more attention to digital transformation in public administration, which naturally extends to society as a whole and produces irreversible changes in the relationship between the state and the citizen.
"The concept of the CUPS was designed not only to provide services, but also to fully contribute to raising the level of literacy of rural society, to increase the level of digital culture. CUPS is an accessible, inclusive and open environment where everyone can acquire new skills to operate the technology, in order to later become an independent user, confident in the advantages offered by online interaction", the Deputy Prime Minister for Digitalization added.
The official stressed the important role of all actors involved in the project: the e-Governance Agency, the Public Services Agency, the National Social Insurance Office, but also the local public administration authorities, which are role models for other local authorities, due to their enthusiasm in accepting the proposal to participate in this ambitious project that brings innovation to the way services are delivered locally. Last but not least, Iurie Turcanu expressed his gratitude to the development partner the World Bank Group, whose support and contribution made possible the design and implementation of this important reform of how services are delivered.
In this context, the country director of the World Bank for Moldova, Inguna Dobraja, stated: “CUPS are very important in terms of simplifying the manner of obtaining public services. They will save money and time, and public services will become much more accessible and transparent for citizens. We look forward to the results of this pilot project and plan to open a total of 80 CUPS across the country, continuing to support the Government of the Republic of Moldova in digital transformation projects."
In the same context, the Director of the e-Governance Agency, Olga Tumuruc, the host of the event, mentioned in her message to the public: “The platform created due to the establishment and launch of the Unified Centres for Public Service Provision gives us this opportunity, almost unique, to be closer to citizens, to work in their interest, but also to materialize those benefits for which they were established. The exercise we are starting today is of major importance. We are entering the active phase of piloting CUPS, i.e. the implementation of innovative principles, methods and practices in practice.”
During the event, the mayors and CUPS specialists, coming into direct contact through digital technologies, provided the public with all the details on the mission, the conditions of activity, the services that can be accessed in the inaugurated centres. Among others, they talked about the following benefits: reduced distance, waiting and travel time to access a public service, access to online services, qualified advice, free use of devices with internet access that CUPS offices make available to beneficiaries, raising the level of satisfaction with the public service provided and the level of trust with the public authorities.
The piloting of CUPS is carried out within the project "Modernization of government services", implemented by the e-Governance Agency, with the support of the World Bank Group, the contribution of the Government of the Republic of Moldova and the efforts of local public authorities.