In February 2010 Millennium Partners, under its Building Economic Recovery through Democratic Governance  (BRDG) Task Order, began a USAID supported program to support a wide range of government reforms in Moldova. The Moldova Rapid Governance Support Program (MRGSP) will be completed in November 2011 and builds upon the demonstrated successes of Millennium Partners under the Moldova Governance Threshold Country Program (MGTCP), completed in September 2009.

MRGSP has five components: judicial reform, support for the Ministry of Agriculture, support for the implementation of IT systems for the Customs Service, support for the Ministry of Finance for the transfer of tax collection responsibility to municipal governments, and strengthening the capacity of the government to communicate effectively with the public and among its ministries and agencies. There is also a sixth component to meet “Emerging Needs” – requests by the Government of Moldova for additional assistance in areas to be specified in the future.

Creating an Efficient and Transparent Judiciary

Under MGTCP, all courts were fully computerized, audio recording systems were installed, web sites were created, and the Integrated Case Management System (ICMS) was developed to allow the courts to move from a paper-based system of maintaining case records to a fully electronic system. All court staff were trained in the use of audio recording and ICMS. 44 of 53 courts are now successfully using ICMS and have begun posting decisions on their websites as well as providing information about active cases and scheduled court hearings. Several courts are using audio recording. But the judiciary has requested additional support from MRGSP for additional staff training, adaption of ICMS to reflect recent changes in judicial administrative procedures, and technical assistance in ensuring the sustainability of court IT systems.

The Ministry of Justice will also receive help in implementing the Parliamentary decision “On the Concept of Funding the Judiciary” – drafted by MGTCP and enacted this spring.

Improving the Efficiency of Moldovan Agriculture

In February 2010, Moldova created a brand new agency – the Agriculture Interventions and Payments Agencyto provide financial assistance to farmers investing in projects that will improve the efficiency of the agricultural sector. In coordination with other donors, Millennium Partners will help the new agency develop its IT operating systems, support the drafting of new policies and operating procedures for the payments system and deliver training to agency staff. Millennium Partners will also support public education and other communications activities by the agency with the preparation of materials, website development, etc.; and will provide needed equipment.

Creating greater transparency in the Customs Service

Millennium Partners is helping the Customs Service of Moldova to develop new IT systems that will ensure greater efficiency and transparency in processing the flow of goods into and out of Moldova.

Facilitating Fiscal Decentralization

MRGSP is helping the Ministry of Finance to fulfill its commitment to turning over greater fiscal responsibilities to local governments. The result will be greater discretionary powers for local governments, greater transparency in the distribution of state funds to local government and an expansion in local fiscal resources.

Millennium Partners will help the Ministry create local support offices by providing equipment, training and developing operating procedures.

Strengthening Government Communications

Millennium Partners will work with the newly created Communications Council to assist in the implementation of the communications strategy adopted by the GOM in January 2010, to ensure that both bureaucrats and the public are better informed.

As with all its projects, Millennium Partners is carrying out this ambitious agenda to provide hands-on practical assistance to its counterparts, to ensure that successes are achieved rapidly and visibly, and that results will be sustainable to provide lasting improvements to the lives of Moldovan citizens.