Excellency Prime Minister, Dear Minister Cani, Dear Minister Harito, Representatives of Ministries of Finance and Public Administration and Innovation, Ladies and Gentlemen!
I am delighted to be here with you today at the signing ceremony of the Citizen-Centric Service Delivery Project. This is a special moment that marks the culmination of an intensely engaging and fast track project preparation process. This event also has a special significance as it is the first investment project being signed after the endorsement of the World Bank Group’s new Country Partnership Framework for Albania. As we all know, the new CPF envisions an unprecedented level of indicative $1.2 billion financing to support the broad spectrum reforms Albania has embarked upon. While supporting Albania’s aspirations for EU accession, the CPF focuses on supporting Government reforms to restore macroeconomic stability, accelerate private sector growth and strengthen public sector management and service delivery.
We are grateful to the Honorable Prime Minister for his leadership and personal stewardship on this important project which seeks to transform delivery of public services by bringing about visible improvements in the transparency and governance of services. The World Bank Group’s CPF is well aligned with this and other core Government reform priorities. The CPF also benefited from the findings of the Systematic Country Diagnostics we conducted for Albania which concludes that the major sources of historic inefficiency in service delivery are due to weak governance and fragmented institutional arrangements, as well as very limited use of technology in public administration. It also points to the socio-economic and spatial inequalities in access to services affecting the less well-off and vulnerable population sub-groups, such as rural residents, women, and the Roma. In light of the existing fiscal constraints, improvements in quality and access to services must come from efficiency gains and better governance.