Benefits and challenges using Digital Signature in digital transactions between business, citizens and government

On January 23, we held a meeting with our colleagues from the institutions –that regulates, provides and benefits of Digital Signature Services, as well as with the representatives of the Economic Council under the Prime Minister. We discussed about various steps that could be taken to streamline the Digital Signature instrument and approached the issue that limits the use at a large scale of the digital signature among citizens, businesses and public authorities.

During the discussions, it was point it out that the digital signature in Moldova is valid for one year only (while in the EU countries its validity is up to 3-5 years). There are too many various methods and tools used to apply the digital signature that confuse its users. The limited numbers of public services that can be accessed by using the digital signature, make it less attractive for citizens.

The state institutions providing public services that may be accessed by using the Digital Signature requested a price reduction for the digital signature devices, due to the taxpayers’ discontent, as well referring to the practice of European Union member states.

During the meeting, were settled steps that needs to be taken in order to eliminate, for a long term, the issues related to the digital signature that includes : extension of the validity of the digital signature from 12 months to up to 5 years, to reduce the signature devices related costs, ensure the signature devices interoperability, integrate the electronic public services with the MPass and MSign services, and provide citizens with the opportunity to access public services regardless of the digital signature device or tool they own and use.

We are aware that without accessible and handy infrastructures of the Digital Signature, we cannot progress in implementing quality services that citizens and business environment – need so much. At the same time we understand that it will be not an easy way to digitize all public services that are planned to be provided by 2020.

To obtain the results aimed by the e-Government, the Executive shall identify ways to insure the availability of the Digital Signature under very accessible conditions for the citizens, the business environment and the public authorities. The Government must move forward in the public services’ digitization and their integration with the Digital Signature, to ensure secured Internet interactions and transactions.

 

Iurie Turcanu, Chief Technology Officer, Deputy Director, e-Government Center/Government Chief Information Office, Moldova

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