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Streamlining Data in Kosovo: Improving Security, Saving Money

A National Data Center began operating in Kosovo last week, offering institutions in the country secure data storage and recovery capabilities.

The establishment of this center is one of the components of the Public Sector Modernization Project, financed by the World Bank. The project provides the Government of Kosovo technical and financial support in helping to carry out key reforms aimed at increasing the critical ingredients necessary to develop a professional administration and improve services offered to people and businesses.

The National Data Center represents the cornerstone for a modern public administration, said Jan-Peter Olters, Country Manager for the World Bank in Kosovo.All the people of Kosovo and all the companies operating here will benefit from it, he added.

By modernizing the public administration, the Government of Kosovo will not only be able to automate the delivery of civil services, but also strengthen and speed up the European integration process – for which the modernization of public administration represents a key challenge.

The Data Center was formally inaugurated by Kosovo’s Minister of Public Administration Mahir Yagcilar and Minister of Finance Besim Beqaj. Minister said the center made budgetary savings possible for Kosovo’s public institutions through the provision of high-quality, joint infrastructure – including Information Technology (IT) resources. He underlined that the center would become a storage site for all electronic data.

Minister Beqaj, on the other hand, highlighted the ability of this new facility to enable communication between different information systems (interoperability), even during disasters.

The World Bank is providing $8 million for the Public Sector Modernization Project – $3.6 million in grants and $4.4 million in credit, with a 40-year maturity cycle and a 10 year grace period.

Increasing security and efficiency of government information systems is one of three components of the project. The other two components are improving public finance management performance and improving payroll administration.