Press Release

For Immediate Release

October 23, 2011

Contact: 202-521-3880

Email: info@mcc.gov

MCC Threshold Program with Albania Completed

Washington D.C.--The U.S. Government’s Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) congratulates the government and people of Albania for successfully completing its threshold program, aimed at improving government effectiveness and transparency and strengthening the rule of law.
Albania’s second MCC threshold program, which provided $15.7 million in assistance, built upon the significant successes of MCC’s first threshold program to institutionalize key reforms in public administration and support anticorruption activities.

”It is a pleasure to hear about the celebrations taking place this week to commemorate the results of Albania’s successful threshold program,” stated Bruce Kay, MCC’s Director for Threshold Programs.  “MCC is proud to have helped Albania create and improve institutions that are laying a stronger foundation for sustainable economic growth.”
With threshold program support, the Albanian government established:

• an e-procurement system that won a UN Public Service Award in 2010, and now handles all procurements over $4000 in value.  The system has cut procurement costs and increased competition
• ane-filing system for paying personal income tax, used by two-thirds of all taxpayers, which has increased revenues while drastically reducing opportunities for corruption;
• a one-stop national registration center for businesses with  city branch offices, which has reduced business start-up time from 4 weeks to 3 days and lifted Albania’s global ranking more than 70 places in the International Finance Corporation  Doing Business survey;
• a single-window national licensing system used by most Albanian professionals and businesses;
• functioning joint investigative units in six cities that now investigate and prosecute dozens of corruption cases each year; and
• a national planning registry used to manage building permit applications  with greater transparency. 

The program also supported civic watchdogs groups and business associations, which have advocated for the Threshold Program reforms, and monitored the Government’s implementation of the reforms.

MCC’s threshold programs are designed to assist countries to become eligible for MCC’s larger, longer-term grants, called compacts. Threshold program assistance is used to help countries adopt important policy and institutional reforms in areas critical to economic growth and poverty reduction.

Assistance provided to date through MCC’s Threshold Program totals approximately $500 million in 21 countries:  Albania, Burkina Faso, Guyana, Indonesia, Jordan, Kenya, Kyrgyz Republic, Liberia, Malawi, Moldova, Niger, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Rwanda, So Tome and Principe, Tanzania, Timor-Leste, Uganda, Ukraine, and Zambia.