The measurement of public performance and transparency is a regulatory obligation, in Italy, reinforced several times by the legislator.
If it is true, in fact, that the regulations on the Public Administration are too many, disorganized and confused, it is also true that among them there are some of great value, such as, for example, l. 244/2007, which in art. 2, paragraph 461, introduces a new system of monitoring and participation of citizens: they are guaranteed not only that their observations and proposals will be heard, but that the relative monitoring and participation costs must be included in the costs of the service. How many citizens know this and how many do they use?
Mostly unknown to the general public is also the l. 15 of 4 March 2009 (the so-called Brunetta reform), as well as the related legislative decree No. 150 of the same year and the ensuing acts, such as the implementing resolutions of the Commission for the Assessment and Integrity of Public Administrations (now Anac ), specially constituted.
After the Bassanini reform, it is with Brunetta that the concept of performance is introduced as an indispensable category for Public Administrations. The law 15, in fact, requires the Administrations to measure and evaluate their own performance (art.1) establishing an annual frequency: for this purpose, they must provide for the adoption of appropriate measurement systems (art. 7).
In application of the provisions of the European Community, the aforementioned law provides that the P.A. ensure maximum transparency and integrity, to be understood as:
“Total accessibility, also through the tool of publication on the institutional websites of the Public Administrations, of information concerning every aspect of the organization, of the indicators relating to management trends and the use of resources for the pursuit of institutional goals” (art. 11).
It must be said that the l. 15 contains a sort of contradiction that must be taken into account: it rightly demands “independence of judgment” as a “fundamental condition” for the assessment bodies. But as long as the political and administrative leadership of the public administrations (subjects to be evaluated) will appoint their own evaluators – as Law 15 provides – it is reasonable to doubt that the evaluation can be truly autonomous.
Even more innovative is the legislative decree 33 of 2013, which marked a significant step forward in the accountability process of the Italian PA: in fact, it introduced the “civic access” tool, much more advanced than the right of document access configured by the previous law 241 of 1990. The d. lgs. 33, moreover, details the transparency obligations of the Public Administration in a strict way: no longer a generic indication, but a list of prescriptions on individual aspects of administrative activity.
Important steps forward have also been made with the law n. 190, in 2012, on anti-corruption policies.
In 2014 legislative decree n.90, converted into law n.114 in August of the same year, again to return to transparency and efficiency of the PA, followed by the law n.124 of 2015, whose implementation decrees were approved in 2016.
The best known is the n.97 for having introduced the so-called Freedom of Information Act. Already in force in the United States for over half a century, the Italian Foia extends the right of access: in addition to the documentary one of 1990 and the civic one of 2013 , the new access is defined by Anac as “generalized”. The adjective indicates that anyone can request from the Public Administrations, free of charge and without specific correlated interests, also those data that are not subject to publication according to the decree of transparency as modified by the decree 97/2016.
To avoid that the generalized access could become object of arbitrarily elastic interpretations by the Administrations, restrictive of the opportunities offered to the citizens, on December 28th 2016 Anac intervened with specific Guidelines assumed with the resolutions n.1309 and n.1310: in the before, the anti-corruption Authority has defined the range of applicability of generalized civic access and, in the second, the additional or revised publicity obligations with respect to the 2013 transparency decree.