Latest simplification measures at Italian regional level

9786091286_e85fd01bb8_z

Last October, two Italian Regions (Piedmont and Lombardy) have approved some important simplification measures.

First, Piedmont Region adopted a regional law on the principles of the administrative proceedings and some provisions relating to administrative simplification (Legge regionale 14 ottobre 2014, n. 14). Among the most important topics three of these may be highlighted: digital administration,  administrative burdens and Points of Single Contact.

Related to digital administration (article 27 of the regional law), the regional provisions aim to complete the digitization process, extending the use of electronic signatures to all administrative procedures and the definitive passage from papery formality to digital mode and telematics transmission.

Then, the regional law defines, in line with the national law, the administrative burden as costs that citizens and businesses have to comply with, as production of information and documents to the public administration (article 28 of the regional law). In this regard it is expected that laws, regulations and general administrative measures have to contain an annex listing administrative burdens. In addition, the Regional Executive (Giunta regionale) defines programs for measuring and reducing administrative burdens.

Finally, it establishes the Regional Table of coordination on one-stop-shops for the comparison between the different levels of government involved in the authorization process for production facilities (article 31 of the regional law) and the regional web portal of Points of Single Contact, containing regional database of administrative procedures and regional standards forms (article 32 of the regional law).

Differently, Lombardy Region approved the Agenda Lombardia Semplice – Lombardy Simple Agenda (see article 1 of regional law n. 19/2014), which represents the regional strategic program, containing all simplification actions in favor of business, citizens and third sector, public administration.

Similarly to other regional experiences, such as Tuscany Region in 2013,  the Agenda Lombardia Semplice defines objectives and principles, on which the regional government will determine sectorial simplification measures. In this framework communication is also a central aspect, as a support in designing and implementing of various measures in order to ensure active participation of stakeholders in policy-making.

This Agenda has three objectives: 1) simplification of administrative procedures, eliminating of redundant steps, reducing time and number of procedural steps; 2) streamlining the intervention of the Region, through the redesign of its functions and its powers and a greater involvement of the different levels of government for the development of common guidelines and common digital services; 3) simplification of the regional legislation with codification, delegification, deregulation and mapping of information obligations.

These simplification measures should follow nine basic principles (active involvement of stakeholders and collaboration between different levels of government; development of know-how and expertise, sharing knowledge and information between public administrations, businesses, citizens and third sector; promotion of digitization as a fundamental principle for the development of new processes and dematerialization; proportionality of the administrative burdens, in terms of cost and time; centrality of the person for the redesign of public administration services; enhancement of the relationship between public administration and stakeholders; transparency and accessibility of information of public administration; involvement of local authorities to promote regionalization of policies and dissemination of good practices).

With reference to the strategic simplification measures these are: rationalization of procedures of procurement; realization of technologic infrastructure for electronic payments; simplification and streamlining of controls procedures on businesses; simplification of environmental procedures.

These two simplification measures adopted at the regional level, therefore, seem to be consistent with the recent approval of the Agenda for Simplification of the National Government.

(Monica Cappelletti)

Photo credits: Christian Schnettelker