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OECD Integrity Review of Italy

Reinforcing Public Sector Integrity, Restoring Trust for Sustainable Growth

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In response to the ongoing economic crisis, Italy is undertaking a series of critically important reforms, combining pro-growth policies with severe austerity measures to achieve fiscal consolidation. The success of these structural reforms will rely heavily on the capacity of the government to restore trust in its ability and commitment to guide the country towards sustainable economic growth. At the time of this publication, however, less than a quarter of Italian citizens trusted the quality of government decision-making. Concerns over public integrity and corruption stand out as key elements underlying this prevailing lack of trust.

To restore the deficit of trust in the Italian government, the public sector needs to be embedded within a comprehensive integrity framework. Law 190 of November 6, 2012 (the Anti-Corruption Law) enshrines public sector integrity management and strengthens existing corruption prevention provisions through the designation of a new anti-corruption authority, a detailed framework for the adoption of a national anti-corruption plan, and new provisions regarding the conduct and prevention of conflict of interests in the public sector.

This OECD Integrity Review provides guidance on the implementation of key integrity and corruption prevention elements of the Law, most notably those concerning institutional coordination, the regulation of conduct and whistleblower protection, and management of integrity risks in public sector activities. The review concludes each chapter with proposals for action, with OECD member countries’ best practices in mind, with the ultimate goal of supporting Italy in its efforts to enhance integrity in the public sector and restore trust.

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Codes of conduct

Setting values and standards of conduct for public officials in a code of conduct is amongst the first steps towards safeguarding integrity in the public sector. This chapter undertakes a review of the provisions in the new Italian Anti-Corruption Law that require Italy to issue a new code of conduct for public officials. Based on the experience and lessons learned from OECD countries, the chapter discusses key factors that Italy needs to consider in designing and implementing a code of conduct. The importance of defining the scope and content of the code in a consultative, participative manner and the institutional framework necessary for monitoring the implementation of the code and enforcing it are highlighted as key factors. The chapter also presents an implementation strategy for Italy.

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