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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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Executive summary

Italy is undertaking a series of critically important reforms as part of its response to the economic and social crisis. As in many other OECD countries, particularly in Europe, pro-growth policies have been – and will likely continue to be – accompanied by severe austerity measures to achieve fiscal consolidation. Such measures include reductions in healthcare expenditure, public employees’ wages, and pensions. As a result, Italy is facing a highly complex policy environment where there are high expectations of effective, decisive government action to safeguard the interests of the general public over those of the privileged few.

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