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Italy: Measures for Simplification of Companies and Public Administration Take Effect

(Feb. 5, 2019) On December 12, 2018, new measures to simplify public administration and promote the economy entered into force in Italy. (Decree-Law No. 135 of December 14, 2018, Urgent Provisions on Supporting and Simplifying Companies and Public Administration) (D.L. No. 135), GAZZETTA UFFICIALE (G.U.), Dec. 14, 2018, G.U. website (in Italian).)

Support for Small and Mid-Size Companies That Are Creditors of the Public Administration

The new law allocates an additional amount of €50 million (about US$57 million) to the Guarantee Fund for Small and Mid-Size Companies, which was created by Law No. 662 of December 23, 1996, to guarantee the repayment of debts by small and mid-size companies that are experiencing difficulties with banks and other financial intermediaries, and that are creditors of public administration agencies. (D.L. No. 135, art. 1(1).) The guarantee covers an amount of up to 80% of the respective debt up to a maximum amount of €2.5 million (about US$2.8 million) in each case. (Id. art. 1(3).) The disbursement of the guarantee funds requires the previous approval of a repayment plan executed between the beneficiary company and the creditor. (Id. art. 1(4).)

A decree to be issued by the Ministries of Economic Development and Economy and Finances will establish the general conditions for the operation of the Gurantee Fund for Small and Mid-Size Companies, and the criteria, requirements, and modalities for the granting and revocation of the funds. (Id. art. 1(7).)

Amendments to Civil Procedures Concerning the Execution of Debts Owed to Creditors of the Public Administration

The law includes provisions amending the existing legal framework for the collection of debts owed to creditors of public administration agencies, including the extension of procedural terms benefitting debtors who hold credits against such agencies. (Id. art. 4(1).) When judicial execution procedures include the collection of debts against real estate owned by debtors who are in turn creditors of government agencies, the respective judge must release the property for a specific period indicated therein. (Id. art. 4(2).)

Simplification and Acceleration of Procedures Concerning Public Contracts

The new legislation establishes new grounds for the exclusion of bidders in public procurement procedures, including those which the bidding agency adequately demonstrates are guilty of serious professional violations that are sufficient to cast doubt on their integrity or reliability. (Id. art. 5.1.) Another ground concerns the situation in which a potential bidder has attempted to unduly influence the decision process of the bidding agency or obtain reserved information to its own advantage, or has provided false or misleading information in order to obtain public contracts. (Id.)

Provisions on the Traceabiblity of Environmental Data Concerning Waste

Effective Janunary 1, 2019, the Control System for the Traceability of Waste (Sistema di Controllo della Tracciabilita’ dei Rifiuti, SISTRI) is repealed. (Id. art. 6.1.) A new system is to be approved by the Ministry of the Environment and the Protection of the Territory and the Sea. (Id. art. 6.3.)

Measures on Penitentiary Buildings

To tackle the existing overcrowding problem at Italian penitentiary facilities, the new law approves measures aimed at speeding up the construction of new prison facilities. (Id. art. 7.1.) These measures include the approval of projects for the restructuring and maintenance of existing government buildings suitable for transformation into jail structures. (Id. art. 7.1(a).) Another measure is the acceleration of current public bidding procedures for assigning penitentiary construction projects to private companies. (Id. art. 7.1(b).)

Digital Platform

The new law contemplates administrative measures for implementing the objectives of the Italian Digital Agency. (Id. art. 8.1.) In particular, to facilitate advancing the objectives of the Italian Digital Agency, the new legislation provides for the creation, within 120 days from the entry into effect of D.L. No. 135, of a stock corporation fully owned by the state with initial capital constituted by the financial resources currently allocated to the Italian Digital Agency. (Id. art. 8.2.)

Provisions on Specific Training in General Medicine

To ameliorate the negative effects arising from the current shortage in the country of doctors practicing general medicine, the new law provides for a comprehensive overhaul of the curricula used for the training of general practitioners and surgeons. (Id. art. 9.1.) Regions and autonomous provinces maintain their power to establish the conditions for the enrollment of health professionals in the new general medicine training courses and to set limits on the number enrolled. (Id. art. 9.2.)