Italy: New Legislation Creates Center to Monitor State-Regional Financial Agreements on Indebtedness

(July 17, 2018) On June 28, 2018, new legislation came into effect in Italy creating the Center for the Monitoring of Regional Agreements to provide oversight related to the indebtedness of the regions and local entities. (Decree No. 67 of the President of the Council of Ministers of April 23, 2018, Regulations on the Amendments to Decree No. 21 of the President of the Council of Ministers of February 21, 2017, on the Criteria and Modalities for the Implementation of Article 10, Paragraph 5 of Law No. 243 of December 24, 2012, on Recourse to Indebtedness by the Regions and Local Entities, Including the Implementation Modalities of the Substitutive Power of the State, in Case of Inertia or Delay, by the Regions and the Autonomous Provinces of Trent and Bolzano (Decree No. 67), GAZZETTA UFFICIALE [OFFICIAL GAZETTE] [G.U.] No. 135, June 13, 2018 (in Italian), G.U. website.)

Motivation for the New Legislation

Decree No. 67 was issued by the President of the Council of Ministers as a response to the constitutional issues debated during a constitutional legitimacy case held at the Italian Constitutional Court concerning the impact of certain budgetary commitments by the Italian state, the regions, and other local entities. (Decision No. 247/2017 of October 11, 2017, of the Italian Constitutional Court in a Constitutional Legitimacy Case Lodged by the Autonomous Provinces of Bozano and Trent, and the Autonomous Regions of Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol and Friuli-Venezia Giulia, and the Veneto Region, G.U. No. 49, Dec. 6, 2017 (in Italian), Conference of the Regions and Autonomous Provinces website.)

New Oversight Mechanism

The new legislation creates the “Center for the Monitoring of Regional Agreements” as a mechanism to verify compliance with the financial agreements executed between the state and the regions. (Decree No. 67, art. 1(1)(e).) The Monitoring Center is located at the Ministry of the Economy and Finances’ Department of General Accounting of the State (id.) and is composed of high-level officials from the Ministry of Economy and Finance and the Ministry of the Interior, as well as representatives from numerous government unions (id. art. 1(3)).

In order to monitor compliance with regional agreements and verify the full use of the financial allocations approved for the implementation of investments, the Monitoring Center must use available data and information in accordance with several criteria listed in the new legislation and other indicators that the Center may select on its own initiative. (Id. art. 1(19) & (20).) The Center is also empowered to prepare general principles and strategies for the full use of financial allocations and investments by local authorities. (Id. art. 1(22).)

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