Main legal texts impacting on the development of eGovernment
Last updated: December 2011
The new Digital Administration Code (DAC) has been modified so as to include the regulations in line with the ongoing development of technology. Important changes and supplements were recently introduced by Legislative Decree No. 235/2010, which has further updated the regulatory framework on the subject of digital administration. The new code introduces a group of regulatory changes that will have a concrete impact on the administrations’ conduct and practices, as well as on the quality of the services rendered to the public and businesses, guaranteeing greater transparency, timeliness, accessibility and efficiency. The most recent reform went into effect on 25 January 2011 with the phase-in of the initiatives planned for 2012, consistent with the eGovernment Plan. The new DAC endorses new rights for the public and businesses, as well as new opportunities and obligations for the public administrations.
The decree acknowledges the European Directive 2007/2/CE establishing an infrastructure for Spatial Information in the European Community (INSPIRE). The decree assigns to the Italian National Register of Spatial data (Repertorio nazionale dei dati territoriali, set up by decree n. 82/2005 of the eGovernment Code) the function of national catalogue of metadata The eGovernment agency, DigitPA, is responsible for the ownership of the Register.
This Decree set up 'DigitPA', an agency for the Digitalisation in the Italian Public Administration, placed under the responsibility of the Minister for Public Administration and Innovation. The decree completes the reform of the Italian civil service launched, in October 2009, by the law n. 150/2009. The mission of the new body is to provide value for citizens and businesses, implementing the eGovernment policies.
On 9 October 2009, the Government approved legislative decree n. 150 implementing Law n. 15/2009 on civil service reform and the efficiency and transparency of public administration. The reform is engineered around citizens, in their role of stakeholders of the public services acting as drivers of the innovation.
The Decree adopted by the Government on 6 May 2009 with the agreement of the Joint Conference State – Regions (Conferenza unificata Stato Regioni) defines:
Law no. 2 of 28 January 2009 converts into law the Decree no. 185 of 29 November 2008 which contains measures intended to overcome the economic crisis. Article 16-bis of the Decree stated that all citizens must receive a PEC box upon request and that certified electronic mail is free of charge and equivalent to a notification by regular mail (article 48). Furthermore public administration will use certified electronic mail for the communications and the notifications to its employees.
The eGovernment Code (Codice dell’Amministrazione Digitale) entered into force on 1 January 2006. It aims to provide a clear legal framework for the development of eGovernment and for the emergence of an efficient and user-friendly Public Administration. The Code grants citizens and businesses the right to demand and obtain the use of electronic means by public administration bodies, in the day-to-day transactions with the users.
To facilitate the implementation of the eGovernment Code and accelerate the computerisation of the Italian public offices, the Minister for Reform and Innovation within Public Administration signed, in February 2007, a Ministerial Order on the interchange of data between Public Administrations and the publication of negotiation activities (known as 'Innovation Directive').
The Code was published as a legislative decree on 13 August 2011, launching the next step towards achieving a new, digital and simplified Administration, in compliance with the eGov Plan 2012. The main points of the code regard:
Chapter V of Law n. 241/90 of 7 August 1990 provides for a limited right ofaccess to administrative documents. Public bodies must respond to a request for administrative documents within30 days. Information can be withheld when it relates to (a) security, national defence and international relations; (b) monetary and foreign exchange policy; (c) public order, prevention and repression of crime; and (d) privacy of third parties. Appeals can be lodged to a regional administrative court, whose decisions can be appealed to the Council of State.
The Law also created a Committee on Access to Administrative Documents under the Office of the Prime Minister. The Committee monitors the operation of the Law and oversees the principle of transparency of the activities of the Public Administration. The law was lastly amended on 6 September 1997.
The Data Protection Code entered into force on 1 January 2004. It replaces the previous Data Protection Law (Law no. 675/1996), as well as a number of other legislative and regulatory provisions.
The Data Protection Code updates, completes and consolidates Italy's data protection legislation (1996) by introducing important innovations and conforming national legislation to European regulations, in particular the Data Protection Directive (95/46/EC) and the Directive on privacy and electronic communications (2002/58/EC).The code aims to strengthen the data protection rights of individuals, allowing them to exercise their rights and instigate proceedings more easily. The Code was lastly amended on 4 November 2010.
The Data Protection Commissioner ('Garante Privacy') is in charge of supervising and enforcing the application of the Data Protection Code. In an effort to simplify the complaint process, the Commissioner has published a complaints' form on its website.
Italy has been among the first EU countries to give full legal value to electronic signatures. Law no. 59 of 15 March 1997 on the simplification of the Public Administration provided in its article 15 that the use of electronic means would be legally valid for administrative procedures. Rules regarding the use of electronic signatures and documents were further detailed in a series of presidential and government decrees adopted between 1997 and 2001. Legislative Decree no. 10 of 23 January 2002 brought the Italian electronic signature regulations in line with the Directive 1999/93/EC on a Community framework for electronic signatures.
The eGovernment Code regulates electronic signatures and confirms their full legal validity. The Italian known as 'firma digitale' (digital signature) is compliant with the 'qualified signature', as in the Directive 1999/93/EC.
Legislative Decree no. 70 of 9 April 2003 came into force on 14 May 2003. It regulates the use of electronic commerce means in Italy, as well as the information that eCommerce websites shall compulsorily provide to purchasers. The Decree transposes Directive 2000/31/EC on certain legal aspects of information society services, in particular electronic commerce in the Internal Market ('Directive on electronic commerce').
The Electronic Communications Code entered into force on 16 September 2003. It transposes four of the directives of the EU regulatory framework for electronic communications, the ePrivacy directive being transposed in the Data Protection Code.
The Decree of the President of the Council of Ministers of 6 May 2009 set out the provisions relating to the issuance and use of the certified electronic mail box (Posta Elettronica Certificata – PEC) assigned to nationals (OJ 25 May 2009, n. 119).The decree grants a free box of certified mail to all citizens who request it, in implementation of Article 8 of the Electronic Administration Code, according to which the State should develop actions to promote computer literacy of citizens, encouraging them to use the telematic services of PA.
Adopted on 12 April 2006, the Public Procurement Code implements Directive 2004/17/EC coordinating the procurement procedures of entities operating in the water, energy, transport and postal services sectors, and Directive 2004/18/EC on the coordination of procedures for the award of public works, public supplies and public service contracts. The Code introduces provisions relating to eAuctions, dynamic purchasing system, eCatalogues and other electronic means used in public procurement procedures.
In April 2002, the Presidential Decree DPR 101/2002 established the framework for an electronic procurement procedure (gara telematica) above and below the EU thresholds and the eMarketplace (MEPA) for public procurements below the EU thresholds. The Decree has also tasked the Ministry of Economy and Finance to build and run a centralised eMarketplace accessible to all Italian Public Administrations (MePA - Mercato Elettronico della Pubblica Amministrazione). The ministry once again has entrusted Consip to implement and manage the MePA.
In force since 24 January 2006, this legislative decree has transposed the EU Directive on the re-use of public sector information (Directive 2003/98/EC). The Italian Government drafted an amendment to the Legislative Decree 24 January 2006, No. 36 on the re-use of documents in the public sector that transposes the re-use of public sector information Directive 2003/98/EC correctly, following controversy on the correct transposition of the Directive on PSI re-use in Italy.