Italy Transitional Results Report 2019-2021
- Action Plan: Italy Action Plan 2019-2021
- Dates Under Review: 2019-2021
- Report Publication Year: 2022
The The Open Government Partnership (OGP) is a multi-stakeholder initiative focused on improving government transparency, ensuring opportunities for citizen participation in public matters, and strengthen... More is a global partnership that brings together government reformers and civil society leaders to create action plans that make governments more inclusive, responsive, and accountable. Action plans are at the core of a government’s participation in OGP. They are the product of a co-creation process in which government and civil society jointly develop commitments to open governmen... commitments may build on existing efforts, identify new steps to complete ongoing reforms, or initiate an entirely new area. OGP’s The Independent Reporting Mechanism (IRM) is OGP’s accountability arm and the main means of tracking progress in participating countries. The IRM provides independent, evidence-based, and objective ... monitors all action plans to ensure governments follow through on commitments. Civil society and government leaders use the evaluations to reflect on their progress and determine if efforts have impacted people’s lives.
The IRM has partnered with Federica Genna (Ecorys) to carry out this evaluation. The IRM aims to inform ongoing dialogue around the development and implementation of future commitments. For a full description of the IRM’s methodology, please visit https://www.opengovpartnership.org/about/independent-reporting-mechanism.
This report covers the implementation of Italy’s fourth action plan for 2019–2021. In 2021, the IRM implemented a new approach to its research process and the scope of its reporting on action plans, approved by the IRM Refresh. The IRM adjusted its implementation reports for 2018–2020 action plans to fit the transition process to the new IRM products and enable the IRM to adjust its workflow in light of the COVID-19 pandemic’s effects on OGP country processes.
Action Plan Implementation
The IRM transitional results report assesses the status of the action plan’s commitments and the results from their implementation at the end of the action plan cycle. This report does not revisit the assessments for “OGP commitments should be clear and specific enough to enable measurement of their progress. Verifiable commitments include specific activities that can be monitored. Following an action plan’s subm...,” “According to the OGP Articles of Governance, OGP commitments should include a clear open government lens. Specifically, they should advance at least one of the OGP values: transparency, citizen partic...,” or “potential impact.” The IRM assesses those three indicators in IRM design reports. For more details on each indicator, please see Annex I in this report.
General highlights and results
Italy’s 2019–2021 action plan contained 10 commitments with 58 clusters of milestones under the responsibility of different public institutions at national, regional, and local levels. Some commitments addressed thematic areas from the previous action plan such as By opening up data and making it sharable and reusable, governments can enable informed debate, better decision making, and the development of innovative new services. Technical specifications: Polici..., access to information, fostering a culture of open government, providing digital services, and promoting digital citizenship. The Ministry of Accountability within the public education system is key to improving outcomes and attainment, and accountability is nearly impossible without transparent policies and opportunities for participation ... added seven more clusters of milestones to the action plan in August 2020 to include measures that respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Half of the commitments (5 out of 10) in the 2019–2021 action plan achieved substantial Implementers must follow through on their commitments for them to achieve impact. For each commitment, OGP’s Independent Reporting Mechanism (IRM) evaluates the degree to which the activities outlin... while the other half had limited completion. Compared to the previous action plan, fewer commitments were fully completed. However, it is noted that some commitments included fully completed groups of activities even if the OGP commitments are promises for reform co-created by governments and civil society and submitted as part of an action plan. Commitments typically include a description of the problem, concrete action... as a whole was not fully completed. This is because the complex design of the commitments included multiple groups of sometimes unrelated milestones from multiple public institutions. For example, Commitment 10 had overall limited completion, but the Department for Recognizing that investing in youth means investing in a better future, OGP participating governments are creating meaningful opportunities for youth to participate in government processes. Technical ... and National Community Service and Unioncamere fully completed the group of milestones for which they were responsible.
The response to the COVID-19 pandemic directly impacted some commitments’ implementation (see Section 2.2). Also, uncertainty from changing government cabinets (and therefore changes in ministerial direction) delayed or halted implementation of many milestones under the responsibility of central public administrations.
The IRM design report recognized commitments on Disclosing beneficial owners — those who ultimately control or profit from a business — is essential for combating corruption, stemming illicit financial flows, and fighting tax evasion. Technical... More, Giving citizens opportunities to provide input into government decision-making leads to more effective governance, improved public service delivery, and more equitable outcomes. Technical specificatio..., and Government reformers are developing regulations that enshrine values of transparency, participation, and accountability in government practices. Technical specifications: Act of creating or reforming ... of stakeholders (Lobbying transparency allows the public to ensure that there is diversity of participation and contribution to public decision-making. Technical specifications: Policies and actions affecting lobbying... regulation) as being noteworthy. The commitments on beneficial ownership According to OGP’s Articles of Governance, transparency occurs when “government-held information (including on activities and decisions) is open, comprehensive, timely, freely available to the pub... More and stakeholder regulation saw only limited completion and no change in opening government. Lengthy legislative processes for beneficial ownership transparency; weakened political interest in the Registry of Stakeholders commitment; two political turnovers in government during implementation; and the reprioritization of the public administration to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic were factors in limited and stalled commitment implementation. However, Commitment 4 on public participation saw major opening of government from the national public administration, as well as steps by local entities toward engaging citizens in decision-making processes. Commitment 4 is analyzed further in Section 2.3.
Further tangible results are found in other commitments’ milestone clusters. Milestones 10.12–10.21 created a web platform to allow young people to apply online for Community Service. On its first day of operation, the platform received 4,271 requests for access and 787 completed applications. The Institute for Environmental Protection and Research also saw tangible results in access to information (Milestones 2.8–2.11). It launched a single, consolidated online form through which people can apply for access to documents and information, vastly simplifying a system that had multiple processes for requesting procedures from multiple subordinate agencies.
COVID-19 pandemic impact on implementation
After the first lockdown in March 2020, Italy began to gradually ease restrictions in May and restored freedom of movement in June 2020. In October 2020, the Italian government introduced restrictions on movement and social life due to the second wave of the pandemic, which were gradually eased in mid-2021. The two government cabinet turnovers were the main cause for the Italian multistakeholder forum not meeting regularly during the implementation period. However, reprioritizing the public administration (including the OGP Italy team) to respond to the pandemic was a contributing factor. Interaction picked up again between April and May 2021, when the new OGP Italy team was appointed following the establishment of the Draghi government.
Responding to the COVID-19 pandemic further delayed an already lengthy process for adopting beneficial ownership legislation, and directed political attention away from adopting measures to regulate lobbying. Also, the pandemic led meetings to move online, which was attributed as why some commitments were not completed fully. The pandemic’s draw on resources means that creating linked open data on public investments will take another two years. The international implementation of the School of OpenCoesione was also not completed due to restrictions on freedom of assembly affecting Portugal. To encourage the completion of commitments beyond the scope of the implementation period, the government’s self assessment report added 31 December as a final completion date for 29 milestones classified as “in progress”.
On the other hand, the Ministry of Education added five actions in Commitment 9 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic: to update students and schools about COVID-19 rules, support distance learning during the pandemic, promote the development of digital skills in education and adult education, and promote social awareness on cybersecurity and digital citizenship. The Ministry of Education also added milestones to Commitment 10 on training teaching staff about using online content and on teaching civic education.
 For more information, see: https://www.opengovpartnership.org/process/accountability/about-the-irm/irm-refresh/.
 Some commitments were very specific, while others were broad and included over 40 unrelated milestones from various institutions.
 Sabina Bellotti (DFP), Information provided to IRM during pre-publication period, 7 Feb. 2022