removals and «duplicate» departments -

removals and «duplicate» departments -

Of Federico Fubini

The Council of State's doubts about the Palazzo Chigi scheme. The substance of the reform, which should look at efficiency, seems to be the spin-off

These days the government celebrates, so to speak, i six months since a deep was announced reform of the Ministry of Economy. The anniversary is obscured by the fact that the reform has not yet taken place. In fact, the decree of the President of the Council of Ministers which was supposed to create one has not yet seen the light of day new structurethe Department of Economics, with two key missions to subtract from the Treasury Department: «Financial interventions in the economy» and «Enhancement of public assets».

There pars destruens of the reform announced six months ago seems to have certainly succeeded. Was sent away on the initiative of the Presidency of the Council the now ex director general of the Treasury Alessandro Riveraessentially because for unjustified reasons he did not enjoy the political trust of the current government. The directorate of the Treasury which was responsible for the "enhancement of public assets", i.e. the State shareholdings in companies, was decapitated, with the exit six months ago of Philip Giansante towards the presidency of Sace; the latter was never compensated with an appointment in his place. And a new mission unit was created in Palazzo Chigi - no one seems to know if it is already complete in its organization chart - which in fact removes the programming functions on the National Recovery and Resilience Plan from the Ministry of Economy.

If the reform decree of the historically most important ministry in Italy, perhaps the only one with both a competent and robust structure, has not yet seen the light of day, it is probably for a specific reason: the State Council - consulted on the matter - did not declare the new scheme illegal, but let it be understood that he doesn't understand its meaning. Not from an administrative efficiency point of view, at least.

The opinion is already official and asks the government many questions between the lines. He notes that the heart of the reform is the "unbundling" of Treasury functions towards the new Department of the Economy but "does not provide elements that allow it to be reconnected to the priorities and related strategic activities" of the Ministry's Guidelines for the period 2023-2025 (which, notes the State Council, "is silent on the point"). The substance of the reform seems to be the spin-off, that is, cutting the nails of the historically most efficient structure in the Italian state: the Treasury. «That is, it does not appear that the new Department of the Economy is assigned them substantial skills gleaned elsewhere, or that the subjects themselves are configured differently», writes the Council of State. Who warns that, with the hypothesized new department, there is a risk of creating duplication or a lack of coordination with the already existing structures of the Treasury. "The question arises as to which distinction is", notes the Council of State between the "Impact Analysis" Directorate of the Treasury and the "Impact Assessment" Directorate of the future department, with the risk of "diverging and contradictory outcomes". The Council of State also sees risks of "overlaps and contradictions" in the competences of the two structures, the existing and the future, with regard to (reduced) competences in the field of Pnrr and relations in general with the European Union.

After all, the announcement of the reform had been functional to the defenestration of Rivera last January. In place of him he had been nominated with Riccardo Barbieri Hermittein the absence of alternatives, another director general of the Treasury who like Rivera it does not enjoy political trust but, unlike Rivera, he lacked operational expertise and experience. Barbieri is a pure economist with Sherpa skills outside, in the European and international committees that absorb much of his time on travel. He had appointed him instead of Rivera only on condition of reduce many of the functions focus on that role.

The result is an almost decapitated Treasure, in a ministry of the Economy that has been waiting for its reform suspended and paralyzed for many months. After all, he does not enjoy political trust not even the general state accountant, Biagio Mazzottato the point - a unique case - that he was not summoned to Palazzo Chigi even once during the last budget session.

More connected to the rest of the government are the officials directly collaborating with Minister Giancarlo Giorgetti: the head of the cabinet Stephen Varone and the head of the legislative office Daria Perrotta, who however seem divided by a heated rivalry. Palazzo Chigi observes, but doesn't seem to care. After all, Giorgia Meloni's chief of staff is Gaetano Caputi, former collaborator of Vincenzo Fortunato, historic head of cabinet of Giulio Tremonti in Economics. Caputi must have confidence that he can manage numbers and dossiers from Palazzo Chigi, given his adherence to the Treasury. Provided, of course, that complex issues such as those of the last decade do not return to Italy.

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July 23, 2023 (change July 23, 2023 | 07:20)

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