Objective: a simple and innovative public administration
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Objective: a simple and innovative public administration

AMONG THE OBJECTIVES OF THE ITALIAN NATIONAL RECOVERY AND RESILIENCE PLAN (PNRR) THERE IS THE REORGANIZATION AND DIGITALIZATION OF PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION. BOCCONI ALUMNUS VALERIO IOSSA HEADS THE NEW UNIT FOR THE IMPLEMENTATION OF PLAN IN THE ITALIAN CIVIL SERVICE AND EXPLAINS WHAT THE FOCUS WILL BE ON

Simplifying, reorganizing and digitizing the public administration is the foremost commitment of Next Generation EU across Europe. Not surprisingly, it is a line of intervention that unites the needs of Italy and other EU member countries, which must bridge gaps along the path of innovation. In the Italian Peninsula alone, the European recovery plan makes available an overall budget of €1.3 billion, with the intention of "implementing a reform of the public administration. which, unlike in the past, is not disconnected from its actual implementation in the daily practice of management. The final goal is to offer faster services, that can be accessed by the vast majority of the population and are easy to use thanks to digital technology, in a homogeneous way throughout the national territory”, says Valerio Iossa, Director General of the new mission unit for the implementation of the PNRR at the Department of Public Administration in the office of the Italian Prime Minister. According to Iossa, the very nature of the plan promotes the modern and efficient reimagining of public administration, since the EU Plan is structured to credit the supporting funds only after the targeted results are achieved and certified.
 
What are these objectives concretely?
For example, we must be able to train 750,000 employees by June 2026. We must simplify 600 procedures, especially those concerning the ecological transition, urban planning and construction, manufacturing, procurement and administrative procedures. Therefore, we will intervene in three macro-areas: the recruitment of personnel, the simplification and digitalization of internal or transversal processes in several administrations and, thirdly, the development of skills of the current employees in public administration.
 
How can recruitment help streamline processes?
Recruitment will be skills-oriented rather than knowledge-oriented. If right from the selection phase, the different skills of job candidates are highlighted, especially the digital ones, then public administration will be able to rely on more suitable personnel for its various roles, for example to plan the transition of public administrations from organizations that are mostly analog to fully digital ones. In parallel, it is necessary to develop the skills of those who are already civil servants, encouraging their professional upgrading through career development and salary incentive. In the eyes of citizens, all this will translate into faster delivery of existing services and new ones available digitally. Just to give other examples, we have already halved waiting times for the release of Environmental Impact Assessments; we are working to make sure all the documentation needed for authorization to start production or construction can be submitted online. Obviously, also the release of administrative authorizations will take place electronically.
 
What are the risks of this epochal transformation of Italian public administration?
The risks that need to be taken into account in order to seize the opportunities envisaged by the National Recovery and Resilience Plan are essentially two. It is necessary to avoid that implementation must undergo an excessive number of checks, which could hinder the rollout of the plan. Finally, it must be considered that proper implementation also depends on local and regional authorities, which must be involved because citizenry will interface with them when they access the new digital services.
 
SHORT BIO
Before directing the new mission unit for the implementation of PNRR at the Presidency of the Council of Ministers, Valerio Iossa worked at the Municipality of Milano as director for personnel. He holds a Master in Public Management from Bocconi University. Of his period there, he says "it was the greatest experience of training in complexity and its governance."

by Camillo Papini

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