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Italy

Public contracts

Updated 04/2013

Legal requirements

Public Contacts refer to all operations and tasks, regulated by law, which allow administration to carry out works or to acquire a service or supply of goods.

The Public Contracts Service of the Ministry for Infrastructure and Transport publishes notices and announcements of works, services and supplies and three-year schedules of public works.

Some tenders are published directly on the websites of the respective regions.

The Institute for Innovation and Transparency of Procurement and Environmental Compatibility (ITACA) promotes and guarantees the technical coordination between regions and autonomous provinces in the area of public procurement and ensures that the State institutions, regional bodies and operators in the sector are coordinated.

The Institute promotes the development of Transparency in the different stages of the cycle of public contracts and awarding of grants (information systems for the collection and dissemination of all relevant information relating to contracts, etc..).

ITACA also promotes and spreads good practice in public services, supply and works for urban quality and environmental sustainability.

Green public procurement (Green Public Procurement) consists in the integration of environmental considerations in public administration procurement procedures. These are contracts regarding products and services which have a minor or reduced effect on human health and the environment compared to other products and services used in the same area. The minimum environmental criteria are the elements that qualify a procurement process as “green”.

With the regulation implementing the code of public contracts, for the first time in the Italian system, the services and supplies are controlled during their implementation cycle, from the programming and planning phase to the execution and testing phase, including the regulation of the instruments for resolution of litigation during the execution phase.

Maximum transparency of this administrative action is ensured by the mandatory publication of announcements and notices in daily newspapers.

Types of Public contracts

There are three categories of public contracts:

  • Contracts of works: including construction, demolition, recovery, restoration renovation and maintenance activities;
  • Contracts of supplies: these are public contracts for procurement, financial leasing or leasing by public administrators of all products necessary for the functioning of institutions; 
  • Contracts of services: are public contracts for the provision of services.

Generally, the public authority selects a supplying business through a tender open to all interested companies. The contract is awarded by a committee which takes into account the technical and economic characteristics of the tenders submitted.

The Code of public contracts divides the contracts into four types which differ in their terms of structure:

  • Fixed-price contracts;
  • Unit price contracts;
  • Mixed fixed and unit-price contracts;
  • Direct labour.

Tendering procedure: Step-by-step guide

There are three main types of contract award procedure:

  • The open procedure (or public auction): all businesses that wish to participate, may request to do so, provided they satisfy the criteria for the type of work and the price. 
  • The restricted procedure (or private treaty): all businesses invited by the relevant public administration may take part in the tendering procedure. 
  • The negotiated procedure, defined as "private agreement", which includes the economic procedure, is provided in limited cases specified by the law.
 

Administrative procedures

A company wishing to supply goods or services to public authorities should regularly check the publications or calls for tender.

If a company meets all requirements, the following step is to submit a tender according to the tendering procedures and deadlines.

Submission of tenders

The documents to be submitted along with the tenders and/or applications to participate, are usually listed in each notification.  If this list is not available, it is advisable to keep to what is listed in the Code of public contracts.

Contractors and subcontractors involved at every level, in works, services and supplies, should use one or more current accounts in banks or post offices which are dedicated to public orders, in which to be able to perform the obligatory transfers of all of the income and expenses related to the order.

Joint liability between the contractor and subcontractor

In case of subcontracting, the contractor is jointly liable with the subcontractor regarding the payments due to the Agenzia delle Entrate on the income of employees and for paying compulsory social security contributions for work-related accidents and occupational diseases.

Resources

The “ Networked System “ in public administration aims to rationalise and centralise public procurement and spread good practice and competencies between central and regional administrations.

Help & advice

Help & advice

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