Italy has renewed its Public Procurement Code. Some of the highlights of the new Code include digitization of procedures, regulation of below-threshold contracts and elimination of the prohibition on "cascade subcontracting"
The approval of the new Public Procurement Code marks an important milestone for the Italian public procurement system, which is expected to undergo significant changes aimed at simplifying and streamlining procedures, promoting digitization, and liberalizing the market. The new Code is set to enter into force on April 1, 2023, and become effective from July 1, 2023, giving operators enough time to prepare for the novelties that will characterize future years of public contracts.
One of the most significant innovations of the new Code is the digitization of procedures, which will be based on a national digital procurement ecosystem (e-procurement), the National database of public contracts, and the Digital procurement platforms. This is expected to increase efficiency and transparency in the procurement process, making it easier for institutions and companies to provide goods and services to citizens.
Another notable change is the regulation of "below-threshold" contracts, which will increase the thresholds within which contracting authorities can proceed with direct awards, even without consulting economic operators. While this has raised concerns about the efficiency of direct awards made without the minimum competitive comparison, the new Code aims to balance the need for speed with the need for fair competition.
Other changes include the introduction of the integrated contract, the elimination of the prohibition on "cascade subcontracting," the rationalization and simplification of the discipline of exclusion grounds, the introduction of the constructive dissent figure, and the safeguarding of "made in Italy" products.
However, it is important to note that the new Code is about to bring further significant innovations, and contracting authorities will need to apply and interpret the general principles in a consistent and fair manner to ensure that the new procurement system achieves its intended goals.