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text also available in Italian –  

The Workshop took place on November 17th, 2015 in Rome at the Democratic Party headquarters, “il Nazareno”, organized by the “Legality Commission” of the Democratic Party of Lazio (fb) and by the “PD political group” (fb)  of the Regional Council of Lazio.
A draft of the “Report about the activities of the Legality Commission of PD Lazio” was presented at the workshop in the form of slides (here in pdf).
Below is a list and a summary of the speeches.

Speakers

  • Baldassare Favara, coordinator of PD Lazio “Legality Commission” and Regional Councillor of Lazio
  • Gianpiero Cioffredi, president of the “Observatory on Legality” of the Lazio Region
  • Pietro Barrera, university professor
  • Tobia Zevi, Democratic Party National Assembly
  • Teresa Petrangolini, PD “Transparency Group” coordinator  and  Regional Councillor of Lazio
  • Sergio Celestino, Mayor of Formello
  • Iside Castagnola, councilor for the Democratic Party in the I° Municipality of Rome, president of the Special Commission “Security, legality, protection of rights in the territory of the center of Rome.”

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Baldassare Favara, coordinator of PD Lazio “Legality Commission” and Regional Councillor of Lazio

Baldassarre opened the workshop by presenting the objectives and components of the PD Lazio “Legality Commission” which has been in operation since July 2nd, 2015.
“The Legality Commission” – said Favara – “aims to be a place of analysis and support against political malfeasance.”
Favara reminded that the “Code of Ethics” and the Statute of the Democratic Party are based on principles of loyalty and cohesion.
The Commission seeks – also through the involvement of the party bodies, the elected members and the voters – to:

  • promote awareness of legality and anti-corruption through the establishment of a political school for public administrators provide necessary tools against lawlessness
  • suggest amendments to the statute and the code of ethics of the Democratic Party to strengthen its effectiveness in fighting corruption
  • provide an information-point “PD Lazio Legality”, where with all the guarantees necessary, administrators can find answers in the field of anti-mafia, anti racketeering and transparency.

Gianpiero Cioffredi, president of the “Observatory on Legality” of the Lazio Region

Giampiero outlined the actions taken by Zingaretti’s administration for transparency and against corruption, including:

  • Reducing and simplyfing the controllated companies (from 8 to 2) and the members of the related boards (down to 450).
  • Digitalization of administrative processes and of the spending process also using e-invoicing and a single purchasing center. The Region has also set up a register of electronic suppliers, a rotation of suppliers and a “white list” for virtuous companies.
  • Reduction of administrative discretion introducing a rigorous method for the payment of suppliers.
  • Fight against fraud and corruption in the management of European funds thanks to a new system of checks and measures to prevent corruption.

Giampiero also presented the first “Legality Report” by the Observatory (pdf , 2.1 M, 166 pp. ), which provides a detailed analysis of criminal infiltration in Lazio.
The Lazio Region aims to maintain and increase the competitiveness of economic activities and land counteracting unfair competition, maintaining and increasing competences, jobs and security.
The criminal economy, by contrast, alters the rules of the game and distorts the market, devaluing work, weaking investments, destroying intellectual property, hindering credit and limiting freedom of enterprise.

Pietro Barrera, university professor

Pietro addressed the issue of corruption in the local public administration and the tools which may be used for the prevention and punishment of wrongdoing.
“You only have to open a newspaper,” said Piero “to realize that corruption is devastating our resources, operational capabilities and the credibility of our public administrations.”
Barrera remarked that malfeasance involves all the “components” of the system: politicians and businessmen, executives and experts, officials, and sometimes ordinary civil servants, even of a low-level.
But how can administrators and citizens respond to the criminal underworld?
The first thing to do, according to Barrera, is “do things normally” respecting existing rules and planning activities: in procurement, for example, it is important to make public bids and not hide behind the “screen” of a continuing emergency. In most cases this only indicates sloppiness and an inability to plan ahead.
A second tool available to local governments is provided by the “Code of Conduct”, required by the 2012 Decree: on the one hand when this was renewed in 2013, it introduced important innovations, that is, it was no longer advisable, it became obligatory; on the other hand it now asks each administration to build its own, customized code, personalizing the general rules to fit the specific environment, both from a social and a cultural point of view.
The third instrument is the “Access right”,  that is, the “opportunity that the law puts into the hands of every citizen to oblige  the government to make transparent what is still hidden or unclear”.

Tobia Zevi, Democratic Party National Assembly

Tobia intervened to witness the attention that PD has towards issues of legality and transparency.
According to Zevi the most effective antidote against illegal behavior is represented by a central and local government which is efficient, transparent and facilitates citizens and enterprises cutting red-tape facilitates, that is through a simpler bureaucracy.
New technologies, according to Tobia, can be a great help for administrations because transparent processes and automated procedures are easier to control and to trace.

Teresa Petrangolini, PD “Transparency Group” coordinator  and  Regional Councillor of Lazio

Teresa began her speech by stressing how commitment to transparency in government activities and also in the relationship between government and citizens and in the fight against corruption, is a challenge of vital importance for the Country and its citizens.
Teresa then presented the PD Lazio “Transparency Group” which aims to work with the local structures of the party, with elected representatives and with citizen in order to increase “transparency” in all actions undertaken by the Democratic Party.
The PD Lazio “Transparency Group” also intends to operate both to highlight the actions of the Zingaretti administration regarding “government good practices” and transparency and to propose new actions in this area, aimed at PD members, representatives and citizens.
Regarding these actions already undertaken by the Zingaretti administration on transparency and care of “common goods”, Petrangolini recalled:

  • the law on cutting annuities for councilors
  • the proposed law on the transparency of politics and public administration, which provides, among other things, the establishment of a registry of representatives, and a register of lobbyists
  • the use of electronic invoicing for payment of suppliers in the region, an instrument that guarantees transparency and equal treatment.

The “Transparency Group” of the Lazio  Democratic Party is working instead on the following topics:

  1. the drafting of a “Vademecum / Decalogue” regarding “transparency” for the candidates of the Democratic Party in the upcoming local elections to strongly characterize them and their programs – this task is conducted in collaboration with the PD Lazio “Statute and internal rules Commission”
  2. the establishment of a network of “transparency promoters” in local sections of the Democratic Party
  3. an information campaign for citizens on the issues of transparency and good governance  aimed at increasing awareness of the “Access Right” and transparency
  4. assistance, information and training activities to members and elected representatives on the issues of “Transparency” in synergy with the PD Lazio “Legality Commission”, of which this workshop is the first step.

Teresa said that on the PD Lazio web site a “Transparency section” has been published, which contains, in addition to documents produced by the “Transparency Group”, also an annotated list on the main rules regarding transparency, using an easy and accessible language.

Sergio Celestino, Mayor of Formello

Sergio recounted his experience as mayor of Formello  – a little town near Rome – regarding the property confiscated from the Mafia.
Formello is an excellent example from this point of view because in 2014 through a Memorandum of Understanding signed by the Court of Rome, by Region, by Roma Administration, by Libera association, and other several cooperatives a 29-room villa owned by the Mafia was reassigned to the citizen for public use in a very short time.
Besides, Formello decided to involve its citizens in a reflection and awareness process against criminal infiltration, also involving schools, which culminated in the decision to name the new streets of the City after victims of the Mafia.

Iside Castagnola, councilor for the Democratic Party in the I Municipality of Rome, president of the Special Commission “Security, legality, protection of rights in the territory of the center of Rome.”

Iside illustrated her experience as President of the Special Commission “Security, legality, protection of rights in the territory of the center of Rome.”
“They were two years very difficult,” said Iside, “because we had to face numerous obstacles caused either by obstructive behavior by some public officials or active intimidation when for example, with Sabrina Alfonsi – the President of I Rome Municipality – we confronted reorganization of licenses for the Christmas market in Piazza Navona”.
Iside, who is also a member of the PD Lazio “Legality Commission”, also underlined the great backwardness of the Rome administration and of the municipalities, not computerized, so, for example, shops licenses in the center of Rome are managed on paper despite being very valuable and running the risk of abuses and illegal activities”.
Iside also took up the issue of “Mafia confiscated properties” agreeing on the need for a rapid re-assignment of these assets to the community and remembering that, from this point of view, the “mapping” of confiscated properties and the establishment of a “permanent round table” between local authorities and police forces – as well as those set up in Rome by the prefect Gabrielli – is crucial.
At the end of her speech Iside Castagnola remembered the commitment of Alfonso Sabella, the previous “Legality and Transparency” deputy governor in Marino’s administration and in particular his resolution of January 2015 to “prevent and detect cases of corruption” which required a regular staff turnover – not only of political managers but also of civil servants and employees – and also to strengthen the Anti-Corruption Bureau of the Roman administration.

See also

Democratic Party of Lazio