08/11/2007 - Italy should cut red tape, improve the way new rules affecting citizens and business are drafted at a regional level and strengthen co-ordination between the State and the regions. This will boost innovation and competition and improve the economic performance of Italian regions, according to a new OECD report.
Italy: Ensuring Regulatory Quality across Levels of Government reviews the arrangements for multi-level regulatory governance in Italy, including the use of regulatory tools in four Italian regions (Veneto, Calabria, Campania and Tuscany) and the analysis of selected economic sectors to shed more light on the economic implications of regulatory processes at regional level.
Italy is the first country to request a comprehensive review by the OECD on multi-level regulatory governance practices. The report presents an overall picture of the institutional set-up for multi-level regulation in Italy, the specifics of sharing responsibilities between the State and the regions, and the horizontal and vertical co-ordination mechanisms in place in the country.
Decentralisation has been an important driver for innovation in Italy, together with membership to the European Union, the report notes. Some progress has been made to include principles of good regulation in policy making. But more needs to be done to clarify the roles and competencies between the State and the regions.
Regulatory reform and accountability should be promoted at all levels of government. When rules are developed at a local level, more attention should be paid to their impact on the regional economy and competition. This would help ensure greater coherence between national policy objectives and their implementation at a local level.
Strengthening quality regulation at the regional level requires systematic consultation procedures and training in the use of policy tools, such as Regulatory Impact Analysis. Much remains to be done to cut red tape, simplify laws at regional level and eliminate outdated procedures. Better use of information and Communication Technology (ICT) and increasing the use of local one-stop shops for business would help.
Streamlining mechanisms for dispute resolution and appeals, such as using arbitration and conciliation, should be encouraged. Putting in place a better legal framework in which legal certainty, clarity and transparency of procedures is guaranteed and which promotes competition would also boost economic growth, the report notes.
Italy: Ensuring Regulatory Quality across Levels of Government is available to journalists on the password protected site or on request from OECD's Media Division (tel. 1 45 24 97 00) . For further information, journalists are invited to contact Stéphane Jacobzone, OECD's Regulatory Policy Division (tel.  1 45 24 85 56/ 6 76 03 34 47), or Delia Rodrigo, OECD's Regulatory Policy Division (tel.  1 45 24 16 53).