Learner’s Submission: Online Public Services in Italy

11/11/2013

“Over the past years, the Italian government implemented several new online public services such as Administration portals G2G (Government to Government) and G2B online portals (from Government to Business). Moreover, in the last couple of years, these telematic websites such as “OpenCoesione” and “CampoGiovani” have been used quite a lot by myself. However, the most important and yet the most popular online service in Italy that I have made use of is surely the “certified electronic mail” (in Italian Posta Elettronica Certificata).

The Posta Elettronica Certificata is an electronic mail by which a Public Administration delivers an online service allowing someone to bypass phishing emails and spam filters when sending emails messages to its subscribers, in return for paying a fee to the certifying service. The certified e‐mail (PEC from the Italian acronym of Posta Elettronica Certificata) it ensures the sender of the actual delivery of the message to the addressee and provides the same legal value of a letter sent by recorded delivery and receipt (in Italian raccomandata). For this reason, the person who decided to send an email can then be sure that his messages have reached their recipients without being blocked, or having links or images stripped out of them, by spam filters. The purpose of certified email is to allow Public Administrations to reliably reach the citizens by email, while giving recipients certainty that a certified message is legitimate and is not a forged spamming attempt. Thanks to the certified e‐mail system, the interaction between citizens, Public Administrations (PAs), Professionals and Companies is simplified because any user, from any online computer, can comfortably send letters and documents that previously could only be processed by Post Offices.

In the early 90s, the internet became very popular in Italy. Since 1997, the Italian laws have recognized electronic delivery systems as legally usable. Furthermore, in 2005, after two years of technical tests, the characteristics of an official electronic delivery service, named “certified electronic mail” (in Italian Posta Elettronica Certificata) were defined, giving the system legal standing. The design of the entire system was carried out by the National Center for Informatics in the Public Administration of Italy (DigitPA), followed by efforts for the implementation and testing of the service. The DigitPA has given the Italian National Research Council (CNR), and in particular the Institute of Information Science and Technologies at the CNR (ISTI), the task of running tests on providers of the service to guarantee the correct implementation and interoperability.

Nowadays, the Posta Elettronica Certificata allows citizens to obtain such a great advantage from it. For instance, the electronic management of communications and documents are therefore now certified and traceable, enjoying full legal validity, from your own computer this means that time and costs are now drastically reduced since your are not supposed to reach your Post Office physically. Furthermore, citizens will now have the advantage of having the option of a “read return receipt” that will not only confirm delivery but also the actual “reading” of the e‐mail from the addressee and finally each citizen will be able to communicate from their computers in a safe, non‐costly and exclusive form with the Public Administration, companies, and professionals in all cases where a communication with legal value is required.

To conclude, the Posta Elettronica Certificata has become a great success throughout the whole country. Recent data confirms that the Certified e‐mail development process is well on its way counting over 9.500 Certified e‐mail accounts have been activated by the Central and Local Public Administrations.” – Alessio Manes – Rome, Italy

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Learner’s Submission: HRCD in the Public Sector in Italy

11/04/2012

As an HR manager, how are your country’s top leadership and development vision linked to Human Resource Capacity Development in the Public Sector?

“My country is Italy, a modern state where “public workers” are about 5.5 percent of the population and in which the focus on Human Resources has been increasing for some time.

I belong to the Ministry of Defense and serving in my organization, at my level, and I’m both a leader and a manager, constantly committed to apply the strategic guidelines and the directives coming from the Country’s top leadership.

Nowadays in the Italian Public Administration it’s easy to observe that a large interest in the Human Resource Capacity Development is definitely present and it is absolutely not difficult to find references to it among the HR sectors of the various PA branches.

The leaders of the Country, through the Public Administration Department, have conceived a new vision and developed new measures for PA, which will make the managers more accountable to the organization they manage, more responsible for the employees they lead and more answerable to the people they serve, focusing on HRCD. The aim is to grow up productivity, reduce administrative burden, and improve public services in order to provide the Country with an important contribution to the relaunch of the economy and its growth, offering also quality services to the citizens.

It is possible to point out the some key factors in the development vision:

  • transparency;
  • meritocracy;
  • efficiency & effectiveness;
  • costs reduction & wastes abolition.

The way we can link this development vision to the Human Resource Capacity Development is neither simple, nor easy; nevertheless it is necessary to specify that it has to include a deep maneuver which starts from the innovation of the school system: a new liaison between the educational structure (Universities in particular) and the Public Administration needs to be enforced, in order to facilitate access to PA for the best minds.

Some changes in the personnel selection procedures are already visible, however more effort are needed for the enhancement of career progression scheme and economic incentives assignment. This because the importance of motivation and enthusiasm at work has been fully understood, so it is essential to have both: a reward system which awards the deserving as well as managers who are able to establish positive, constructive relations with their employees, who form the «human capital», paying attention to them and trying to increase their productivity. Moreover severe disciplinary measures have to be applied to balance and harmonize the reward system.

A continuous assessment process is also required: this is often the only way to understand how to adjust the performance of a single worker, to help him (or her) to develop his/her own capabilities through training, but also allows the evaluation of an entire unit in the PA in relation to that single employee.

All these measures will induce the public workers to make major efforts; if we want to have the best workers (or just better workers) we must have good managers and leaders, so the first step is “to learn how to manage”. Training is a focal point and fortunately several training centers are already operational and work in accordance with the Human Resource Capacity Development standards. Investments in personnel training have to increase constantly, because knowledge and skills are indispensable to have an efficient Public Administration.

The path could not be so long. Time will answer our doubts.” – Fabio Marotta – Piedimonte Mantese, Italy


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