Municipalities and the challenge of sustainability

Municipalities and the challenge of sustainability
by Paola Caporossi

Measurement of public administrative capacity, between efficiency, transparency and anti-corruption

Foreword by Fabrizio Barca

Citizens and local administrators usually discuss services and public policies, with respect to topics ranging from nursery schools to public parks. But the comparison almost never concerns the administrative capacity of a municipality, without which those services and policies are not feasible. This is why the European Union regularly recommends to its Member States to strengthen their administrative capacity as a condition, for example, for the good use of the structural funds and the PNRR. In fact, having European money arrive is not enough to guarantee development: at the same time, the public organizational machinery in each country must be improved. Otherwise, it would be like injecting gasoline into a car with a dead engine. The analysis of the Public Rating proposed here does not aim to give report cards to the Municipalities, but to identify strengths and weaknesses so as to be able to better finalize targeted actions to support administrative strengthening. The book therefore represents a cognitive tool for citizens and a compass for the Government on the qualitative performance of Municipalities, capable of identifying the many existing good practices. Transparency is the premise for this to be possible: therefore, faced with the difficulties of fulfilling the publication obligations by some Municipalities, the response of a modern State cannot be the reduction of the transparency obligations, as written in the PNRR, but support for fulfillment itself, first and foremost with digitalisation.

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