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2.1. Introduction and legislative context

For public administrations, the Digital Administration Code, hereinafter referred to as the CAD, governs the reuse of open solutions and standards.

Articles 68 and 69, which these guidelines aim to implement, also deal with the issues of reuse, software ownership and open source code for public administrations.

The articles referred to have been modified by Legislative Decree No 179 of 26 August 2016 as well as Legislative Decree No 217 of 12 January 2017. The latest update involved:

  • the amendment of Article 68, repealing paragraph 3 and transposing the content into Article 1(3)(la-) and Article 1(3)(lb-);
  • the rewording of Article 69(2);
  • the introduction of Article 69(2a);
  • the repeal of Article 70, which is entitled ‘Database of reusable computer programs’.

The text of Article 68 remains unchanged, except for the updating of the regulatory reference to Legislative Decree No 50/2016 [1] replacing the reference to the previous procurement legislation.

Up until the modification implemented by Legislative Decree No 217/2017, the following factors played a role in the acquisition of software by public administrations:

  • the electronic marketplace: ‘an acquisition and negotiation tool that allows for electronic purchases for amounts below the European threshold value based on a system that implements procedures for selecting the contractor entirely by electronic means’ (of particular importance is the MePA (Mercato Elettronico per la Pubblica Amministrazione - Electronic Market for Public Administration) managed by CONSIP);
  • framework conventions and agreements concluded, in accordance with the legislation in force, by CONSIP and by aggregators;
  • the national catalogue of reusable programs managed by AgID.

The first two continue to carry out their functions, while the catalogue functions, repealed as such by the CAD, are assumed by the Developers Italia ( portal, which assumes the role of ‘platform’, or more precisely of repository - according to the wording of Article 69(1) and of the platforms referred to in Article 69(2a).

This document reiterates that the ‘principles of economy and efficiency, investment protection, reuse and technological neutrality’ (Article 68(1) of the CAD [2]) are achieved by implementing the provisions of Article 69(2) of the CAD [3]: ’the reuse of computer programs owned by public administrations’ ensuring that the latter, in addition to being owners of the software, make the software available through open source with the affixing of an open licence.