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If you want to contribute with feedback and changes to the Three Year Plan for ICT in the Public Administration, visit the Github repository.

We remind you that only the Italian version approved every year by the Italian Government has legal value.

1. Three-Year Plan for ICT in Public Administration

1.1. Introduction

The development and revival of a smart, sustainable and supportive economy for Europe, with a view to achieving high levels of employment, productivity and social cohesion, is closely linked to its digital growth. Since 2010, the Europe 2020 Strategy has set ambitious targets for employment, innovation, education, social integration and climate / energy and identified, within a “single European digital market”, the goals for developing the digital culture and economy in Europe, leaving all Member States the task of defining their national priorities and strategies.

Innovation policies have traditionally been conceived to digitise existing processes, whereas digital represents a lever for economic and social transformation, putting citizens and businesses at the centre of action, making digital innovation a public investment for a structural reform of the Country.

On the basis of indications provided by the European Digital Agenda, Italy has defined its own national strategy drawn up together with the Ministries and in collaboration with the Conference of Regions and Autonomous Provinces. In 2015, the Council of Ministers approved two strategic programs for the country: the *National Broadband Plan* and the *Strategy for Digital Growth 2014-2020* [1].

Implementation of the Italian Digital Agenda requires the coordination of multiple actions by public administration, businesses and civil society, and requires integrated management of the various sources of national and Community funding (at central and regional level).

For this purpose, the Italian Digital Agency has the task of drafting the Three-Year Plan for IT in the Public Administration [2].

The Plan presented below has been constructed in accordance with what is stated in the Digital Growth Strategy, including actions, definition of financial needs and the indicators represented therein, with the aim of targeting public sector ICT investments according to government guidelines and in line with European goals and programs. The Plan proposes that the Public Administration contribute to the development and growth of the country’s economy by providing them with information on some tools that will facilitate the streamlining of bureaucratic procedures, greater transparency in administrative processes, greater efficiency in the provision of public services and, not least, the rationalisation of IT spending.

These are all factors contributing to the creation of equal standards, conditions and opportunities for the first recipients of digital transformation in the country, i.e. all citizens and businesses.

1.2. Context

The three-year plan is built on the basis of a Strategic Model for the evolution of the Public Administration Information System [3] (illustrated in Chapter 2 “Strategic Model for the Evolution of the Public Administration Information System”) and addresses the competition plan, funding plan and three-year plans of individual PAs.


Fig. 1.1 Figure 1 - Input and Output of the Three-Year Plan

The Plan proposes a systematic, distributed and shared model of management and use of the most innovative digital technologies, characterised by an agile and evolutionary management style, based on clear governance of the various levels of public administration. The synergy and balance between the three directives (innovative technologies, agile management style and clear and effective model of governance) ensures the country’s system more effectively uses the benefits of new technologies and provides citizens with an advantage in terms of ease of access and improvement of existing digital services.

The plan must address a complex reality with highly diversified levels of operational capacity and skill delegation, characterised by a high degree of fragmentation [4]:

  • 32,000 public employees in ICT, of which approximately 18,000 in Central Public Administrations (CPA) and 14,000 in Local Public Administrations (LPA), plus some 6,000 local in-house company employees and more than 4,000 central in-house company employees;
  • Estimates of approximately EUR 5.7 billion of external ICT spending;
  • Estimates about 11,000 Public administrations data centres;
  • About 160,000 databases in the AgID Public Administration database catalogue and over 200,000 applications using these data as reported by the census on 13,822 Administrations; the accuracy of these data is not as important as the dimensions that underline the complexity of the problem;
  • Over 25,000 websites.

1.3. Approach to the drafting of the Three-Year Plan

The drafting of the Three-Year Plan has involved local and central public administrations, also through a process of data and information gathering both for sharing the chosen approach and the main contents of the Strategic Model and for conducting a first reconnaissance on ICT initiatives and ICT. Involving:

  • The Central Public Administrations, in particular the Ministries including all supervised entities

  • Tax Agencies

  • Social Security Institutions

  • The Regions

  • Metropolitan cities of Italy

  • ANCI

    Other key stakeholders were also involved in the process, such as:

  • The Commissioner for spending review

  • Ministry of Economy and Finance

  • The Department of Public Function

  • Sogei

  • Consip

  • Agency for Territorial Cohesion

  • Conferenza Unificata;

  • Assinform and Confindustria

Initially, data collection and analysis also involved the central administration (CPA), especially given the significance of its ICT spending [5].

The survey provided a clearer picture with regard to:

  • The main features of ICT spending for the year 2016 and comparison with 2013-2015 average spending;
  • The mapping of the main projects underway or in the start-up phase;
  • Possible saving targets.

During the survey, central administrations also provided their ICT programming in order to highlight how they intend to pursue the following objectives:

  • Implementation of the projects envisaged by the Digital Growth Plan;

  • Implementation of the provisions of AgID Circular 24 June 2016, no. 2 which, in a transitional fashion, anticipated the provisions related to the implementation of the three-year Plan in reference to the Strategic Model for the evolution of the Public Administration Information System;

  • Implementation of specific regulatory provisions for the implementation of one or more reference ecosystems.
    The information collected was therefore useful for:
  • Highlighting the ICT needs which, although emerging from individual ecosystems (see Chapter 6 “Ecosystems”), are of general concern to the entire Public Administration;

  • Identifying solutions already implemented, being implemented or planned which are to be considered strategic for the entire Public Administration;

  • Verifying with the ministries that the Model is shared and consistent.

The same direction was also initiated with the regional administrations and metropolitan cities. However, at this stage, attention has been focused on key CPAs, strategic for:

  • Relevance of spending;
  • Implementation of synergies and centralisation measures with a view to optimising total spending;
  • Ownership of the main national IT systems.

The complexity in defining and calibrating the contents of the Three-Year Plan and the continuous technological evolution lead to management that contains the forecast for the two years following the presentation, in a continuous flow logic. This Plan should therefore be seen as a dynamic tool, whose implementation depends on content update and transparent exchange of information with the public administrations already involved, as well as to the others by progressive enlargement.

The implementation of the three-year Plan provides for a gradual involvement of Public Administrations:

  • 2017 is the year of construction through consolidation of the digital transformation strategy and the completion of sharing with Public Administrations;
  • 2018 is the year of consolidation of the Plan, which will also be managed through online tools that will allow Public Administrations to provide their data with simplicity. They will allow the three-year plans of the administrations to be managed dynamically;
  • 2019 is the year of completion of the activities of the first three-year cycle of the process, which can therefore be further refined for the next three years.

1.4. The players in the digital transformation process of the PA

The players in the digital transformation process of PA are:

  • The Government, which provides the strategic directions of the digital transformation of Public Administration and, through regulatory instruments, facilitates its adoption;
  • The Department of Public Function, which is the political body that supervises, including on AgID’s operations;
  • The Ministry of the Economy and Finance (MEF), which is the body responsible for controlling spending and respecting savings targets;
  • The Commissioner for the Implementation of the Digital Agenda that is an extraordinary body [6] placed in the Presidency of the Council of Ministers with the aim of dictating the guidelines and putting in place the actions considered appropriate and priority for the implementation of the Digital Agenda. The Commissioner, in order to play his role as coordinator and supervisor of digital projects and to stimulate the development of agile procedures and technological skills within the PA, uses a contingent of staff assigned directly to him, with specific professional qualifications in the areas of activity pertaining to the functions (Team for Digital Transformation), as well as all public entities, even in corporate form, operating in the field of information technology and communication technologies. He may also exercise his power of replacement in the event of failure to implement the Digital Agenda. The Commissioner has a two-year mandate and will his term will end on 16 September 2018;
  • The AgID Direction Committee, which is AgID’s strategic direction body that deliberates on the Strategic Model, identifying its priorities on the basis of financial resources and monitoring its implementation;
  • AgID, which transforms strategic goals into projects, coordinates programming, the implementation of national platforms and catalysts for change, manages the relationship between actors, issues technical rules and, where appropriate, manages supervision. AgID also transforms the Digital Administration Code (CAD) [7] into implementing processes, rules and projects that are integrated into the Plan and monitors implementation of projects by administrations;
  • The Regional Administrations and the Autonomous Provinces that contribute to updating the implementation and adjusting the programming of the Three-Year Plan for IT in the PA. Through the technical structures and political representation of the Conference of Regions and Autonomous Provinces and specifically with the coordination action exercised by the Special Digital Agenda Commission;
  • The administrations, all those that coordinate the initiatives indicated in the plan and govern the individual projects. By identifying the Body Responsible for the transition to the digital operating mode, they ensure the harmonisation of their strategy with the principles and guidelines of the Strategic Model and the implementation of their planning and development of their initiatives;
  • In-house companies, involved in the development of individual government projects and in the development and management of enabling platforms, also provide assistance and advice services;
  • Instrumental organisations, which are involved in the implementation of the Italian Digital Agenda;
  • Consip and the commissioning centres that run competitions and award contracts for central and local administrations. They operate on the basis of a three-year plan to aggregate needs and consequent acquisition of goods and services.

Figure 2 highlights the relationships between these players and sums up their functions with respect to the definition and implementation of the Plan:


Fig. 1.2 Figure 2 - The players in the digital transformation process of the PA

1.5. Document structure

The document is structured as follows:

  • Part One - Reference Framework:

    • Chapter 2 shows the strategic evolution model of the public administration information system, or the medium / long term vision to which the Public Administration must strive to make the best use of the benefits of a proper, targeted and aware use of digital technologies.
  • Part Two - Components of the Strategic Evolution Model

    of the PA’s information system:

    • Chapters 3 to 10 present the components of the Strategic Model, adopting the following structure:
    • Current scenario - summarises some useful elements to describe the current situation with respect to the topics covered in this chapter;
    • Strategic goals - outlines the objectives pursued in accordance with the strategic requirements identified by the regulatory framework and the indications given in Strategy for Digital Growth 2014-2020;
    • Lines of action - presents some principles and guidelines for the implementation of the Plan and identifies the lines of action necessary to attain the goals set.
  • Part Three - Direction Notes:

    • Chapter 11 contains elements related to the rationalisation goals of PA’s ICT spending;
    • Chapter 12 summarises the actions that the Public Administrations will have to implement;
    • Chapter 13 sets out principles, suggestions and arrangements that all public administrations must adopt for the implementation of digital projects.

Joint reading of the first and third part will provide sufficient guidance to develop a general idea of ​​the Strategic Model and the actions that Public Administrations must undertake.

Reading the second part is useful to gain a deeper understanding of the activities envisaged.

The document also contains the following annexes:

  • Annex 1 extends the reference framework of the three-year Plan;
  • Annex 2 summarises the Tools and Resources for the Implementation of the Plan;
  • Annex 3 presents a Synoptic Framework for ICT spending in CPA;
  • Annex 4 proposes a Synoptic Framework of CPA projects with respect to the Model;
  • Annex 5 presents the open dataset basket.


[1]Strategy for Digital Growth 2014-2020 **

See AgID Statute, Decree of the President of the Council of Ministers 8th January 2014 - **

Law no. 208 of 28th December 2015 (2016 Stability Law) also provides for the Agency for Digital Italy (AgID) to prepare - on behalf of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers - the three-year Plan (hereinafter referred to as the Plan) guiding the digital transformation of Public Administration.

[3]Approved by the AgID Address Committee on 04/02/2016.
[4]Source data from AgID, 2016.
[5]The survey results, carried out by AgID in April-October 2016, are shown in Annex 3 “Synoptic Framework of ICT Expenditure in Central Public Administrations”.
[6]Prime Ministerial Decree 16th September 2016 **
[7]Legislative Decree of 7th March 2005, no. 82 et seq.