E-Government and Digitalization

The French Council of State rules that the existing threat to national security currently justifies the generalized retention of data. It affirms also that the possibility of accessing connection data in order to fight serious crime allows, at the present time, the constitutional requirements of preventing breaches of law and order, and the tracking down of authors of criminal offences to be ensured. However, after examining the conformity with EU law of French rules on the retention of connection data, and verifying that the implementation of EU law (as interpreted by the European Court of Justice) does not jeopardize the requirements of the French Constitution, the French Council of State orders the Government to reassess regularly the threat that exists in France so as to justify the generalized retention of data, and to submit the use of these same data by the intelligence services to clearance provided by an independent authority.

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Digitalisation and the right to good administration



Post author | 9 July 2021 | Not Yet in an issue

Since the adoption of the Charter of Fundamental Rights, in the context of the European Union the so-called “good administration” has emerged as a new fundamental right: the right to good administration, as written and detailed in Article 41 of the EU Charter. As for its specific contents, there is a clear correspondence with the provisions of Article 97 of the Italian Constitution with respect to the need for impartiality and good performance/efficiency of the Public Administration: two principles of which the best expression is found in Law 241 of 1990 on administrative procedure. It is precisely in this perspective that modern Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) can play a fundamental role in the context of public administration, especially in as far as the possibility to carry out an adequate and prompt investigation process during the administrative procedure is concerned.

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Self-certification is one of the main tools aimed at administrative simplification and, in particular, at de-bureaucratization of the relationship between the Public Administration and citizens, as it is aimed at reducing the burdens on citizens. Self-certification, which over the years has been the subject of many legislative changes, in Italy has recently been profoundly innovated by the measures adopted following the emergency situation caused by the Coronavirus, which have also extended the scope of application of the principle to relations between private individuals. Despite the many regulatory changes, however, the potential simplification that should result from self-certification is still severely limited in Italy. It will therefore be seen how self-certification – a tool created to relieve the bureaucratic burden on citizens – instead of representing the balance between guarantee, control and simplification, in some case produced new and heavy bureaucratic burdens to the detriment of private individuals, thus totally deviating from the purpose for which the institute itself should be intended.

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The judgment C-761/18 P appealing by Professor Päivi Leino-Sanberg the order of the General Court T-421/17, concerns the refusal of access decided by the European Parliament regarding the dissemination of the content of some trilogues (object themselves of the well-known De Capitani case T-540/15). Thus, the reasoning of the Court allows to make some reflections on the interest of the beneficiaries of the «right of access» to documents, as well the legal consequences of their publication online by a «Third party». Consequently, it leads to argue on the relationship between «administrative transparency» and «right to online access» in the age of digital administration.

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The contribution analyzes some critical issues in the procedures for entrusting the implementation of telematic booking systems for anti covid-19 vaccines. In particular, the Author emphasizes how the assignment to in-house companies has been unsuccessful. The Author also criticizes the choice of not reusing software solutions already developed for other public administrations. The comment concludes suggesting that the health emergency in progress should rather have led to make the best of the support that private operators could provide.

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The Draghi government has taken office at a time when the labour market, characterised by the decisive influence of information technologies and a high degree of mobility, is undergoing great changes. The emergence of the pandemic, which had been underway for almost a year when the Draghi government was sworn in, has hit the labour market with the destruction of jobs and the failure to create new ones, while at the same time accentuating the disruptive processes underway (IT, mobility). The phenomenon is supranational, and the European Union is acting on two levels: facing up to the emergency (SURE, Youth initiative, EU Next Generation, etc.) and intervening on the basis of a strategy focused on investment in information technologies. It is these technologies which are changing production processes and how trades and professions are carried out, reshaping the labour market while making it necessary for workers to upskill and have IT profiles and creating a strong asymmetry between workers and their employment prospects. The Premier’s speech and the government’s programme are taking this problem into account: on the one hand, they have announced reforms of the assegno di riallocazione reallocation allowance and of job centres, on the other hand, they are talking about strengthening infrastructure (broadband, 5G) and the transversality of the Digital Transition. All of which seems appropriate. The hope is that all this will be done in the European strategic context and that the employment market becomes the omnipresent pivot of the transversal transition.

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The essential points of the reasoning developed in this article are: Covid-19 has brought to the fore the role played by the administration as a bridge in the (conflictual) confrontation between the power of science and political power; the health emergency has cast light on the importance of the functioning of parliamentary institutions for the defence of democracy because the executive branch (objectively) gets the upper hand. The administration of the European Parliament is a very interesting case study in this respect because it has succeeded in coping with the emergency thanks to several factors; EPA implemented a programme of structural digitisation of the European Parliament in recent years. Finally, EPA worked for activating an administrative capacity to manage the “unprecedented measures” that had to be adopted: this capacity was achieved by carrying out the actions within the strict framework of the governance of the European Parliament and under its permanent scrutiny.

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Semaforo

In light of the numerous restrictive measures adopted in Italy, as in many other countries, to contain the SARS-CoV-2 epidemic, the authors examine the terms with which the use of the “App Immuni” could be qualified as a legitimate condition for carrying out activities at risk of infection. Digital contact tracing could give greater effectiveness to the measures taken to contain the epidemic and, therefore, lead to a better calibration of the limitations to personal freedoms. In this perspective, the authors’ attention is focused on analyzing the functioning of the app Immuni, especially in view of protecting personal data and in light of the analysis of the relevant European standards, also analyzed through the prism of the principle of proportionality.

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Since 2009, Italian local authorities – and, more broadly, Italian public administrations – have faced a progressive increase of transparency obligations with regard to the publication of administrative documents on institutional websites as well as concerning their internal organization and activities. Prompted by an Italian privacy authority’s sanction based on the illicit online treatment of personal information, this paper analyses the correlation between the quantity of these obligations as well as the correct compliance thereof, and employees’ level of ICT training. The percentage and the characteristics of the employees that have acquired an adequate ICT training – with a particular reference to their age – represent a clear provisional indicator of their capability of complying with the obligations of publication and transparency without violating the privacy rights of the documents’ subjects and whose information is being published online.

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D.L. n. 174/2012 details the internal control system in local authorities envisaged by D.Lgs. n. 286/1999, providing for a preventive and a subsequent phase of administrative regularity control. According to art. 147-bis T.U.E.L., subsequent control is an internal arbitral control, implemented during the following phase of the formation of the act, under the direction of the municipal secretary. It must be ensured according to general principles of corporate audit and methods defined within the organization's autonomy. Acts subject to control include: expenditure commitment determinations, entry verification documents, expenditure settlement documents, contracts and other administrative documents. Subsequent check concerns legitimacy and cost-effectiveness of administrative action. Nevertheless, accounting principles do not properly integrate the purpose of the subsequent check for administrative regularity, as they are concentrated only in regularity check of the determinations, contracts and deeds subject to control and not also accounting check. Art. 147-bis.3 affirms that the municipal secretary must send control results to: units evaluating employees’ results, for example useful documents for the evaluation, the Auditors, the City Council and the various heads of services, along with directives to comply with in case of irregularity. Subsequent check processes may take advantage of digital transformation since it is realized through a double paper-digital track. Thus, we could hypothesize the development of an ad hoc IT platform. As an outcome, there could be several benefits such as the dematerialisation and progressive digitization of the procedure. Besides, all the information of the authority would be better integrated, while optimizing the data acquired, avoiding duplications in document requests and allowing for a green transition.

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