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Reform of the Ministry

Last update: 17 March 2016

On 14 July 2015 entered into force the “Regulation on the Reorganization of the Ministry of Justice and Reduction in the Number of Managerial and Administrative Posts” (published in Official Journal no. 148 of 29 June 2015).

The new regulation is an innovative and functional reform that the Ministry urgently needed and that responds to the necessity to harmonize the indispensable reorganization of its administrative apparatus with the control of its administrative expenditure, through the recovery of financial resources and rationalization of its activities.

It brings about a deep and sharp restructuring and simplification based on a fundamental guiding principle: increase efficiency, effectiveness and transparency of administrative action by redefining available resources, even through the elimination of duplicated functions and tasks, and the creation of one sole unity competent for purchases and expenditure.

The restructuring of the Ministry introduces a substantial reduction, from 61 to 36, in the number of general managers, and of managers, from 1006 to 712. The total saving from the restructuring is estimated at around 65 million euro.

A significant innovation is the broadening of the competences of the former Department of Juvenile Justice, which is now also competent for the enforcement of non-custodial sentences, i.e. enforcement of alternative measures and of sanctions alternative to imprisonment. This restructuring introduces a modern control structure of the so-called probation, in line with the most advanced European models. The new "Department of Juvenile and Community Justice" thus implements a clearer and simpler system for the enforcement of criminal sentences.

The reorganization of the Ministry of Justice pursues five objectives:

  1. make the structure of the Ministry compatible with the requirements introduced since 2006 on the reduction of public expenditure;
  2. innovate and complete the decentralization of the Ministry’s administrative functions;
  3. start off a process aimed at the unification and rationalization of the management of the goods and services necessary to all ministerial branches, aimed at achieving a greater overall efficiency and savings for the administration;
  4. make the Ministry’s structure more effective and with higher levels of specialization and expertise, encouraging at the same time the operational integration among the its various branches, both at central and peripheral level;
  5. shape the Ministry’s Regulation on the major requests for a increased effectiveness of the guarantees on the privacy of the people involved in the administrative action, transparency and prevention of corruption.

In order to achieve the above objectives, the basic action was the elimination of duplicate organizational structures when they have equivalent competences, believing that a greater efficiency would come from the concentration in a single office of the same competences, as was the case with the Ministry’s litigation competences and those concerning goods and services and contract procedures.

At the same time the action also took into account the need to enhance the technical and professional experience gained in some sectors of the administration, such as in that of non-custodial sentence execution, and also in this case the competences that in the past belonged to offices belonging to different departments of the Ministry were concentrated together.

The Reorganization Regulation replaces the Organization Regulation contained in Decree of the President of the Republic [D.P.R.] no. 55 of 6 March 2001, with the intention to give effect to the reduction in the number of the Ministry of Justice offices and managerial and non-managerial staff, in compliance with many law provisions and, ultimately, Article 2 of Decree-Law [D.L.] no. 95 of 6 July 2012, converted with amendments by Law no. 135 of 7 August 2012.

The Decree of the President of the Council of Ministers [d.P.C.M.] at the same time reorganizes the Ministry of Justice and rationalizes its structures, due to the reduction in the number of offices and staff.

The Regulation also gives effect to the decentralization of the administrative functions of the Ministry of Justice introduced by Legislative Decree [Decreto Legislativo] no. 240 of 25 July 2006, making the necessary modifications of the former organizational structure (in compliance with Article 7, paragraph 4 of the said Legislative Decree), and reassessing the number of peripheral branches at general management level (as allowed by Article 6 of Legislative Decree [Decreto Legislativo] no. 240 of 25 July 2006).

It also enhances the role of the Conference of the Heads of the Departments. Given the transversal nature of the competences in contractual matters of the Directorate General of goods and services, which affect areas related to different departments, it was indispensable to consider the relationship between the new Directorate General and the Ministry’s fundamental structural branches no longer one-way, but as a collegial and shared decision-making process, in order to ensure the necessary coordination and common strategic decisions.