sabato 14 giugno 2014

Decree streamlines public service, fight corruption

Workers could face transfers as far as 50 km under draft

(ANSA) - Rome, June 13 - A major government decree designed to cut costs and streamline Italy's public service while boosting the powers of its anti-corruption czar was on the agenda for a cabinet meeting Friday, sources said. The decree includes a retirement directive stating that most civil servants can remain only two years beyond normal retirement age - excluding magistrates, who can remain on the job until age 75 "in order to safeguard the functionality of the courts".

Physicians and professors in the public service may be encouraged to take early retirement - even if they are not yet retirement age - when 2014 service levels reach 42.5 years for men and 41.6 years for women, sources said. It also aims to trim spending on research and consultants by 50% compared with 2013 spending levels and bans "economic" transactions involving international firms that have their headquarters in "so-called tax havens". As well, the draft says public employees may be transferred without their consent to work in the same jurisdiction but as far as 50 kilometers away from their base location. Sources said cabinet was also reviewing a draft decree on tax simplification as well as plans for a 12% rise in the road tax. On Thursday, Civil Service Minister Marianna Madia presented a series of measures in the draft document to unions representing public employees that also included plans for more flexible work hours, babysitter vouchers and more working from home.

In April, Premier Matteo Renzi announced the reform plans which he said would not only reduce costs and streamline services, but clear the way for as many as 10,000 jobs for young workers. He also said that no layoffs were being considered. The draft decree comes the same day as a report from the small-business group CGIA Mestre which said that businesses find Italy's public administration the worst in Europe to deal with.

The report, released by CGIA Mestre's Giuseppe Bortolussi, said that the "malfunctioning" Italian public service costs companies an average of 7,000 euros per year in paperwork and fees. That is crippling for small business, the report said. The draft decree is also set to give anti-corruption czar Raffaele Cantone "extraordinary authority" to supervise public contracts and impose penalties. It also ensures that work can continue on projects that are subject to corruption investigation.

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