“We must, once again, register a now unacceptable delay in the transposition of the EU directive of 2019 and we trust that Parliament and the government want to take charge of it ”. On the World Day of whistleblowingthe president ofNational anti-corruption authority (Anac) Giuseppe Busia returns to denounce Italy’s inertia in (non) transposing the European directive 2019/1937 to protect those who report illegal activities in their work environment. He did so in the Chamber, presenting the report on the activity carried out in 2021: “Anac spent itself for strengthen protection of the employee who reports offenses in the workplace, which, finally, begins to be perceived as an effective safeguard for the emergence of illegal conduct, useful for slowing down the gear ofillegality. These are very important civic lookoutswhich put themselves at risk in the general interest, can be really decisive in eradicating some deplorable practices, which are still found in various fields such as, among many, and recall them for their truly unacceptable effect on the hopes of young people, university competitions“Recalls Busia. To then condemn the “unacceptable delay” of our institutions in implementing the rules approved by the European Parliament and the Council in October 2019inertia that has already had one delivered to Italy letter of formal notice by the European Commission, with the risk that an infringement procedure will be opened shortly.
The directive marks important progress compared to the Italian legislation, approved in 2017 on the initiative of the 5 Star Movement. Firstly, it also includes in the definition of whistleblower subjects outside the traditional employment relationship: consultantsmembers of the board of directors, former employees And candidates to job positions. It requires states to provide protection even those who assist them, to consider irrelevant the reasons that led them to report and allow them to report illegal directly in workplace or to the competent authorities. It also introduces a ban on all types of retaliation and foresees sanctions for those who obstruct the right to report, retaliate or fail to comply with the obligation to maintain the confidentiality. Again, it requires member states to grant access to a free serviceinclusive and independent assistance within the public sector, including legal and financial assistance. Finally, it introduces the obligation to take charge of the reports and to keep the whistleblower informed within a reasonable time after the complaint (the so-called follow-up). The deadline that the act assigned to States to comply with its contents has expired on December 17, 2021: just over a month later, the January 27, 2022, the Commission has put Italy in default. Five months later we are still at zero, despite the fact that in mid-February Minister Marta Cartabia had defined the transposition as “urgent”.
The urgency to strengthen the tool, however, is also evidenced by the data: between 2018 and 2021, according to a dossier published by Csel (Centro Studi local authorities) there was a worrying 45% drop of the number of reports of offenses arrive at the Anac. Already at the beginning of the year, President Busia had asked the government to act quickly: “We contributed with the offices of the Ministry of Justice to prepare a text, which I consider highly advanced. Unfortunately, everything is at a standstill. I am not aware that any procedure for transposition has begun“, He wrote in a note. Suggesting to “insert the delegated decree directly in one of the next government measures, also to avoid the infringement procedure against Italy. The device, in fact, is ready “. He was not heard, so much so that more than six months later he is forced to launch a new, identical appeal. To fight for compliance with the directive too The Good Lobby, the NGO that has been fighting for a modern anti-corruption legislation for years: “Failure to implement it is a bad fool at the international level”, attacked the president, Federico Anghelé, in the aftermath of the letter from the Commission. “Not bad for a government that is facing the most important slice of the Pnrr and that transparency is more capable a preach it than to apply it “.
Illustrating the report, Busia also urged “the regulatory review of some institutes for the prevention of corruption, which enhances their fundamental contents and strengthens their effectiveness, freeing them from some ambiguities and burdens. One of the most relevant cases is that of “pantouflage“, The transition from public to private of the official who has acted in favor of the same private subject”, which according to the ANAC applies in too narrow cases. And in terms of procurement, he asked to “overcome the excessive use of direct assignmentsin line with European principles “: in recent years – he explains -” with the aim of stemming the pandemic and facilitating the use of funding from the NRP, different emergency procedures And derogatory, providing, among other things, for a significant increase in the thresholds within which recourse to negotiated procedures is allowed “. A trend, he warns, that “has certainly speeded up the assignments, but has also had negative repercussions on competition and participation in tenders, on the selection of the best offers and, therefore, on the efficient, effective and economical management of public spending. And this is also serious compatibility doubts“With the community norms, as among other things the EU has already pointed out to us with another letter of formal notice, dated April 6 last. The implementation of the NRP, in this sense, will also be a “challenge also for the respect of legality and administrative correctness “and the implementation of the reforms an” unrepeatable opportunity “to create in society” effective antibodies “against” corruption, the underworld and the objectives of organized crime “, affirms Busia.