After a lengthy approval process, on October 31, 2012, the Italian Chamber of Deputies passed a long awaited anti-corruption bill (“Anti-Corruption Law”), aimed at improving transparency in the country’s public sector. The Anti-Corruption Law introduces new categories of corruption-related offences and strengthens those already contained in the Italian Criminal Code (“Codice Penale”). It also calls for the establishment of a new National Anti-Corruption Authority with investigative and remedial powers. Below is a summary of the changes brought about by this new law.
Establishment of a National Anti-Corruption Authority for the Public Administration -
Pursuant to art. 6 of the United Nations Organization’s Anti-Bribery Convention of December 14, 2005, ratified in Italy by Law no. 116 of August 3, 2009, each State is required, in accordance with the fundamental principles of its legal system, to promote the creation of specific governmental bodies, as appropriate, for purposes of preventing corruption by such means as:
1. enhancing the principles of the rule of law, proper management of public affairs and public property, integrity, transparency and accountability;
2. increasing and disseminating knowledge about the prevention of corruption crimes.
The governmental bodies in question must be provided with the necessary independence, in accordance with the fundamental principles of their legal systems, so as to be enabled to carry out their functions effectively and free from any undue influence. In addition, they need to be provided with material resources and specialized staff, as well as the level of training that such staff may require. In particular, in the step taken to enforce and implement the principles contained in the above mentioned United Nation Organization’s Anti-Bribery Convention, the Anti-Corruption Law directs the establishment of a new authority named “National Anti-Corruption Authority” which will monitor the application and effectiveness of relevant measures taken by the government.
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