Stefano Civitarese Matteucci
Digitalisation And Reforms Of Public Administration In Italy
This article aims to discuss how and to what extent “digitalisation” is affecting and should affect the functioning of public administration in Italy. With the Public Administration Reorganisation Act of 2015, a quite comprehensive reform of the organisation of Italian public administration has been set in motion in which digitalisation is meant to be the main means to change the State. The article purports that terms such as ‘digital citizenship’ and ‘digital first’, upon which the reform hinges, should not be overestimated. In acknowledging digitalisation (and e-government) as an incremental process driven by the technological sophistication deployed, one should bear in mind that it is made of various dimensions such as information, transaction, political participation and different manners of interaction within PA and with citizens. Each of these present opportunities and risks and the concrete outcome depends both on the cultural and economic context in which information and communication technology is placed and political choices. The paper suggests that a normative model of the implementation of egovernment should be based on information and bureaucracy organisation rather than on the ambiguous conferment of 'digital rights'.