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Italy's Senate passes Renzi's public sector reform plan

Staff writer |
Italy's Senate passed Prime Minister Matteo Renzi's plan to simplify and reduce the cost of the country's public sector notorious for its inefficiency and corruption.

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The Italian bureaucracy is among the least efficient of those ranked by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and Italians often spend hours standing in line to resolve even the simplest administrative tasks.

The Senate passed a "delegating law", a broad outline of reform goals that the government must enact with a series of decrees over the next 18 months. The Chamber of Deputies has already approved the bill first submitted over a year ago.

Included in the law are plans to reduce state-run local services companies, break up the forest protection service, cut the number of local chambers of commerce and introduce a more merit-based system for promoting public managers.

Earlier this year, the International Monetary Fund said reform of Italy's public sector was long overdue and was needed not only to reduce unnecessary spending, but also to improve services and achieve higher productivity in the private sector.

Apart from cutting the cost of red tape, the reform aims to reduce the more than 8,000 publicly owned companies that often are sources of corruption and mismanagement.

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