EU Commission acts to ensure fair access to IT services in Italy

Thursday September 29th, 2011

The European Commission has requested Italy to comply with EU rules on public procurement – the spending of public money by public authorities – as regards the award of information technology (IT) service contracts by the Italian Region of Molise. If Italy does not inform the Commission within two months of measures taken to ensure compliance with EU law, the Commission may refer this matter to the Court of Justice of the European Union.

The specific case concerns the Italian Region of Molise, which did not comply with EU public procurement rules by directly awarding information technology (IT) services contracts to a company whose shares are held both by the Region of Molise and a private undertaking. The total value of the contracts at issue is more than €4m.

In fact, since 2006, the Region of Molise has awarded a number of IT services contracts to a company of which the Region is the co-owner. The total value of the contracts is estimated at more than €14m. In all these cases the contracts were awarded directly, with no tender procedure. As a result, other IT service companies were denied the opportunity to seek this business and Italian taxpayers were denied the opportunity to get value for money by awarding the contracts to companies prepared to offer better services for less money.

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