The imminent deadline for the three-year corruption prevention and transparency plan: what changes with the new procurement code

The new public procurement code, which entered into force on 1 April 2023 with Legislative Decree No. 36, has not only offered users a single reference text on public procurement, but has revolutionised, in some cases, the regulatory landscape by introducing guiding principles such as result, trust, market access and transparency. It is precisely in relation to this last pivotal criterion of public law that the Plan for the Prevention of Corruption and Transparency, which the individual administrations must obligatorily publish every year in order to make clear, transparent and demonstrate how much corruption risk is contained within them, cannot but be called into question. 

But let us go step by step. What is the PTPCT in brief? Is there a deadline by which it must be published? Have the provisions for its drafting and publication changed with Legislative Decree No. 36/23? The first question (perhaps a foregone conclusion for those about to read such an article!) is soon answered: the PTPCT is an act that identifies, in the wake of the national anti-corruption plan that ANAC adopted for the first time in 2013 as a policy act, the degree of exposure of the administration adopting it to the risk of corruption, indicating the measures it adopts to prevent and deal with the risk itself. Its articulation, reduced to a maximum sintering, can be broken down as follows: context analysis, risk assessment, risk treatment. Entities and administrations have an annual deadline for publishing the Plan and it is 31/01 of each year, unless extended (for local authorities, for example, the deadline is 15/04/24). An important simplification worthy of note is envisaged for entities with fewer than 50 employees, which, after the first adoption, may confirm in the three-year period the plan adopted in the previous year if no corruptive facts have emerged or no organisational changes have been introduced. This confirmation must result from a reasoned deed of the governing body. 

With regard to the novelties introduced by the new procurement code, one cannot fail to note the enormous impact of the digitalisation of the procurement system on the transparency obligations of public administrations, which ANAC has punctually crystallised in Resolution 601 of 19/12/2023, which supplemented Resolution 264 of 20/06/2023, as well as the methods for the legal publicity of acts. The digitisation of the entire contract life cycle, in fact, implies that the planning, design, publication, awarding and execution phases are managed through certified digital procurement platforms, which implies total transparency of all phases of the contract life cycle. The publicity obligation for all kinds of public tenders and contracts is ensured through the Platform for Legal Publicity, which will be part of the ANAC database, and no longer through the Official Gazette. Contracting stations and awarding bodies will therefore compile notices on the platform according to the new European forms (‘eforms’) or according to models prepared for publication on the National Public Contracts Database. From the moment of publication, the contracting stations will have to make the tender documents accessible, guaranteeing access until the completion of the procedure and the execution of the contract. Under the new system, the legal effects of the published acts will run from the date of publication in the National Public Contracts Database. It goes without saying that these different provisions have an incisive impact on the mapping of the risk analysis processes to be assessed when drawing up the corruption prevention plan, giving rise not only to different types of corruption risks, but also to multiple and additional techniques for preventing them. 

These in a nutshell are some of the novelties in view of the upcoming deadline of 31/01/24 for the publication of the PTPCT. We wish all those concerned good work in dealing with the new legislation!