ETHIC Intelligence hosts its third annual international conference
on corruption prevention Standards and Guidelines

OECD Conference Centre, Paris - Monday, September 10, 2018

ETHIC Intelligence is very pleased to host its third annual international conference on Standards and Guidelines in corruption prevention on September 10, 2018 at the OECD Conference Centre in Paris. Click below to view photos and videos from last year’s event where experts from business, civil society and government exchanged and debated issues related to the fight against corruption.

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F PetronioM Hyeraci V2A Strengthening of Anti-Corruption Legislation in Italy

Francesca Petronio, Partner, Litigation Department

Marilena Hyeraci, Associate, Litigation Department

Paul Hastings Milan

Via Rovello, 1

20121 Milano, Italy

+39 (0)2 3041 4000



How is the fight against corruption progressing in Italy?

In response to the recommendations of international organizationsi  and the high number of corruption scandals in recent years – including the cases which hit Expo 2015ii and the one related to the Venice flood barrieriii  – Italy has devoted significant effort to tackling rampant corruption by strengthening preventive measures and spreading a culture of transparency in the public administration rather than concentrating solely on punishing the offences, as has happened in previous years.   The main reform enacted in 2012, which received intense criticismiv, has been enhanced by recent laws in 2014 and 2015v.   In a nutshell, the most recent reforms: (1) implemented multiple steps to enhance transparency in the public sector, (2) extended the scope of application of certain crimes of corruption and increased their sanctions and statute of limitations, (3) renewed the false accounting crime, and (4) extended the powers of the National Anti-Corruption Authority (“ANAC”)vi.  

What is the impact of Law No. 114 of August 2014?

In 2014, Decree Law No. 90 of 24 June 2014, subsequently enacted into Law No. 114 of 11 August 2014 (hereinafter, “Law 114/2014”) implemented many measures to enhance transparency in the public sector. In particular the law:  

i     Expanded the scope of application of the rule requesting public entities to provide complete access to certain information and documents – including information on their organizations and the individuals appointed as directors and consultants and data on costs and personnel evaluations – and to publish such information on their web sitesvii. Law 114/2014 made this rule applicable, among others, to national, regional and local public entities, including non-economic entities, and non-territorial entities,  public  schools and  universities,  the chambers  of  commerce,  institutions financed  by  the  public  administration  and  when  applicable,  to  private  entities controlled by the public administrationviii;

ii     Introduced a monetary sanction (from €1k to €10k), for breaches by the public administrations in the adoption of the Anti – Corruption Plan – which was introduced in 2012ix and requires that each local administration assesses for a three year period its risk related to corruption and identifies the bodies appointed for the prevention of such crimesx;

iii    Introduced, in the context of contracts for certain listed services particularly exposed to the risk of mafia infiltration (for example, transportation and waste management), a general duty for public administrations and public entities to obtain from the service providers a declaration of non-involvement in criminal proceedings for serious violations, including the crime of mafia organizationxi.
Moreover, with the same purpose of spreading a culture of transparency, additional measures adopted in 2014 encompass the executive regulations regarding the so-called “rating of legality”. Introduced in 2012 the rating of legality is a rate that the competent Italian Authority (the Antitrust Authority – Autorità Garante per la Concorrenza ed il Mercato) can attribute to companies operating in Italy with an income of more than €2M, in recognition of its  ethical  values,  and  provides  an  official  position  on  its  honest  undertakings  (i.e.  the company shall declare that it has not been convicted of serious antitrust violations or for violations pursuant to Italian Legislative Decree No. 231 of 2001, which introduced the quasi criminal liability of corporations for crimes committed for its benefit by its managers or employees). In the context of evaluating companies for the concession of public funds, the rating of legality should be considered, even if it is not mandated by law.   Law 114/2014 introduced a system of extraordinary measures to avoid unfavorable effects on public tenders when the companies awarding the works have subsequently become involved in investigations for crimes against the public administration (including bribery)xii. In these cases the President of ANAC has the power to propose to the local Prefect (a public official who represents the government at a local level) either (a) to order the reorganization of the corporate bodies of the corporation, by replacing the individuals involved in the alleged improper conducts; or (b) to appoint up to 3 new managers in charge of the extraordinary and temporary management of public tender contracts within the companyxiii.   Finally, Law 114/2014 additionally reinforced the structure of ANAC, merging it with the authority responsible for the supervision of contracts for public works, services and supplies, whose personnel, duties and functions were absorbed by ANACxiv, and its powers and role, by:  

i.      Endowing ANAC with broader and more pervasive powers in the public sector (e.g. in the context of public contracts, concessions of public funds, project financing)xv; and

ii.      Vesting ANAC with the power to receive notices on perceived or presumed illegal conduct according to the system of whistleblowing, as introduced in 2012xvi.

How has this work been continued in 2015?

In 2015, the Italian Parliament worked on a new piece of legislation on anti- corruption, Law No. 69 of 27 May 2015 (hereinafter, “Law 69/2015”), and it was definitively approved on 21 May 2015 and became effective on 14 June 2015.   The cornerstones of the newly enacted Law 69/2015 are (1) an extension of the scope of application of certain crimes of corruption, and the increase in the sanctions and the statute of limitations regimes for such crimes, (2) the reform of false accounting rules and (3) an additional impulse to the powers and role of ANAC.   As  for  the  new provisions  regarding  the  crimes  against  the  public  administration,  Law 69/2015 provides:  

i.      The extension of the scope of application for the crime of “misconduct of the public official” (concussione), that will now, in addition to public officials,  be applicable  to anyone in charge of providing a public service (i.e. whoever performs a public service for whatever reason – public service being an activity that is governed in the same way as a public function, except that the power vested in the latter is absent, but the performance of basic ordinary tasks and exclusively manual work is excluded);

ii.      A general increase in the duration of imprisonment and in the amount of monetary sanctions for specific crimes, such as bribery, bribery in judicial proceedings, mafia association and false accountingxvii;


iii.      An  increase  in  the  statute  of  limitations  (prescrizione)  for  the  above  mentioned crimes, in Italy, the period of limitations to prosecute crimes depends, among other conditions, on the maximum term of the sanctions provided for the relevant crimexviii;

iv.     An increase in the duration of the prohibition to participate in public tenders (up to 5 years) for any entrepreneur found guilty of corruption crimesxix;

v.      A reduction of the sanctions for the individual offenders who effectively strive to avoid corruption activities which produce further illicit consequences, or to those who effectively cooperate in gathering evidence and identifying other offendersxx;

vi.     Confirming  case law, the express provision that plea bargaining for bribery crimes is admitted only if perpetrators pay back the money gained from their corrupt activityxxi.
  As for the reform of false accounting rules, Law 69/2015 renews the provision of this crime in relation to non-listed companies and introduces the same crime to listed companiesxxii.   More in detail, the crime of false accounting now punishes directors, officers, statutory auditors  and  liquidators  who,  in  order  to  achieve  an  illicit  profit,  either  provide  false information or omit information prescribed by law, in balance sheets, corporate reports or other communicationsxxiii. Law 69/2015 eliminates the non-liability clauses for non-material omissions, and introduces reduced sanctions for lesser offencesxxiv.   Law  69/2015  also  increases  the fines companies face (up  to  €  929k  approximately) for false accounting crimes pursuant to Italian legislative decree No. 231 of 2001xxv.   Lastly, Law 69/2015 gives a boost to the role of ANAC, requiring the Public Prosecutors to inform ANAC in cases of prosecution for offences against the public administration, including corruptionxxvi.  

What else has ANAC gained?

ANAC has also been given monitoring and control over certain categories of public contracts, e.g. those requiring special security measures pursuant to specific laws and regulations, and those relating to energy and waterxxvii.   Moreover, ANAC recently approved the guidelines on the application of preventive measures on corruption and transparency, to public economic entities and to private companies and private entities either controlled or owned by the public administration, and it further underlines the crucial role of the new anti-corruption measuresxxviii.   In  compliance  with  the  recommendations  received  by  the  OECD  Working  Group  on Briberyxxix  and GRECOxxx, which primarily demand that  bribery cases are decided before the expiry of the statute of limitations, the Italian Parliament is also working on a Bill regarding the statute of limitations for crimes against the public administration, including corruption.  

Conclusions ?

According to Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index of 2014xxxi, Italy is still ranked as the most corrupt country in Europe and is sixty-ninth in the world. The most recent EU Anti-corruption Report of 2014 shows that despite the implementation of new measures against corruption and similar offences, the lack of confidence towards public institutions (including political parties and public officials) is widespread.

As discussed in this article Italy has made significant effort over recent years to tackle this negative trend, conform to the European recommendations and guidelines, and gain trust from its citizens and from foreign institutions and investors.   Moreover, as reported in the OECD Annual Report, Italy’s Prosecutors and Judges are doing their best to prosecute bribery offences, including those of legal entitiesxxxii.   In February 2015, the OECD Economic  Survey  on  Italy  recommended  that  “reducing corruption and improving trust must remain a priority” and added that ANAC “needs stability and continuity as well as support at all political levels.” The OECD also recommended “support for active and independent action by the anti-corruption agency [ANAC], complementing the pursuit of increased efficiency in the judicial systemxxxiii.   Looking  at  what  has  been  done  in  Italy over  the  past  three  years,  there are still obstacles, but they can be overcome.


i             Such   as   the   European   Commission,   see   the   Anti-Corruption   Report   of   3   February   2014 in;  the  OECD,  see  the  Report  of  the  OECD  Working  Group  on  Bribery  of  16 December   2011 in

ii           See     articles     “Italy’s     Expo     and     other     public     projects     hit     by     corruption     claims”     in    and     “Fresh     corruption     probe     hits     Milan     Expo     2015”     in

iii          See article “Mayor of Venice arrested on lagoon barrier project corruption charges” in

iv          Law No. 190 of 2012 and Legislative Decree No. 33 of 2013. v           Decree Law No. 90 of 2014, subsequently converted into Law No. 114 of 2014, Law No. 186 of 2014, and Law No. 69 of 2015.

vi          Introduced by Law No. 190 of 2012.

vii         See Sections 11 and following of Legislative Decree No. 33 of 2013.

viii        See Section 24 bis of Decree Law No. 90 of 2014 and Law 114/2014.

ix          See Section 1 of Law No. 190 of 2012.

x           See Section 19 of Decree Law No. 90 of 2014 and Law 114/2014.

xi           See Section 29 of Decree Law No. 90 of 2014 and Law 114/2014. Previously these declarations were mandatory only in certain circumstances (.i.e. for contracts of certain amounts).

xii         See Section 32 of Decree Law No. 90 of 2014 and Law 114/2014.

xiii        See Section 32 (1, 2) of Decree Law No. 90 of 2014 and Law 114/2014.

xiv        See Section 19 (1, 2) of Decree Law No. 90 of 2014 and Law 114/2014.

xv         See Section 19 of Decree Law No. 90 of 2014 and Law 114/2014.

xvi        See Section 19 (5) of Decree Law No. 90 of 2014 and Law 114/2014; see also Section 54 bis of Legislative Decree No. 165 of 2001.

xvii       See Sections 1, 4 and 5 of Law 69/2015.

xviii      See Sections 157 and following of Italian Criminal Code.

xix        See Section 1 of Law 69/2015 and Sections 32 ter and 32 quater of Italian Criminal Code.

xx         See Section 1 of Law 69/2015 and Section 323 bis of Italian Criminal Code.

xxi        See Section 6 of Law 69/2015 and Section 444 of Italian Code of Criminal Procedure.

xxii       See Sections 9, 10 and 11 of Law 69/2015, amending Sections 2621 and 2622 of the Italian Civil Code.

xxiii      See Section 2621 of the Italian Civil Code as modified by Law 69/2015.

xxiv      See Sections 9 and 10 of Law 69/2015, amending Section 2621 of the Italian Civil Code.

xxv        See Section 12 of Law 69/2015 and Section 25 ter of Italian Legislative Decree No. 231 of 2001 on the liability of corporations, as modified by Law 69/2015.

xxvi      See Section 7 of Law 69/2015 and Section 129 of Italian Legislative Decree No. 271 of 1989.

xxvii     See Section 8 of Law 69/2015, Section 1 (2) of Decree Law No. 90 of 2014 and Sections 17 and following of Italian Legislative Decree No. 163 of 2006.

xxviii    See ANAC’s Guidelines of June 17, 2015, in

xxix      See the Annual Report 2011 of the OECD Working Group on Bribery, mentioned above.

xxx       See the Evaluation Report on Italy of GRECO, of March 2012, in

xxxi      In

xxxii     See the Annual Report 2011 of the OECD Working Group on Bribery, mentioned above.

xxxiii     See        the        OECD        Economic        Survey        on        Italy        of        February        2015,        in, page 18.

Marilena Hyeraci

Francesca Petronio

July 2015

Francesca Petronio is a partner in the Litigation practice of Paul Hastings and is based in the firm’s Milan office. Ms. Petronio has extensive experience in litigation, domestic and international arbitration, bankruptcy, corporate and commercial litigation matters, as well as the management of pre-litigation situations. In addition, she deals with compliance programs-related issues, white collar crimes, and providing assistance to domestic and international clients in internal investigations.

Francesca Petronio

Marilena Hyeraci is an associate in the Litigation department of Paul Hastings Milan. Ms. Hyeraci focuses her practice on litigation, civil and commercial matters, as well as international private law. Over the years, Ms Hyeraci has also developed a strong expertise in internal investigations, data privacy law, white collar crimes and Law 231 of 2001 related matters.

Marilena Hyeraci

The ETHIC Intelligence Experts’ Corner is an opportunity for specialists in the field of anti-corruption compliance to express their views on approaches to and developments in the sector. The views expressed in these articles are those of the authors.

C5 Anti-Corruption Forum Italy – Milan, 12-13 November

  Meet the top anti-corruption professionals in Italy while receiving implementable professional updates on a range of pressing topics, including:

  • Latest legislation: the Recent Updates on Italian Anticorruption Law. What You Should Know
  • Understanding the Scope of the Self-Money Laundering Legislation and Updating the 231 Model Accordingly
  • Overcoming Challenges in Implementing Effective Whistleblowing Hotlines
  • From Solid to Anti-Fragile Systems: Addressing the Challenges of the Evolving Role of the Internal Audit Function
  • CASE STUDIES on gifts & entertainment, private corruption, integrated compliance and controls


For more information and to register

Click here

ETHIC Intelligence is media partner to C5 anti-corruption conferences.

A 15% discount for this conference can be obtained by quoting P15-999EI16 when registering.  The discount applies to new delegates and must be used at the time of registration. Discounts cannot be applied retrospectively.


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