Unformatted text preview: ural funds
because they are expected to contribute significantly to the achievement of national program priorities. The indicators
were defined to measure the degree of implementation of the reform and, at the same time, the capacity of local public
administration to externalise or privatise some of their previous functions.
As for integration and concentration, both criteria are based on the underlying assumption that when resources are
limited, as they always are, there is only a restricted number of objectives that can be achieved and that, for each
objective to be reached, all pertinent interventions have to be implemented following both a logical and temporal
integration path. Economies both of scope and agglomeration should materialise, providing for a higher return from
those interventions. It is also assumed that regional governments, through negotiation with central institutions and social
partners, will be able to identify the path which is most pertinent to meet growth and employment targets estimated to
amplify convergence. The indicators suggested here capture both aspects only partially, and imperfectly measure the
principles that the plan intended to push forward. They have to be accepted as proxies. They do require, in particular
integration, the capacity of regional and local administrations to identify ideas and implementation rules that are precise
and clear enough to give substance to territorial integrated projects. 6.2. The performance reserve mechanism as a tool to foster competition and partnership
The rules governing the implementation of the reserves aim at fostering both competition and partnership between
different levels of government and within each managing authority (among different offices).
For both reserves competition generally occurs in the second round of the performance screening process. All programs
judged efficient according to the set of indicators and benchmarks defined qualify for the reserve allocated to them. Only
if a program is found to be inefficient is the reserve allocated to that program made available for redistribution to its
successful rivals. It is a second-degree competition mechanism, which is activated only after having allocated the
reserve to efficient programs.
As for the 6% reserve criteria of integration and concentration, a direct competition among administrations is already
introduced in the first round by means of benchmark definition. For both indicators benchmarks are fixed on the basis of
the average performance of all programs. In this case there will be, by definition, programmes that will not be allocated
the full amount of the quota of the 6% reserve devoted to integration and concentration. Only those regional Operational
Programmes which are ranked very close to the average will qualify for the allocation of a 0.8% for integration and a
0.6% for concentration, to which another 0.7% for integration and a 0.4% for concentration could be added if the
programme performs better than the average.7 Therefore, while the first benchmark could be reached by any
Operational Programme, the second benchmark can only be reached by best performing programmes.
The Italian design is therefore meant to foster a higher degree of competition among administrations. Nevertheless, the
second-degree competition rule and the introduction of “affordable” benchmarks allow for reducing the risk of
excessively favouring those regions which, becau...
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