Criminal protection of the emergency in the Italian legal order: from the tightening of anti-corruption measures to the weakening of office abuse

The health emergency has led the legislator to an organic intervention aimed, among other things, at simplifying administrative procedures and speeding up bureaucratic activities. In this context, the reform of the crime of abuse of office is aimed at reducing the responsibility of public administrators in order to facilitate the country recovery through public action. A counter-trend is, therefore, observed in the criminal protection of the emergency: it passes from a season of criminalization and increasing in sanctions for corruption crimes to an intervention that considerably mitigates the criminal liability of public subjects. Furthermore, this reform is not part of the provisional and contingent interventions of the emergency phase but definitively modifies the crime in question. The intervention will, therefore, be aimed at deeping the ratio of this legislative choice, the critical issues and the appreciable aspects of the same.

The macroeconomics of corruption in pandemic era: the difficult path outlined by the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (PNRR) between objectives of economic growth, defense of competition and restoration of legality.

The spread of corruption, combined to the presence of criminality in the legal economy and to the complex administrative procedures, could set aside the positive expected results from the volume of public and private investments, never reached in the recent history of our country. A new and wider approach, taking into account not only the economic, financial, territorial and social context but also the particular conditions in which companies operate, is required to analyse corruption, since it couldn’t be comparable to others criminal behaviours. Furthermore, the abolition of the European rules in the aid regime and the temporary suspension of the competition rules could raise in the next years the imbalances between European companies and workers. Actions must be taken in these sectors, in order to prevent that the expansion of corruption and organized crime could emphasize the distorting effects already produced by the pandemic.

Corruption and health crisis between social tolerance and repression of new corruption models

The economic crisis from 2008 highlighted corruption not only as a possible relevant cause of the recession, but also as an unacceptable behaviour which seeks illegal profit in a time characterised by resource scarcity. The sanitary crisis from 2020 can also be an important time to reflect again on corruption, but from two different perspectives: in the same way as in 2008, as a kind of activities that have to be eliminated, but also from a different angle, as actions which some stakeholders could justify in a situation of emergency. The possible consolidation of this last perspective can become a risk for an appropriate and effective fight against corruption. There is a need, then, to examine which are the fields more susceptible to develop corrupt behaviours, to avoid the establishment of new models of corruption and the growth of social tolerance to some forms of this illegal practice.

Anti-corruption models in the international scenario: the necessity for a global model in emergency situations?

The UNCAC requires that each State party ensure the existence of a body or bodies to prevent and to combat corruption. At the same time, there is not a uniform model available for creating such an anti-corruption body and, consequently, it becomes difficult to establish which model could be considered the most successful. Each country will develop an anti-corruption body which is fitted for its legal, social, and political circumstance. Therefore, under extreme conditions like a pandemic crisis, we may wonder about the stability and the integrity of the anti- corruption authorities. Since the corruption constitutes an obstacle to the global economic growth, when wide economic recovery programs are settled, the ineffectiveness of a national system could impact on all others countries’ anti- corruption policies. In the future, new common bodies and global anti- corruption programs are to be considered and to figured out.

The prevention of corruption risk in private companies: emergency compliance in Italy

The COVID 19 emergency has led to an increase in corruption related to the need to invest significant resources and to a simplification of procedures and reduction of controls in the public sector. At a time when institutions are focused on containing the epidemiological risk and the pandemic economic consequences, the management of the corruption risk is above all left to private companies, assisted by that system of crime prevention under Legislative Decree no. 231/2001. The organization models, the procedures and the ethical principles represent the tool through which the culture of legality, transparency and control can guide the action of companies, together with the role of the Supervisory Body and the so-called whistlebowers . So the intervention will be aimed to outline the renewed importance of the prevention of corruption in the private sector during the emergency through the 231 models and the possibility of making them mandatory for the sectors most at risk.

Administrative simplifications vs. Guarantees of legitimacy? Looking for a balance between prompt action and transparency in public procurement

The National Recovery and Resilience Plan Guidelines (PNRR) are the response provided from the Italian Republic to the European Commission proposal – approved by the European Council on 21 July 2020 – known as Next Generation EU (NGEU). A particular focus on economic recovery is centred on the public administration level of efficiency as a fundamental marker for assessing nation's growth potential, as well as its attractiveness and competitiveness. The PNRR designs a set of interventions aimed to legislative simplification and to tender procedures reduction, together with authorization and control procedures decrease. This paper tends to explore which are the procedures and the forms of simplification which, while ensuring the implementation of the public decisions, do not prevent the transparency guarantees and the anti-corruption measures provided at national level.