Katy Mandurino | Il Sole 24ore

Getting Italy moving again, boosting growth, making everyone contribute to improving the country. In the wake of the spirit of optimism and renewed confidence, trade associations, economic players and the manufacturing world are giving their proactive contribution to politics on how to get Italy moving again. Confindustria Assoconsult, an association representing the most significant consulting firms in Italy, does so in a timely and pragmatic letter addressed to Prime Minister Matteo Renzi. The letter was circulated today, at the conclusion of the States General of Management Consulting held in Rome, in the presence of Mauro Bonaretti, Secretary General of the Prime Minister's Office.

The contents are clear, Assoconsult intends to indicate how one can contribute to the realisation of the spending review programme: that is, by initiating innovation processes in the PA with the support of consultancy as a tool for the selective identification of waste, the rethinking of services and operational feasibility. All this, spending five times less than the estimated value of current PA spending on consultancy and with greater transparency. 'In recent years,' writes the association's president Ezio Lattanzio in a passage of the letter, 'the measures aimed at cutting and rationalising spending in the public administration have been various, but spending has risen, even as services have deteriorated. It is clear that indiscriminate cuts fail or produce modest results if they are not associated with reorganisation processes, such as the reduction or amalgamation of offices, just to give an example'. Then there is the great theme of digital and new ICT technologies: 'Here the public administration,' the president of Confindustria Assoconsult continues, 'is in the stone age and a gigantic investment is needed. Which, however, runs the risk of turning into a waste of resources if left only to ICT vendors and those responsible for PA information systems, as has happened so far'. A great deal of resources could be found from cuts in public administration consultancy expenditure itself. 'Estimates,' reads another passage of the letter, 'speak of two billion euro, in reality it could be twice as much. Of these expenses, not only 50 per cent can be cut, but up to 80 per cent. And with the remaining 20% of today's expenditure, if used in a targeted and organic manner, the entire public administration could be reformed'. During the States General, the data of the Confindustria Assoconsult Observatory Report 2013/2014, realised in collaboration with the University of Rome Tor Vergata, were also presented. The Italian management consulting sector counted three billion euros in turnover in 2013; more than 18 thousand total companies, 85% of which with less than three employees; 35 thousand operators with a contribution to employment of 0.16% and a high rate of young people employed. In Italy, the contribution of management consulting to GDP is 0.2% against a European average of 0.52%. Here too, Italy is at the tail end.

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