The call is for a “constructive approach”. But behind the note from the Minister for European Affairs, the South, Cohesion Policies and the Pnrr, Raffaele Fitto, it is clear that the tone of confrontation with the Court of Auditors is raised. The accounting magistrates have just fired the Report on the coordination of public finance and the diagnosis on the implementation of the National Recovery Plan is merciless. Expenses in hand, in the first four months of the year we are at 1.1 billion out of a 32.7 billion planning for the whole of 2023.
Numbers that arrive only in April, but return one evident image of trouble in the grounding of the Pnrr projectsmoreover, while the government is grappling with a review and negotiation for the remodeling at European level, the outcome of which is still uncertain.
Fitto starts precisely from the need for a joint institutional commitment for the success of the Plan, to attack the accounting magistrates. “The implementation of the Pnrr is a challenge for the whole country, as President Mattarella always reminds us. We need a constructive approach on the part of everyone, so that the projects are implemented and reported adequately”, reads the note written by Dense. Then the thrust directed towards the Court: “Everyone must contribute proactively to the achievement of the common objective: to fully implement the Plan, modernize the country and make it competitive. Therefore we must all work, especially between institutions, favoring prudence and confrontation preventive”.
Fitto ensures that “the reporting of many projects and interventions will begin in the coming months“, as if to say that the Court’s vision is for now partial. And therefore it looks directly at the accounting magistrates: “It would be a constructive approach by the Court of Auditors is desirable, which could support all the implementing subjects in the reporting, sampling and verification phase of the achievement of the results, developing formats, self-control systems which would simplify the tasks of the single implementing subjects”. “In this sense, therefore, the controls do not they would overlap and the system would be able to respond more effectively to European requests. Working together, working constructively, working well,” she adds.
The supervisory role of the Court
The reference in this case is twofold. Not only to the numbers put in black and white in the Report on the coordination of public finance. But it aims at the heart of the supervisory role that the Court exercises over the projects of the Plan. And the “non-overlapping” passage reveals what the government is up to.
Already at the beginning of the month, the executive had complained of an “invasion of the field” by the Court for some findings issued by the Board for the concomitant control on the delays of the Pnrr projects, as in the case of thehydrogen. “Serious management irregularities”, i.e. “significant and unjustified delays in the disbursement” of funds were targeted in relation to two of the 27 objectives of the Pnrr that Italy must achieve by 30 Juneif you want to ask Europe for the fourth tranche of 16 billion. For the executive, however, the assessment of compliance with the deadlines should however be the prerogative of Brussels. He accused of pitch invasion to which the Court had replied that he had acted correctly, in compliance with his powers.
The government would now be thinking, wrote the Sole24Ore, to intervene on the control power of the accounting judiciary, defining a narrower perimeter for the action of the Court. And it could also get back on track when the deadline expires “tax shield”, or the mechanism that limits the tax damage to cases of willful misconduct or extreme inertia of the administrations. The plan would be to extend the expiry of the shield (expected at the end of June) to carry it forward in parallel with the creation of the Pnrr. An eventuality that could again ignite the opposition of the Court, which the shield certainly does not go down.
As regards the numbers of investments made, however, Fitto replies: “During 2021-2022 the expenses incurred mainly refer to the reports of existing projects, therefore prior to the birth of the Plan, and included in the Pnrr. In particular the automatic tax incentive measures, such as the superbonus and the tax credit 4.0. Added to this circumstance is the fact that in February 2023, on the basis of Eurostat indications, a new method for reporting tax credits was defined which substantially exhausted their financial endowment from the Pnrr”.
And again: “As regards the expenses of 2023, the effective reporting is subject to the start of the works of the approximately 110 billion of public works which, according to the time schedules of the Pnrr, will begin during 2023. Therefore only after the start of the works it will be possible to report the progress and therefore there will be a consequent increase in the expenditure actually incurred. The actual expenditure will be carried out starting from the second half of 2023”, concludes Fitto.