The Spid management agreements expire in April 2023. To be precise, the agreements expired at the end of 2022, but the Agency for Digital Italy (Agid) officially extended them until April. On Monday 20 February, the general manager of Agid, Francesco Paorici, met the companies that reiterated the requests made in recent days in a letter to Alessandro Musumeci, head of the technical secretariat of the Undersecretary for Innovation, Alessio Butti. The main problem for the managers is the costs: the expenses for the assistance services to the 33 million citizens and the 12,000 public administrations that have adopted the system are huge and the government has never created the conditions to ensure that the private individuals adopt the Spid and create cash flows for the companies that manage this service.
Without an agreement, there is a risk of being stopped
In the absence of an agreement between the parties, Spid could shut down permanently from the end of April. In fact, in the meeting with Agid, the position of Assocertificatori also had the support of the remaining 5% who are not members of the association. Assocertificatori represents the suppliers of 95% of digital services such as Spid, Pec and electronic signature. Among the partners there are Aruba, Infocert and Poste, which alone has about 76% of the Spid profiles released. Â«Given the critical nature of the service, we are willing to accept a further extension of a few months, provided that there is the political will to address the problem of the economic sustainability of the system. We are available to collaborate to define a strategy together», declares the president of Assocertificatori, Carmine Auletta, in an interview with the Corriere della Sera to clarify what has transpired in the last few days.
An ad hoc fund to cover costs and investments
“When Spid was born, 8 years ago – recalls Auletta – the legislator had established a principle: the infrastructure should have been free for citizens and for the Public Administration and would have been financed with the cash flows of the providers who they should have been paid for by private transactions. We have asked several times to promote the use of Spid for professional use and paid legal entity, we have proposed to create a system of tax credits to incentivize private service providers, but nothing has been done». In the letter to Undersecretary Butti, the managers ask for a dedicated fund to cover the costs of the service and investments in innovation. Furthermore, they want to be involved in the government’s strategy for the future of digital identity in Italy. What is causing concern and some perplexity is the proposal to create a single system in which Spid and electronic identity card (Cie) converge.
A single digital identity
Last December, Undersecretary for Innovation Butti, in a letter to Courier, he had assured: “We don’t want to eliminate digital identity, but only have one, national and managed by the state, like the one that Italians have carried in their wallets since 1931”. According to Butti himself, there are four reasons: to simplify the digital life of citizens, to increase security, to make digital services more accessible and, finally, to save money “because Spid has a cost for the State”. The companies have doubts about the fact that the Cie is safer and more effective than the Spid. According to the president of Assocertificatori, the fact that with the Cie a physical card is needed to access the digital world is “anachronistic, in a historical period in which credit cards are dematerialized to flow into our smartphones”. In recent days there has been talk of a call for tenders already in March for the new unified app. Hypothesis that is not confirmed by the Department for Digital Transformation. Â«We have written to the undersecretary to present our requests and what we now expect is a response on the merits. We hope that an agreement can be found in the interests of the millions of users who use this service», says Auletta.
The managers are asking for 50 million euros
Among the digital authentication services, Spid is the most successful in Europe. Assocertificatori recalls that in 2022 authentications reached one billion and entities such as INPS saved several tens of millions of euros thanks to Spid. Managers do not receive anything for this service, adds Assocertificatori. In 2022 Agid had proposed a one-off payment of one million euros to be spread among everyone. A figure that according to the companies would have made it possible to barely pay the professional updating costs of call center operators. The new request from the managers is 50 million euros, a figure far lower than the savings for the State and the Public Administrations, they assure. There are only two months left to reach an agreement.