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Bottom-up innovative solutions for the Public Administration

From EPSA - European Public Sector Award

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In recent years, public administrations have faced the challenges of reducing public costs while maintaining high levels of efficiency in response to the increasingly complex needs of communities. Recent regulatory reforms in Italy have imposed actions of spending rewiev in public administrations. Usually within complex and structured organizations, the services whose costs must be reduced, are established by managers and higher levels of government, who are often not fully aware of the actual put into practice of their initiatives. One of the dangers regarding spending review measures is to get a reduction in the efficiency and effectiveness of services.

Taking these elements into account, the Municipality of Bergamo has tried to identify an alternative - and more effective - way of rationalising expenditure, encouraging the participation of its whole staff in order to improve the quality of services for the citizens.

In order to achieve this goal, it was decided to apply the principles contained in Law 11/2011 (conversion of Decree Law 98/2011), which identifies the possibility for local authorities to allocate - during collective bargaining - a share of the savings achieved by the realization of innovative projects to the productivity of employees.

This law is poorly applied by Italian local authorities, and never with this innovative bottom-up approach. In 2016 the project called "IDM - Ideas for improvement" was launched by the General Manager of the Municipality of Bergamo, to invite employees to propose innovative solutions both in terms of improvement of the services quality and costs reduction.

The realization of the project could not require additional resources, but different organizational ways to manage the services, using skills and internal staff of the institution.

The participation process requires that the improvement ideas developed by employees has to be analyzed and evaluated, using indicators established by both the internal evaluation body (OIV) and the college of the auditors. The economic incentives related to the IDMs realized that have passed the assessment, are then paid in the productivity share of wages.

In the three years in which the project was implemented (2016-2018), the Municipality of Bergamo to saved €953,000 thanks to the realization of the IDMs fit with the evaluation criteria. One half of this share was allocated to the funds for employees productivity, the other half was included in the budget of the institution in order to be reinvested in improving services for citizens.The share allocated to employees productivity has been further divided: 80% has been allocated equally to the employees who realized the ideas, the remaining 20% has been distributed equally among all employees of the institution.

The IDM project presents an innovative way of containing public expenditure based on a bottom-up approach that recognises that employees play a central role in the improvement of the instutition. The sustainability of the project is guaranteed on one side by the absence of additional costs for its implementation, and on the other by the virtuous mechanism created by encouraging the participation and creativity of employees.


Award info
Award category: new solutions to complex challenges - a public sector citizen-centric, sustainable and fit for the future - supra-local and local level
Award type: submission
Award year: 2019
Project type
Sector: Public administration, modernisation, institutional affairs, reform
Type of activity:
Keywords: Semplification, efficience, innovative solution, costs saving, participation, bottom-up.
Short English description: In recent years, public administrations have faced the challenges of reducing public costs while maintaining high levels of efficiency in response to the increasingly complex needs of communities.

Recent regulatory reforms in Italy have imposed actions of spending rewiev in public administrations.

Further information
Organisation: Municipality of Bergamo
Other applicants:
Homepage: https://sites.google.com/site/bottomuppabg/
Level of government: local level
Size of organisation: >100
Number of people involved: 1-5
Country: Italy
EU membership: EU member
Language code: en
Start date:
End date:


Bottom-up innovative solutions for the Public Administration (45.6944750018756, 9.668322801589965)
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