This chapter, which is conceived for an international audience, offers an overview of the state of the art of public sector accounting in Italy.It deals separately with central and local government : in both of them reform bills have been passed over the last few years, that have introduced significant changes.It is then possible to briefly elaborate on a few working reflections upon the scope of accounting autonomy that national law has granted to local authorities; in the same time, it is interesting to make a comparison among the solutions specified by the law for these two levels of government.§ 2 illustrates the key innovations in central government accounting.§ 3 is devoted to the introduction of a modified accrual budget in central government accounting.The reform of local government accounting is discussed in § 4. The authors identify the main critical aspect of the previous accounting system and examine the reform process.The conclusions illustrate and discuss the gap between the reform’s objectives and its actual impact.Real effects of the Local Government Accounting Act only partly coincide with expectations. The authors highlight in particular that:- obligation- and cash-based accounting continues to prevail over accrual accounting in regard to all the issues relevant to the functioning of local governments, starting from the definition of current and capital transfers;- given the different accounting modalities, it is still quite difficult to compare the results of different local governments;- the new system still does not permit the identification of reliable efficiency and effectiveness indicators that truly help managers to take decisions;- accrual reports are, at least for now, virtually unusable and do not create any significant comments nor political debates.Therefore, the reform has failed to considerably improve the levels of accountability in Local governments.In order to propose an alternative improvement path for the functionality of the Italian local government accounting system the authors observe the reforms carried out in other countries, and identify the conditions required for the success of any top-down reform (as the Italian reform has actually been).
|Data di pubblicazione:||2002|
|Autori:||Caperchione E.; Mussari R.|
|Titolo del libro:||Models of Public Budgeting and Accounting Reform|
|Collana:||OECD Journal on Budgeting|
|Nome editore:||OECD, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development|
|Volume:||Volume 2, Supplement 1|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||Capitolo/Saggio|
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