The report ‘Italy’s National Recovery and Resilience Plan under the X-ray’ is the result of the collaboration between Fondazione Gruppo Abele, Libera – Associations, Names and Numbers against Mafias and the magazine lavialibera. It is the second report resulting from a participatory monitoring campaign that involved 124 local activists from all over Italy in verifying the state of transparency on projects financed by European Recovery and Resilience Funds (RRFs).
We have monitored the project data on the websites of the 109 Italian major cities (provincial capitals) through the ‘determinations of allocation of RRFs’, i.e. the documents certifying the transfer of money from the State to the local administrations. To collect the relevant documents, we empowered activists to send FOIA requests to all municipalities and to conduct a scraping action to extract relevant monitoring data from institutional documents.
With the data obtained, we built a civic database of 1,731 projects, which we then compared with the territorialisation data released by the State on the institutional portal Italia Domani as well as with the data published by the National Anti-corruption Authority (Autorità Nazionale Anticorruzione – ANAC).
The comparison between the civic database we built and the institutional ones resulted in relevant inconsistencies. This is why we have made advocacy calls for national and local decision-makers with the aim of guaranteeing the Right to Know of us citizens and the integrity of the investment plan.
Thanks to the bottom-up monitoring action, we obtained the following main results:
- In our database there are as many as 900 projects that do not coincide with the last institutional data release on Italia Domani: a difference of 56%, well over half.
- The figures are even different if you cross-reference our database with that of the National Anti-corruption Authority (ANAC): 328 projects mapped by us are not present on the latter.
- Finally, of all the projects we found, 166 do not appear in any institutional source: neither in the database of Italia Domani nor in that of ANAC.
We thus demand that data must be consistent at all times and on every institutional source.
On the basis of this, we address 5 questions to national and local decision-makers:
- How many and which projects are actually being implemented by municipalities with RRFs?
- What happened to the principle of uniformity of the data of the NRRP projects, if our civic database and those of the State have different information?
- If the first institutional dataset was released in December 2021, the second in March 2023 and the third in June 2023, what is the criterion and frequency with which the State publishes data?
- Between the last two datasets of Italia Domani, new projects have been added, while others have disappeared. How do we reconstruct the information chain of the NRRP projects, if the elements for comparing data keep changing?
- And so: when should we expect the State to deliver a portal based on ‘transparency, simplicity, immediacy and personalisation’, as promised in the NRRP itself?
In short, there is great confusion around the implementation of the NRRP: that is why we are asking the national decision-maker to set up a single portal with truly up-to-date and transparent data, and we are proposing that the municipalities equip themselves with specific pages on the NRRP complete with all administrative documents.
Securing citizen’s Right to Know about this extraordinary investment plan is crucial to curb possible illicit interests and criminal and mafia infiltration.
To read the full report in Italian: https://www.libera.it/schede-2355-il_pnrr_ai_raggi_x_ii_edizione
The dataset containing all report data is available under an open licence at: https://bit.ly/3rn0tCZ
To read the first report published in December 2022 (Italian): https://www.libera.it/schede-2129-il_pnrr_ai_raggi_x