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Public Administration payments

All public administration bodies must pay legitimate invoices within 30 days of the issue dates; payment after 60 days is allowed under certain circumstances. Compliance with these terms is a crucial factor in ensuring the proper functioning of the national economy, but many bodies take longer to pay.

The Ministry of the Economy and Finance is promoting shorter payment times through technological tools and the diffusion of best practices.

Instrument panel

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INVOICES REGISTERED
21,5 million/€ 129 billion

The “instrument panel” published here provides updated information on some indicators from the platform to monitor commercial credits to public administrations, designed and managed by the State General Accounting Office on behalf of the Ministry.
The data published here for the first time relates to the period between 1 July 2014 and 31 December 2015.

Electronic invoices are mandatory when invoicing to the central public administration since 6 June 2014, and for all other public agencies since 31 March 2015.

The platform to monitor commercial credits registers the total number of invoices sent to public administration as well as information on payments made. Nevertheless, this information is incomplete: not all public bodies actively communicate payment data.

 
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REGISTERED PUBLIC BODIES
20,000+
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ACTIVE PUBLIC BODIES
7,400 (35%)
 

The number of registered bodies is constantly changing as some are shut down or aggregated.
Bodies are considered active on the platform if they intervene on more that 75% of registered invoices addressed to them.

 

Data on payments only relates to bodies that provided information. Total payments are certainly higher than those recorded so far on the platform to monitor receivables.

The data below relates to “active” bodies:

  • 34% of the number of electronic invoices
  • 50% of the amount of invoices paid

The average payment time for “active” bodies is 44 days, calculated from the date on which the invoice was received to the date on which the payment order was issued and weighed for the value of the invoice.

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INVOICES PAID
8,9 million
Importo Fatture Pagate Banner
VALUE OF THE INVOICES PAID
€ 60,5 billion
Tempo Medio Banner
AVERAGE TIME
46 days
 

Some comments on the data

This data should be read with care:

  • The actual number and value of the invoices paid is higher than that registered on the monitoring platform because only some bodies communicate this data
  • The actual average payment time is in all likelihood longer than that of the bodies that communicate their data

The bodies that communicate such data should be considered “virtuous” because they comply with the obligation of providing information. They are also more likely to be more virtuous than others in paying invoices on time. Therefore, MEF data on these indicators is still insufficient to have a reliable measurement of payment times and their evolution. The MEF will promote adhesion to the monitoring platform with all public administrations, with the following information targets:

  • Information on 60% of registered invoices by the end of 2015 (target achieved)
  • Information on 90% of registered invoices by the end of 2016
  • Information on 99% of registered invoices by 30 June 2017

In order to achieve these goals, the MEF – through the State General Accounting Office – has invested significant resources to make available to public bodies all possible modalities to communicate this data: as of the end of July, in addition to existing communication modalities (manual transmission via the internet, massive upload through the transmission of pre-compiled files, telematic transmission of data flows) there is now the possibility of using applicative cooperation through web services, thanks to which public bodies can put their management systems in direct communication with the monitoring platform.

Soon, businesses accredited on the platform for monitoring receivables, which can already verify the state of advancement of their invoices in terms of payment, will also be able to use access through web services to put their own management systems in contact with the platform.

The 500 most virtuous public bodies

This page also makes available the files on the 500 most virtuous public bodies, - i.e. those that pay the fastest – selected out of those that transmit info on over 75% of the invoices addressed to them (so-called “active bodies”) and that have received at least 1,000 invoices for a total amount of at least € 1 million.
Compared to the previous publication, and in order to provide more in-depth evaluations, we present three lists ranked according to different criteria. Additionally, there are now 500 bodies in each list instead of 300, so that the total number of bodies present is about 650 (since some appear in all three lists).
The criteria used to select the bodies present in each list are as follows:

  • Percentage ratio between amount paid and amount due;
  • The weighted average of payment times, meaning the number of days between the date the invoice was issued and the date the payment was made (keep in mind that for electronic invoices, the date of invoice is the same as the date it was sent);
  • The weighted average of delays in payment, meaning the number of days between the date the invoice was due and the date the payment was made (this can be a negative number if the invoice is paid in advanced; additionally, if the due date for the payment is not expressly indicated on the invoice, it is calculated on the basis of existing norms starting from the date of issue).

Only electronic invoices issued between 1/7/2014 and 31/12/2015 were taken into consideration (with the exception of those that were rejected). The higher number of public bodies in the lists below aims to contribute to the publication of the full lists of all public bodies, including those that do not communicate their payment data.

 

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