The new coronavirus epidemic has revealed Italy's transparency problems

The new coronavirus epidemic has revealed Italy's transparency problems

Between suspensions of the right of access to the documents and appeals to the Council of State on the CTS minutes, the pandemic was a litmus test of the poor relationship between Italian institutions and transparency

(photo: Ivan Radic on Flickr. License CC BY 2.0) Italy is a Soviet socialist republic founded on the opacity of the institutions. Yes, more or less like the USSR told in the Chernobyl series. Of course this is a provocation, but if we consider that stress test for transparency that was the Covid-19 pandemic (which, unfortunately, was also many other things), the temptation to rethink article 1 of the Constitution to make it closer to the reality of the facts is strong.

And the story of the minutes of the Scientific Technical Committee requested by the Einaudi Foundation, denied by the government, granted by the TAR, frozen in their dissemination by the Council of State and then finally made known from the executive is just the latest example. The poor relationship of Italian institutions with transparency has in fact ontological characteristics.

It will be remembered when on 21 February the first positive Sars-CoV-2 was identified in Codogno, in the Lodi area. In the following two days, news of new cases identified in Northern Italy chased each other. But neither the Ministry of Health nor the Higher Institute of Health thought about publishing the data on their websites.

Reason? Unknown. If you want to think wrong, however, you could remember that February 21 fell on Friday. Will it be so necessary, rhetorical question, to update and communicate the data even on weekends? To be informed, the Italians had to rely on the bulletin that the Civil Protection provided to journalists. Important, for heaven's sake, but transparency is another thing.

and Yet by 2012, the digital administration Code provides that the data in the possession of the Pa are open by default . From 2016 there is a law, the Foia, which provides for “the freedom of access of anyone to the data and documents held by public administrations .

The point, as always, is that laws must apply them. Not discontinue the application , as happened to the Foia during the weeks of lockdown. This is true at national level as at local level: who writes that, last may 11 , has filed an application for access to the Region of Lombardy to get to know the data relating to the use of tampons. The answer is not yet arrived. Of the rest, the soviet Union was a federal state.

And of course, transparency does not mean even to get to the newspapers, facial tissues about the forthcoming government measures, as happened on the 7th of march last. An anticipation with respect to the lockdown that brought dozens of people to storm the train from Milan to the South . And who knows how many were positive for the Sars-CoV-2 .

Transparency means, such as the civil Protection . That is true, it took a few weeks. But for months now communicates on a daily basis data relating to the swabs and infections found on the territory. And it does so with data in the format of machine-readable and license Cc By 4.0 , which essentially allows everyone to use them according to their needs. Do you want to see who started the perestroika ?

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