Rome, November 22, 2017 - 12.20
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The State Treasury

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The Treasury is the cashier of the State and is therefore responsible for the execution of State budget payments and collections and, after the introduction of the Unified Treasury Account, it also performs banking functions for the Bodies that are required to deposit their funds into Treasury accounts.

This highly sensitive service is assigned by law to the Bank of Italy and the relations with the Ministry of Economy are regulated by an agreement that has been renewed by implication until 2030.

The Bank of Italy operates through the State Central Treasury and the State Provincial Treasury departments, in compliance with the rules prescribed by the Government Accounting Regulation and by other regulations, including less important regulations, and with the directives promulgated by the Ministry of Economy and Finance and, in particular, by the State General Accounting Department, where there is a specific department that manages the relations with the Bank of Italy and coordinates the State Treasury service.

The activity of the Treasury can essentially be classified into four different macro-areas: regulations, operations, modernization and monitoring.

· the regulatory function is carried out by the State General Accounting Department and involves the control of the correct application of Treasury regulations and the regulatory changes that are necessary to adapt regulations to changing reference frameworks or to the latest information technology requirements;

· the operations area is primarily managed by the Bank of Italy. The Bank of Italy, through its Treasury departments, is in charge of executing the payments and collections of the State budget, of opening/closing/modifying and managing the Unified Treasury accounts held in the name of local authorities, regions, etc., of the special accounts of peripheral Government bodies, of the special purpose accounts opened for delegated officials for emergencies or special projects, and of central Treasury current accounts.

In particular, at central level, the central Treasury finalizes central Government payment orders once they have been approved for payment by the Treasury service of the State General Accounting Department, manages the central Treasury current accounts and finalizes all payments to the Bodies or Companies that are the holders of such accounts.

The operations area includes the activities carried out by the State General Accounting Department to give instructions to the Bank of Italy to open/close/modify Treasury accounts through the electronic transmission of withdrawal orders from central Treasury current accounts.

· modernization: the gradual modernization process of the Treasury started in 1999 with the introduction of the "electronic payment order" (1999), the dematerialization of the orders for withdrawal of funds from central Treasury current accounts (November 2003), the dematerialization of credit orders and of Treasury receipts (June 2004) and with the online daily reporting of Treasury accounts transactions (May 2006).

The dematerialization enabled the elimination of paper-based information flows and the result is that payment instructions, may they be electronic payment orders or orders for withdrawal of funds from central Treasury current accounts, are transmitted electronically by the central Government or by the Treasury service of the State General Accounting Department to the Bank of Italy which then executes the payments.

In case of credit orders to bank or postal current accounts, the Bank of Italy transmits the bank transfer instructions on the national interbank network and therefore connects, albeit indirectly, the state Treasury with the national interbank network.

Technological innovations are regulated through memoranda of understanding between the State General Accounting Department and the Bank of Italy that include the rules for information exchange.

The modernization process continued with the introduction of more modern instruments, such as bank transfers, for transferring funds to the State Budget or to other Treasury accounts and currently there is a project under study to change the process for opening and closing Treasury accounts and replace the paper-based document exchange with the Bank of Italy with electronic data exchange.

The aim is to complete the implementation of the "electronic" State Treasury and to further enhance its communication capabilities with external information systems.

All these innovations have allowed the State General Accounting Department to obtain online daily reports of Treasury accounts transactions, which reproduce the information contained in the original titles, including the information concerning final beneficiaries, which are extremely useful for monitoring financial flows;

· monitoring: the Bank of Italy produces daily reports of Treasury accounts transactions and transmits them to the State General Accounting Department. These reports populate the database of the Treasury Flows Management and Treasury Accounts Management systems, which are the key tools for the acquisition of the necessary information for the determination of the financial requirements of the public sector, for the preparation of the Treasury summary statement, for monitoring cash flows and for the preparation of public finance documents.