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You are in: Home English Version > SIOPE > About SIOPE

About  SIOPE

SIOPE is a computerised system which records the receipts and payments made by public administration treasurers/cashiers in order to ensure that public accounts comply with the conditions provided for in EU legislation.

This computerised system records the individual basic operations, preliminarily standardised by a coding system used throughout the country, when entered into the system by the public administrations.

All the bodies included in the public administrations' consolidated income statement (identified in a list updated on an annual basis and published in the Official Gazzette of the Italian Republic) are subject to SIOPE recording. The project has been carried out by gradually involving the individual sectors of the public administrations.

SIOPE makes use of the following instruments:

1. management coding assigned to each document certifying receipts and payments;

2. computerised platform for data transmission based on interconnection between the national interbanking network (RNI) and the public administration unitary network (RUPA);

3. the database into which information is entered, managed by the Bank of Italy.

This set-up of information flows from the state, regional and local authorities, universities and research institutes, healthcare facilities and other public administrations also makes it possible to provide said bodies with specific structured reports as well as satisfy ISTAT requirements with regard to processed data and the bodies entered in the income statement.

SIOPE has been created in order to deal with the differences between the data recorded by the various accounting systems adopted by Italian public administrations and to replace the current cashflow monitoring system with a faster. more complete system to be used to:

· record public administration requirements

· prepare quarterly statistics in relation to public accounts

· check the public finance regulations established at a European level throughout the year

The reference context is clearly the one outlined by the needs springing from Article 104 of the Treaty Establishing the EC related to the excessive deficit procedure (Maastricht Treaty) in order to ensure compliance with the set parameters (indebtedness/GDP <3% and public debt/GDP <60%).

On the other hand, Article 28 of Italy's 2003 Finance Act (paragraphs 3,4 and 5) provides for the obligation of public administrations to code all receipts and payment orders, and the Ministry of Economy has taken measures on several occasions in the form of decrees to define a standard coding system for receipts and payments.

Lastly, Article 1 (paragraph 161) of Italy's 2006 Finance Act provided for all the bodies included in the public administrations' income statement formulated by ISTAT (identified in a list updated on an annual basis and published in the Official Gazzette (for 2006: GU No. 175 of July 29 2005)) to be subject to SIOPE coding.

So, SIOPE's goals for the individual Italian public administrations can be summarised as follows:

· to promote coordination between national public finances and decentralised public finances and to support fact-finding needed to implement fiscal federalism

· to improve the transparency and effectiveness of public accounts

· to promote administrative and IT innovation

· to grant all public bodies access to information allowing them to improve their budget policies and to monitor management

As regards application of SIOPE, the project as carried out to date sees the involvement of

· the State since 2003

· the larger-size regional and local authorities (for populations in excess of 20,000 inhabitants) and universities since 2006

· smaller local authorities since 2007

Checking of SIOPE data by banks was also started up in 2006 along with improvement of data transmission procedures. The same year also saw implementation of the possibility for all bodies taking part in recording procedures to access SIOPE data records via the web.

From July 1 2007, the SIOPE system has been applied to research institutes along with trial implementation of the system for healthcare facilities with full implementation for said bodies planned from January 1st 2008.

Some grey areas, which are being worked on in order to resolve these critical problems that still act as a check on complete effectiveness and use of SIOPE, are the recording of operations that do not transit through the banking system and the high incidence of so-called accounting documents: receipts and payments made by treasurers for which there are no official documents and hence they are not coded.