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State Treasury

Tesoreria dello Stato

The State Treasury is an organized system that collects money and makes payments on behalf of the State Administration and of other public administrations. This service is entrusted by the Law to the Bank of Italy, and the relationships between the Bank and the MEF are regulated by ad hoc agreements. At present the conferral of the service to the Bank has been tacitly renewed up until 2030. The assigning of the State Treasury service to the Bank of Italy follows in the wake of the tradition of the role exercised by central banks, recognized also by the Community principles under which the sole limitation is that of granting funds to the Treasury to meet its financial requirements. The Bank of Italy performs the Treasury functions through its own administrative structures – Treasuries – that are present across the Country. The activities of the treasuries are coordinated by an ad hoc Service of the Central Administration of the Bank: the Treasury Service. The peripheral structures, which in the past had physical offices in each Province, have now been rationalized and reorganized also thanks to the adoption of IT instruments. In 2017, besides the Central Treasury, there were 32 Treasuries in operation. There is now, however, a “virtual” organizational network covering all the Provinces through the Operational Units (U.OP.), centres for the allocation of Treasury operations at the provincial level. The Treasury service is regulated essentially by the provisions of the Law and by the General Accounting Rules of the State. The operational aspects are regulated by the Instructions on the Treasury Service (IST), approved with the Decree of the Ministry of the Economy and Finance of 29 March 2007.

The Bank of Italy therefore has the role of treasurer of the State and, as such, it collects and makes payments related to the management of the State budget, it collects money and makes payments related to the funds managed on accounts opened with the Treasury, it advances payments on behalf of the State for the management of the State budget, and it manages cash transactions. An important role with regard to the State Treasury service played also by Poste Italiane s.p.a. which has its own widespread network of offices across the Country for carrying out collection and payment operations on behalf of the State and of other public administrations, and for the collecting postal savings. The service is regulated through ad hoc agreements entered into by the MEF and Poste Italiane.

The institutional relationship between the MEF and the Bank of Italy

The role assigned to the MEF, and in particular to the RGS State General Accounting Department, is an essential complement to the role of the Bank of Italy, whose operational activity of collecting receipts and making payments is the core business of its Treasury service together with the preparation of the instruments that are the operational corollary of such activities (e.g. management of cash and cash flow and management of accounts opened with the Treasury in the name of different bodies, some of which belong to the public administrations while others are external to it).

Alongside the competences that various regulations and provisions assign to the RGS for coordinating and exercising oversight on the Treasury service, for the administrative management of the activity involving the issuing of specific authorizations, for planning financial flows and for monitoring, the RGS has also played a role of great importance over the years in innovating the operational context by computerizing procedures and by introducing new instruments for the Treasury operations, upgrading the collection and payment operations to comply with European standards. In addition, in the documents on public finance it has improved the representation of the data consolidating and reconciling the financial flows recorded in the budget with those of the Treasury. Hence, over the years, a close institutional relationship has been forged between the RGS and the Bank of Italy which operate in close synergy, jointly managing the evolution of the Treasury service both from the operational standpoint and with regard to the planning and management of the cash flow.