Because good standardization can simplify bureaucracy

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(of Giuseppe Rossi, President of UNI Italian Standardization Body)

The recent speech by the president of Confindustria Digitale Cesare Avenia on your pages offers me the opportunity to focus on a “revolutionary” change of pace that our country must necessarily face in order to grow and develop.

Can a decree simplify the legislation? Can standardization do it instead?

The first is a paradox (at least in Italy), the second is not (at least for the European Union, which for almost 40 years has given us a “good example”). It is not, because standardization derives from “norm”, among whose meanings there is “rule agreed by mutual agreement and voluntarily between the parties concerned“. The apotropaic formula “made according to law” is in fact the one on which the EU has decided to found the Single Market, where products and services can circulate freely – without the constraints of bureaucracy – if they comply with the requirements of the technical standards.

Digitizing, therefore, is only part of the reduction of bureaucratic constraints, because it is limited to the “how” and does not enter the “what”, that is, the necessary and sufficient characteristics so that we can really simplify, de-bureaucratise, speed up … The whole administrative process relating to a job, a work, a product can be de-bureaucratized if the service or object is “designed and done well”: it is innovative, safe, durable, simple, accessible, sustainable. The definition of these great principles is up to the legislator, but not the detail of how to pursue and guarantee them!

This is the role of voluntary technical standardization, an activity that the European Union (EU Regulation 1025/2012) and the State (Legislative Decree 223/2017) have recognized in our country to be the competence of UNI, the Italian Standardization Body. Body that for exactly 100 years has been defining documents of voluntary application – the UNI standards – which help to make the knowledge to procure, buy, produce and use quality products / services, respectful of the environment and safe for the users, simple and accessible to all. people, not only in emergency situations but in all ordinary activities.

How many would be the advantages – for the market and citizens – of a streamlined legislation, which limited itself to defining the principles, requirements, essential objectives of each provision and postponed the “how” and technical details to UNI technical standards! Always, not only in emergency or epochal situations such as the implementation of the PNRR … Standards whose use must not be mandatory (except in dramatic cases such as that of the Covid-19 pandemic where, for the safety of all, it is mandatory to use products compliant with UNI standards , to ensure the performance of, for example, masks, gloves and other protections …). but it is a free choice. An opportunity that has in itself the presumption of compliance with the provisions of the law, but also with the expectations of citizens who want quality, environmentally friendly, safe and long-lasting infrastructures, products and services.

Instead of continuing to legislate in the same way, I suggest that the government remember the “standardization” (the “good” one …) and use its help to really pursue simplification and accelerate the implementation of a sustainable development model.


Source: Huffington Post Italy Athena2 by www.huffingtonpost.it.

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