Italy - Country Commercial Guide
Selling to the Public Sector
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Selling to the Government

Italy’s public procurement system is governed by international obligations under the WTO Government Procurement Agreement (GPA) and EU-wide legislation under the EU public procurement directives. U.S.-based companies can bid on public tenders covered by the GPA, while European subsidiaries of U.S. companies may bid on all public-procurement contracts covered by EU directives, as implemented through Italian legislation. Through a series of legislative decrees enacted since the GPA became part of EU domestic law, Italy has generally brought its domestic procurement laws into compliance with the above international obligations. Italy has over 30,000 contracting authorities at the central and local level that are subject to EU directives on public procurement. Ministries of the Government of Italy are the main central contracting agencies. At the local level, principal contracting agencies include regions, provinces, municipalities, and entities controlled by the municipalities, including local healthcare authorities responsible, among other things, for hospital administration. There is an ongoing effort to reduce the number of contracting authorities and streamline procurement protocols and processes.


The need for the Italian public sector to improve efficiency is driving the growth of e-procurement. To rationalize expenditures for goods and services, both the central and local Italian government offices use the Italian Public Administration eMarketplace (MEPA), an e-procurement platform managed by Consip SpA, the Italian central purchasing body, 100%-owned by the Italian Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF) through its division “Acquisti in Rete PA” (Public Procurement Online). MEPA connects Italian public bodies to thousands of suppliers throughout Italy. 

The public sector uses e-sourcing to purchase most information-technology equipment and office supplies, furniture, and uniforms. The online procurement of services is also growing, particularly in the areas of energy (fuel, electric power), printing services, vehicle rental, cleaning services, and financial services. 

Announcements of tenders on public procurements are posted on the EU’s Tenders Electronic Daily (TED).

We recommend that a U.S. firm have agent/distributor representation rather than try to deal directly with Italian government agencies. This is in part because many contracting agencies often target the local procurement market first, which includes subsidiaries, branches, and agents of U.S. companies. For more information on EU procurement, please refer to our European Union Country Commercial Guide on  selling to the government.

U.S. companies bidding on government tenders may also qualify for U.S. Government advocacy. A unit of the U.S. Commerce Department’s International Trade Administration, the Advocacy Center coordinates U.S. Government interagency advocacy efforts on behalf of U.S. exporters bidding on public-sector contracts with international governments and government agencies. The Advocacy Center works closely with our network of the U.S. Commercial Service worldwide and interagency partners to ensure that exporters of U.S. products and services have the best possible chance of winning foreign-government contracts. Advocacy assistance can take many forms but often involves the U.S. embassy or other U.S. Government agencies expressing support for the U.S. bidders directly to the foreign government. Consult Advocacy for Foreign Government Contracts for additional information.

Financing of Projects

Please refer to our European Union Country Commercial Guide article on financing of projects.