The basic rules governing PPP projects under Italian law were set out in Law No. 109 of 1994 (Law on Public Works) from time to time amended and then replaced by Legislative Decree 163 of 2006 (Code of Public contracts for the implementation of Directives no. 2004/17/CE and 2004/18/CE), and its subsequent amendments (the “Code”). The Code of Public Contracts provided for by Legislative Decree 163 of 2006 constitutes the legal framework both for public procurement and PPP. Under its procedures, many PPP projects were awarded in 2008 and 2009 with a trend showing major interest in projects worth less than EUR 1 million.

A “public works concession” is a contract of the same type as a public works contract except that the consideration payable to economic operators consists mainly of the right to economically exploit the infrastructure. The concession typically lasts up to 30 years and entitles the concessionaire to operate the built infrastructure and receive the proceeds of operation. The procedure to grant the concession is carried out through a public call for competition whose participants must meet technical and economic requirements. The tender is awarded on the basis of the “most economically advantageous offer” criteria. Public procurements are regulated in Italy by the Code, which implemented EU Directives 2004/17 and 2004/18.

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