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The future of building services in Italy19th of September 2014
Italian reporter Anna Garbagna brings news of a law which should bring greater professionalism to the commercial cleaning sector.
“At last a law for the service sector which firmly contributes towards professionalisation of the cleaning sector and its companies, fighting the underground economy, relaunching employment and promoting efficient public expenditure”.
With these words, Lorenzo Mattioli, president of ANIP (the association within Confindustria which represents the sector of integrated services, cleaning and multi-services) commented on the proposal (AC 2475) which was presented in the presence of representatives of political parties, institutions and business during the annual meeting of FISE ANIP recently.
Despite the fact that the facilities management service sector, with 135 billion euros of potential estimated sales volume, employs over 2.5 million workers (of which 550,000 are in cleaning/multi-services alone), the attention of politicians and institutions concentrates even today almost exclusively on the manufacturing and building industries, not fully taking into consideration the substantial occupational and industrial potential of the sector.
Yet, as proven by the Authority of Vigilance on Public Contracts, against a significant downturn in other markets (for example the construction sector), the total value of the facilities management sector is in constant growth (10.4 per cent in 2012 alone) and has long since overtaken the works sector - and more growth is entirely possible.
“The law proposal being illustrated today,” said Lorenzo Mattioli, “embraces our project of framework legislation on facilities management which was developed during the last few months and was shared and welcomed by all political parties.
“The text that was presented defines for the first time some rules aimed to formalise the integrated services sector and identify the necessary actions to reduce the underground economy, promote specialisation of supply and demand and make the process of financing businesses more dynamic.”
However, different objectives are pursued by the law proposal presented by stakeholders belonging to different political groups. Among these objectives are: wanting to outline for the first time the content and the global profile of the businesses included in the facility management’s industrial concept; promoting the outsourcing of facilities management services, rationalisation procedures for calls for tenders simplifying administrative operations with the objective of making public expenditure more efficient; promoting the development of legal and constant employment, opposing illegal work; protecting companies in case of delayed payments, guaranteeing easier access to bank credit.
Furthermore, in line with new EU directives on public contracts, some necessary new measures for the sector’s development have been outlined to pursue the objectives of transparency and quality - in particular supporting the application of the criteria for winning a contract according to the more economically favourable offer.
Last but not least, better protection for workers with obligations on the part of the public sector customer to pay workers salaries and contributions due for the execution of the contract. To sum up, this is an important step forward.