Italian Civil Service

In Italy the Senior Civil Service or "la dirigenza" is the set of high ranking executives (“Dirigenti”) who are in charge of the top and middle management of national or local governmental offices.Organizational Structure: Senior executives come in two echelons:
-- First level: Directors Generals and Chief of Departments (about 400 executives) 
-- Second level: Directors of Division and Heads of peripherical Units (about 3,500 executives)
First and second level positions are identified in each ministry. Management responsibilities (supervision of one or more bureaux) determine whether or not someone is an executive, not qualifications. This objective approach shows the exact number of first level executives and permits the development of a database with up-to-date information about age, seniority, gender, level and ministry. In each ministry, second level positions are further classified accordingly to the responsibilities attached to their offices position, corresponding to the classification adopted by the ministry.
Until October 2002, the Senior Civil Service was meant to be an inter-ministerial homogeneous body, managed by a pool known as the "Ruolo Unico dei Dirigenti" (Uniform Register). The creation of this structure, under the supervision of the Prime Minister, was the backbone of the reform conducted from 1993 till 2001. It was underpinned by a database of jobs and profiles. This tool allowed the government to publish available positions in real time and to establish a labour market for managers. The new text adopted in 2002 has replaced inter-ministerial management of executives with ministerial management. However, the inter-ministerial database and the labour market for first level executives have been kept.
The Italian government encourages the recruitment of young executives, mostly fresh from university. This reflects the need to overhaul and rejuvenate the entire senior management echelon. Executives are normally recruited through competitions designed to eliminate politics from the general government. There are two types of competition:the “Fast Stream Programme” (“Corso-Concorso di Formazione Dirigenziale”) is for people who join the Public Administration School ("Scuola Superiore della Pubblica Amministrazione") after an highly selective national exam. The curriculum of this school covers 30 months of alternating theoretical training - mostly in organisational sociology - and practical training - with many hands-on problems - and internships, often at the European Commission or other international bodies. On completion, students have to pass another examination. The second type is a competition organised by the ministries. The prerequisites and training standards are less strict than as for the first type.
Mobility is an important concept. It is the backbone of the Italian reform. When the "rotation" obligation was formally withdrawn in the decree of October 2002 (probably because of shorter contracts), the principle of mobility was preserved. It is supported by an inter-ministerial database with real-time vacancies at every ministry. Five-year stints in the private sector and international organisations are also encouraged. These do not affect the executive's career.