Italia.it: Brief synthesis

Originally posted (in Italian) March 22

For the benefit of the “newbies”, a brief synthesis of the whole story:

On March 16, 2004 the then government, presided by Silvio Berlusconi, within the “Fund for financing of strategic projects in the IT sector”, passes the “Choose Italy” project.
The project proposes to relaunch the Italian tourism industry in the world and as a central issue of this action it requires the realization of a web portal on the Internet:
http://www.italia.it. Please note that tourism in our Country is a fundamental business and that it contributes for about 12% to our GDP.
The actual total cost of this operation is still a mystery: what is certain, though, is how on the whole, through several legislative measures, 45 + 9 million euros (more than 100.000 million old liras) have been in time set apart for this use.

The operational management of the project is delegated to a public company that answers to the Presidency of the Council, Innovazione Italia (Sviluppo Italia Group) that proclaims a European tender with a restricted procedure.
On 4th July 2005 the bidding is won by a temporary consortium of companies comprising IBM, ITS and Tiscover for 7.850.000 euros + VAT (about 18.000 million old liras).
Within three months the web portal should be on-line and offer a national booking platform and a first series of contents.

Further measures of the then Minister of Innovation and Technologies Lucio Stanca establish the management of the project involving, in various roles, ministers and Regions.

On 11th April 2006 the government changes (Prodi), but the web portal is still not on-line; the jurisdiction over tourism matters goes to Vice President and Minister Francesco Rutelli, the one over technological innovation to Minister Luigi Nicolais. Some changes in the management of the italia.it project take place and explicit authority is given in order to make the portal and the new logo iT presentable for the 22nd February 2007 BIT (Italian Tourism Exchange).

On 22nd February the web portal is put on-line and it causes a sensational wave of criticism and complaints from the whole web world: the reasons are different and, let’s say it, all well-grounded and undisputable.
Minister Rutelli asks for a further year’s time “to improve” and involve at last and effectively the Regions, which, according to our Constitution, have full competence in the tourism issue.

It’s a shame that in July 2007 the contract expires and the web portal is what it is. “the project has so far required about 6 million euros for its proof of concept project and its first online version, but 35 million euros are still available, partly destined to the Regions for the implementation of regional portals and for the organisation of the central and external editorial teams, partly destined to the activities of completion, promotion and commercialisation of the contents.”

This way we’ve been pilloried for a month in the eyes of the public!

It’s a total folly, a webmonster, an unacceptable waste of public money that just cries out for vengeance.

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