How Legislative Decree 36/2023 redefines integrated procurement


Emma Potter

Factors for choosing integrated procurement

For a contracting authority, the decision to proceed with an integrated contract is linked to specific reasons in the presence of which the procedure becomes useful for the implementation of an intervention; these reasons are:

  • technologically advanced interventions for which the presence of a qualified operator also becomes an element of support for the designer (both internal and external to the subject);
  • restoration interventions with high levels of complexity for which the requirements and experience of the contractor constitute an essential element for the project definition and the quality of the execution;
  • totally innovative interventions in structural, plant engineering and architectural terms for which it is necessary to proceed, also in this case, with a very strict method between the design phase and the execution phase of the works.

Outside of these main elements, integrated procurement certainly does not represent an alternative capable of improving the implementation processes of interventions in the following areas:

  • temporal aspects: there are no particular differences in terms of the time required for it project development ordinary (2 levels) or that of the integrated contract and in the subsequent authorization procedures for which it is not possible to speak of acceleration of the times of the integrated contract;
  • project verification: the verification operations of an ordinary project, in terms of timing, they do not differ from the project included in an integrated contract as the levels to be verified are always the same therefore there is no reduction in verification times;
  • Authorization process: similar reasoning can be made for the times and methods of the authorization process compared to the ordinary procedure and that of the integrated procurement which appear to be completely equivalent both in the presence of few authorizations (also resolved with direct discussions with the competent bodies) and , in the more complex cases, in which the solution of the conference of services is followed.
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Evaluation of the offer

The offer of an integrated contract must be evaluated with the criterion of the most economically advantageous offer, identified on the basis of the best quality/price ratio. The offer concerns both the executive project and the price for the execution of the works and clearly indicates the fee requested for the design (for the purpose of identifying the amount relating to the drafting of the executive project, please note the mandatory application of the minimum tariffs imposed by law 49/2023, fair compensation).

The execution of the works can only start after approvalby the contracting authority, of the executive project, the examination of which is conducted pursuant to thearticle 42 of the Legislative Decree 36/2023 relating to project verification.

In cases where the economic operator makes use of one or more qualified subjects to draft the project, the contracting authority indicates in the tender documents the method for direct payment to the designer of the costs relating to the executive design indicated in the offer, net of the auction markdown, subject to approval of the project and subject to presentation of the designer's tax documents.

As regards the proposals of improvements to the project based on the tender in an integrated contract (Both in the case of a “second degree” integrated contract (the object of the contract, together with the works, is only the executive project, and in the case of a “complex contract” of the previous Legislative Decree 50/2016the subject of the contract was also the final project) the ruling of Council of State, section III, of 6 March 2023, n. 2261consistently with what has already been stated by previous jurisprudence, confirms that any improvements that may be proposed during the tender must be limited within the limits of the design level place as the basis of the competition without changing the nature of the project. In this sense, therefore, the “best technical solution” must be interpreted as an increase in the level of quality of the proposed design basis and not as a modification of the essential characteristics of the project.

Verification of the integrated procurement

Pursuant to thearticle 34, paragraph 1, letter a) of theAnnex I.7 to Legislative Decree 36/2023 the verification of the project of an integrated works contract for an amount equal to or greater than the threshold referred to inarticle 14, paragraph 1, letter a) of the Legislative Decree 36/2023 (from 1 January 2024 raised to €5,538,000.00) must be carried out by accredited control bodies pursuant to the European standard UNI CEI EN ISO/TEC 17020 (practically the same requirement required for ordinary contracts with an amount equal to or greater than 20 million euros.


The choice to use integrated procurement as a method of implementing a public works intervention results adequate especially in cases of complexity (technological, plant engineering, structural and operational) of interventions for which the level of competence and experience of the executor appears to have a design support character (both internal to the operator's organization and externally carried out by guided professionals).

This condition does not allow you to introduce time acceleration modes of execution but guarantees the quality of the project and the execution of the works.

In the other cases, which can mostly be traced back to ordinary conditions, the integrated contract does not differ, in terms of timing and methods of implementation, from procedures that do not use this type of route.