Student guide Faculty of Economics A.Y. 2010/11

Financial Analysis of Public Bodies
Aim of the course
The evolution of Italian public administrations has been marked by major changes coinciding with the turn of the century. Public bodies now find themselves operating within an extended European context characterised by the presence of new actors and new roles.

Subsidiarity and shared responsibility are the new strategy bywords of public organisations. The State, now in a regulatory rather than controlling capacity, plans economic development through interventions agreed upon with institutional actors at various levels. The European Union, regions, local authorities, autonomous administrations and private actors all actively take part in defining economic and financial strategies for growth, development and stability.

This has prompted increasing uptake of enterprise-style models for the management of public administrations, schemes for the privatisation of public services, new forms of interaction with financial markets and models for the development of markets traditionally in the hands of monopolies. Such processes are founded upon modern financial thinking and new relationships between public administrations, private enterprises and banks.

The aim of the course is to provide comprehensive coverage of the subject area relating to the financial strategies of public bodies.
The course is divided into three main topic areas.

The first part studies more in depth the governance models in the light of constitutional reforms. The new competencies introduced at various institutional levels, and the economic principles which guide public decision-making, are clearly illustrated.

The second part of the course deals with the function of financial planning at various levels. The principal tools used for defining interventions are the planning and forecasting report, the three-year plan of public works, and annual and multi-year budgets. Within this sphere, balance sheet analysis methods serve to support public decision-making.

The third part of the course examines more in depth, from a concrete and operational perspective, the financial strategies of public bodies. This module clearly illustrates the consolidation of the relationships between institutions at all levels and the financial markets-- a culturally innovative trend which can no longer be discounted.

Any successful development policy must be built upon a sound grasp of the principles, tools and--most importantly--the logic of strategic and financial analysis.
The material covered will enable students to see "who does what" in the processes which determine the economic development of a geographical area, and most importantly how local and regional public bodies must interact with enterprises and the banking system to secure financing for projects. The teaching of the theory and methodology will be combined with the illustration of numerous case studies in Italy and other countries.
Course assessment will be by oral examination. For students who attend lectures there is the possibility of sitting a written exam, which will be offered on a single date.
Reading list
Boccia F., Economia e Finanza delle Amministrazioni Pubbliche, Guerini e Associati, Milano 2002
Boccia F., Strategie economico-finanziarie degli enti locali – Lezione 3, I Prestiti Obbligazionari, IPSOA, 2003
Nigro M., Strategie economico-finanziarie degli enti locali, - Lezione 2, La Finanza Strutturata negli Enti Locali, IPSOA, 2003
Study materials provided by the lecturers.