The creation of the Offices for Relations with the Public ("Uffici per le Relazioni con il Pubblico", URPs) is a crucial step in renewing the public administration and changing its relations with the public. The effective activation of the URPs may be considered indicative of a desire to change and to redistribute tasks and responsibilities. But the fact that fewer than 15% of the public administrations have introduced URPs, four years after their institution, shows that the civil service is suspicious of communication and resists being placed on an equal footing with citizens. The URPs are concrete factors for change in a system that is often impenetrable and is unsustainably and unacceptably costly. For the URPs to function efficiently, administrators, civil-service personnel and citizens must acquire a different culture of communication and allow the URPs to deliver services and information to the public. It will thus be possible to pass from efficiently funcitoning URPs to a multifunctional system, and then to a system of single administrative bureaus, which require advanced technologies and active civic networks.