Informations and abstract
The accountability of local authorities in the delivery of services, their management according to business principles, and the possibility for users to choose among different suppliers are the cornerstones for the transformation of local public services. The role of regulation and the market (neither of them an alternative to privatization) is analysed by surveying legislation of the past ten years, focusing in particular on the criteria applied: the degree of entrepreneurship in the sector; the managerial dimensions of the company and the area served; participation by private capital; competition "in" the market (abolishing every monopoly where possible, (competition "for" the market (among different operators for the contract to manage the service). The author then analyses the services for the distribution of natural gas and water, local transport, the collection and disposal of solid urban waste. A decisive factor in evolution of the process - intended to increase efficiency with positive outcomes for the public finances and the competitiveness of the country-system - will be the issues of the management of public contract procurement, the most suitable size dimension for the production and supply of services, and the coherence between government decisions and legislation, on the one hand, and those of the regional and municipal authorities of the other.