Italy, first in Europe, introduced mandatory validation in building public works: the first years experienced some issues leading to a general updating of the national legislation, differentiating the project verification from the project validation. The former is a formal stage of the construction process committed to the Public Authority (through the Overall Procedure manager), the latter can usefully be performed by an external authority and involves systematic project examination and contractual documentation monitoring. The research critically approaches the modifications in the last decades on public work legislation, from the aged Merloni Act to the current Presidential Decree no. 207/2010. The paper focuses on the improvements on public building in design stage because of the mandatory validation. It also describes how some weak points have been solved and those that are still present in the Italian legislation. Particular attention is given to construction works below a certain threshold of amount.
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