The public administration (PA) reforms in Italy over the last two decades are inspired by the approach known as New Public Management (Npm), an internationally leading movement since the 80‟s, based on the statement that a market-oriented management reduces costs and attains the objectives without losing quality. Although these reforms are often very positively evaluated, also at the international level, their innovative importance is debatable. Using a problem-driven approach, we analyze three interventions: the privatization of the employment contract of the civil service, the administrative decentralization, the evaluation and transparency in the PA. Evidence from different contexts reveals unsatisfactory results of reforms. This is mainly related to the emphasis on legal formalism, but it may also derive from the transfer to the public sector of intrinsically conflicting private regulatory mechanisms such as competition (market) and hierarchy (firm).
Keywords: Public Administration Reforms, New Public Management