The Commission decided to seek clarifications from Italy and Slovakia on their application and implementation of the EU's Late Payment Directive. The request for information in both cases takes the form of a letter of formal notice under EU infringement procedures.
According to the Commission's information, Italy is not applying the Directive correctly in practice. The Commission has received a number of complaints which highlighted the fact that in Italy the public authorities take on average 170 days to make payments for services or goods provided, and 210 days for public works. Moreover, some Italian public bodies use contracts that apply interest rate terms to late payments which are clearly lower than the interest rate required by the Directive (which must be at least 8% above the European Central Bank’s reference rate). The Commission was also informed that some Italian public bodies postpone the issue of work progress reports in order to enable them to delay payments that are due to be made to companies performing public works.