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May 26, 2012

Monti’s Crowdsourcing Campaign to Cut Wasteful Spending

The policy of rigor and transparency of Monti government has forced the Italians to make many sacrifices. After a few months, however, the Italian Prime Minister realized that an important area remained free of any cuts: public expenditure.

Italian public spending can be compared to a Swiss cheese: full of holes. We are accustomed to deplorable examples of wasteful expenditure such as unnecessary services, abandoned buildings, unemployed resources, invented jobs for relatives and so on.

The new government could no longer remain indifferent to all that is going on, especially in this period of recession. Whether for reasons of necessity, or to calm down an irritated public opinion, Monti has ordered a review of government spending and the operation will be supervised by a new commissioner, Enrico Bondi, who is known for restructuring severely indebted enterprises like Parmalat.

To help this process of spending review, Mario Monti solicited input from the public through the government’s website by asking citizens to highlight waste of public money of which they are aware. Anyone can send recommendations to the government staff through the official website and now through an app for iPhone, “Dillo A Monti” (Tell Monti). The app (designed by Enrico Angelini and Gabriele Di Lorenzo and freely available on iTunes App Store) allows users to send a “letter” to Monti and consult known examples of waste.

The numbers speak for themselves: over 130,000 ideas submitted. This shows how Italians are willing to collaborate and have taken to heart this campaign, and mainly, how crowdsourcing can be useful.

Written by Gloria Lattanzi

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