Problems and purposes
The Ceprano participatory budget (BP) for the year 2017, as per the BP Regulation (Municipality, 2015, art.2) was addressed by the Municipal Council (Del. GC n.179 of 24/8/17) out of 4 thematic macro-areas: public works; mobility and viability; green spaces arrangement; safety of public areas and buildings with an expenditure ceiling of 75,000 euros.
History and geography
The Municipality of Ceprano has a population of 8,850 inhabitants. An agricultural and artisanal municipality, until 1951 its population grew, until the number of residents doubled at the end of the nineteenth century, also thanks to the establishment of small and medium-sized industries and artisan businesses. Although crossed by the Autostrada del Sole (Rome - Naples) in the sixties and seventies, its territory is affected by the attraction, without being directly affected by it, by the establishment of large companies thanks to the Cassa per il Mezzogiorno, such as the FIAT plant in Cassino, the production area of Roccasecca and the industrial area of Frosinone.
Administrative history has seen the succession of various civic lists in more rare national camps, such as the center-left of the Ulivo (1997-2001). In the last elections of May 25, 2014, the civic list "Cambia Ceprano" wins with 40.2% of the votes. Its mayor Marco Galli is a member of the Democratic Party and arrived at the candidacy through the process of the Primaries of the Center-left on March 23, 2014 (Galli, 2014, p. 1). Its electoral program focuses on transparency and participation, with immediate references to the legal events that involved the proceeding administration, as well as to its inaction.
In addition to the PD, representatives of the PSI and SEL and a significant number of independent candidates are included in the list (Ib., P. 2). The first point of the program is therefore "Transparency and Participation", an "imperative need to build a transparent and efficient administrative machine [...] where rights do not turn into privileges of a few, a Municipality where everyone can have access to administrative documents in compliance with the laws (Ib.). “Transparency and legality, at the basis of this electoral program, will have as their strong point the preparation of a participatory budget, open to proposals and the contribution of individual citizens” (Ib.).
From a search in the archive of the Praetorian Register it appears that the first edition of the BP was held in 2015 and has continued every year until today. Its regulation was drawn up in 2015 on the occasion of the first edition. To art. 1 (Definition and purpose) the BP is described as a "process of direct democracy" in which "citizens participate in decisions concerning the use and destination of the economic resources of the Body" (Municipality of Ceprano, 2015, p. 1). The BP proposes itself as an instrument of integration between “the path of representative democracy with that of direct democracy” (Ib.). “It represents an opportunity for mutual learning between citizens and PA in the possibility, on the part of citizens, to affect the institutional choices, by the Administration, to communicate and implement in a transparent way the choices of government of the territory. The Municipality, therefore, recognizes the power of citizens to decide the addresses of a part of the budget proposal "and that" the entire process leads to empowering citizens in the expression of their needs as well as understanding the needs of the entire community sharing common methods, aims and objectives "(Ib.).
Promoters and lenders
Municipality of Ceprano , Council, Mayor Marco Galli and budget sector manager. The process does not require facilitation.
Selection of participants
"All resident natural persons" over 16 years of age, "associations, companies, public and private bodies and in general all collective representation organizations that have their legal or operational headquarters in the municipal area" can be involved in the BP (Municipality, 2015, art.3). The information "will be initiated by publishing a special public notice to be posted in the municipal area, as well as by inserting the same notice in the specific section of the website and the Twitter and Facebook pages of the Municipality" (Municipality, 2015, art . 2, p. 2). It is not clear who can participate in the voting, it is not specified in the regulation, in fact, if the voting of the projects is reserved for the first category only of citizens over 16 years - as is assumed - or also for organizations.
Methods and Tools
Participatory budget The participatory budget (BP) is a method of participation born in Porta Alegre in Brazil in the eighties, which provides for the making available to the public decision, a percentage of the municipal budget. The opening phases are generally organized with public assemblies open to all in the various areas of the city / territory where the problems and needs of the inhabitants arise, as well as possible solutions, as required by the regulation of this case.
After the presentation phases or concurrently, the proposals drawn up in working groups or individually (as in this case) are collected and subsequently examined by the municipal technical-officials who evaluate their feasibility, making them continue to the next phase of selection. In general, final assemblies are held open to all citizens in which the proposals to be implemented are voted. In recent years, online voting has been increasingly used. In this case, the voting takes place in a period established by the Council at the headquarters of the Public Relations Office (URP) of the Municipality (Municipality, 2015, art.4, p. 3).
Deliberation, decisions and interaction with the public
First stage - Information . The path and materials of participation are presented. It involves the publication of a public notice with posting of posters and posts on facebook and on the municipality website (Ib., Art. 4). On the site there is a dedicated page which illustrates the poster, the documentation of the municipal administration, regulation and resolution, form for compiling the proposals (Link 1). The launch post of BP 2017 on 9/10/17 was also detected on Facebook.
Second phase - consultation, collection and evaluation . From the regulation (Municipality, 2015, art. 4) it emerges that the path opens with an initial phase, for a minimum duration of 30 days, "in which public meetings are organized" (Ib.) And proposals are collected. From the site as from the reconnaissance of the FB pages, no public meetings dedicated to the BP are scheduled or held.
Proposals can be delivered (Ib.):
- by hand at the Municipal Protocol Office;
- by registered mail with acknowledgment of receipt;
- by certified e-mail.
Each interested party can submit a maximum of one proposal for each thematic area (Ib.).
Third phase - Evaluation and voting of the proposals
The collected projects are evaluated by a “juridical-technical commission” made up of municipal managers and the council. It evaluates the proposals according to the criteria of: clarity of the project and objectives, technical and legal feasibility, compatibility with the already approved acts, estimate of costs and times, priority, characteristic of the pursuit of the general interest, characteristic of innovation and compatibility with the sectors of intervention and with the resources available (Municipality, 2015, art. 4, p. 3).
From a notice dated 7/12 on the FB page  it emerges that the first phase has been completed and that the Commission, made up of municipal managers and the council, has accepted 6 out of 7 projects. Project 5, relating to a " steinerian nursery school ”was not admitted, without further explanation, the minutes of the commission are not accessible from the dedicated pages or from FB.
The citizenship vote on the 6 competing projects is thus passed. It should be noted that project no. 1 (Construction of a Bike park) and project no. 3 (Realization of a green park) are very similar; they concern an intervention of sport off-road cycle paths in the same naturalistic area, with slightly different intervention differences in the light infrastructures and in the provision of a mini adventure park in the second case (Link 1 - Projects presented).
Voting takes place at the URP on the days established by the Board and communicated via FB on 13 and 14 January from 8:00 to 20:00 . There are no other means of public communication; more in-depth studies on the field would be needed. The communication on FB is also repeated towards the end of December and repeated in the days preceding the voting (January 13-14) with a specific leaflet for voting with the 6 proposals listed  attached. "Each citizen or association can submit and / or vote for a maximum of one project for each area of intervention" (Municipality, 2015, art. 4).
On the 15th the result of the vote was published which saw 371 votes of which 100 addressed to project no.3, the winning result. No support is given to the promotion of projects by the Municipality (meetings, dedicated promotional spaces, exhibitions) and it has not been possible to detect whether each individual proposer has conducted their own campaigns on social networks.
Fourth phase - Monitoring and document of participation . The proposals will then be sorted and represented in an official document called the “Participation document”. "All data and information relating to the participation process, including the outcome of the contributions presented as well as the changes made to the documents during the entire process are also made available through the Municipality's website" (Municipality, 2015, art. 4 ).
No information is available on the site on monitoring the outcomes of previous projects, as they were not even found on the FB page for 2017.
Influence, results and effects
For the year 2017, the winning project n.3 "Creating a green park" (see above Interaction of participants - Third phase), requested all the available funding. Information on the monitoring of its implementation is not yet available.
Analysis and lessons learned
The administration started in 2015 with conviction and carried out the BPs with extremely approximate but nevertheless effective procedures in arriving at concrete and achievable proposals. It is probably due to an adoption process that is not shared or not shared with the actors. The reasons that prompted the coalition to propose the BP, the degree of training and understanding of the instrument are not clear and should be explored. Transparency on BP is very lacking; in addition to not declaring the costs (albeit minimal) of the procedure, the data on the BPs of previous years and the monitoring of past winning projects are not available; there are no minutes of the sessions of the commission so it is not possible to understand why the asylum project was excluded from the competition, finally, in the regulation public meetings are declared which then do not result in the communication. There are no preliminary paths of comparison between ideas, so the path is not very aggregative (as shown by two almost identical projects that presented themselves separately) and not inclusive , in the sense of being able to assign multiple functions and needs to a single project through the collaboration of several subjects. However, the representativeness is not below average, with 371 votes almost 5% of those entitled to it were reached.
Galli, M. (2014), Electoral program "Cambia Ceprano", Elections of 25/5> http://www.halleyweb.com/ceprano/mc/mc_attachment.php?mc=7636 (ril., 19/2 / 18).
Municipality of Ceprano (2015), Municipal Regulations for Participatory Budget,> http://www.comune.ceprano.fr.it/moduli/output_images.php?id=447 (ril., 19/2/18).
Municipality of Ceprano (2017), Resolution of the Municipal Council n. 142 of 25/8, Participatory financial statements for 2017. Determinations> http://www.comune.ceprano.fr.it/moduli/output_images.php?id=448 (ril., 19/2/18).
- Municipality of Ceprano - Participatory budget 2017, your ideas in the budget; participate, propose, vote> http://www.comune.ceprano.fr.it/pagina124_bilancio-partecipativo.html (ril., 19/2/18).
 Municipality of Ceprano, Facebook @ComunediCeprano, 7/12/17> http://www.comune.ceprano.fr.it/pagina124_bilancio-partecipativo.html (ril., 19/2/18).
 Municipality of Ceprano, Facebook @ComunediCeprano, 24/12/17> https://www.facebook.com/ComunediCeprano/posts/2452863604937758 (ril. 19/2/18).