Art. 144. Catering services

1. Catering services indicated in Annex IX are awarded in accordance with provisions in Article 95, paragraph 3. The evaluation of the technical offer shall take into account, in particular, the aspects relating to factors such as the quality of foodstuffs, with particular reference to biologic, typical or traditional products, protected designation of origin, as well as products coming from short distribution chains or operators in social agriculture, the respect of environmental provisions with reference to green economy, minimum environmental criteria as referred to in Article 34 of this Code and the quality of the training of operators. This without prejudice to the provisions in Article 4, paragraph 5-quarter of law-decree n. 104 of 12 September 2013, converted with modifications, by law n. 128 of 8 November 2013, as well as in Article 6, paragraph 1, of law n.141 of 18 August 2015.

2. By means of decrees of the Minister of Health, in agreement with the Minister of Environment and the Protection of Land and Sea and the Minister of Agricultural, Food and Forest Policies, the national guidelines for hospital, assistential and school catering shall be defined and updated. Until the adoption of those guidelines, Article 216, paragraph 18 shall apply.

3. The activity of issuing food-stamps, consisting on the activity aimed at delivering through authorized retailers the service substituting the company’s canteen, shall be exclusively delivered by companies with share capital with a paid-up share capital not lower than € 750,000 having as their social object the exercise of the activity aimed at delivering the service substituting the canteen through food-stamps and other forms of identification representing services. The budget of the societies referred to in this paragraph shall be accompanied by a report drafted by a firm of auditors enrolled in the registry established at the Ministry of Justice pursuant to Article 2409-bis of the Civil Code.

4. The economic organisms operating in the sector of the issuance of food-stamps incorporated in other Member States of the European Union may exercise the activity referred to in paragraph 3 where they are authorized to do so on the basis of the norms of their country of origin. The societies referred to in paragraph 3 may exercise the activity of issuance of food-stamps after certified notice of start of the activity by legal representatives proving the possession of the requirements referred to in paragraph 3 and submitted pursuant to Article 19 of law n. 241 of 7 August 1990 and subsequent modifications, to the Ministry of Economic Development.

5. By means of a decree of the Minister of Economic Development, in agreement with the Ministry of Infrastructures and Transports, after having heard ANAC, the retailers which are authorized to exercise the substitutive catering service through food-stamps, the characteristics of the food-stamps and the content of the agreements concluded between the societies issuing food- stamps and the owners of the authorizable retailers shall be identified. see Decree of the Ministry of Economic Development no. 122 of June 7, 2017, published in the Italian Official Gazette, no. 186 of August 10, 2017 concerning meal ticket services

6. The award of substitutive catering services exclusively shall occur by making reference to the most economically advantageous tender identified on the basis of the best quality/price ratio. The call for competition establishes the relevant evaluation criteria of the tenders, including:

a) the downward on the nominal value of the food stamp, however to an extent not exceeding the unconditional discount to retailers;

b) the network of retails to be authorized;

c) the unconditional discount to retailers;

d) the terms of payment to authorized retailers;

e) the technical project.

7. For the purpose of the possession of the network of retails through which the substitutive catering service potentially required as a criterion for participation or as an award criteria, it is sufficient for the candidate to take the commitment to activate that network within an adequate time limit since the moment of the award set out in the call. Failure to activate this network within the indicated time limit results in the decadence of the award.

8. Contracting authorities or entities purchasing the food-stamps, the societies issuing the food- stamps and the authorized retailers shall allow, each of them in the exercise of its own contractual activity and of its own obligations, the possibility to use the food-stamp for the whole face value.