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Pope appoints members of Commission for Confidential Matters

Pope Francis appoints a President and Members of the Commission for Confidential Matters, which oversees the awarding of certain public contracts.

By Vatican News

Pope Francis appointed Cardinal Kevin Farrell as President of the Commission for Confidential Matters, and Archbishop Filippo Iannone as Secretary. He also named Bishop Fernando Vérgez Alzaga, Bishop Nunzio Galantino, and Father Juan Antonio Guerrero, SJ, as Members of the Commission.

The Holy See Press Office released the news on Monday, saying the Holy Father made the appointments on 29 September.

The Commission was provided for in the new Procurement Code, in order to "supervise" certain contracts which, due to their characteristics, go beyond the rules of the Code itself.


Its task will be to establish on a case-by-case basis which acts of an economic nature require a degree of confidentiality.

In order to understand the meaning of the decision, it is necessary to return to what is read in the "Rules on transparency, control and competition in the procedures for awarding public contracts of the Holy See and Vatican City State”, which was published in June.

Article 4 of the document, which was approved by the Pope and defined as the Procurement Code, specifies that the application of the law was to be applied to all public contracts with the exception of certain cases.

Cases to which the law does not apply – stated in point "d" of the same article – include "contracts entered into directly by the Secretariat of State and the Governorate, if their competence concerns the following":

-        "They are necessary to fulfill international obligations, if the same instrument directly dictates the rules for awarding contracts";

-        "They are financed in whole or in part by an international organization or an international financial institution, and the contracting parties have agreed on the applicable award procedures";

-        "They deal with matters covered by the obligation of secrecy set forth in article 39 of the Motu Proprio La Cura Vigilantessima";

-        "They are concerned with the Office and security of the Roman Pontiff, the Holy See and the Universal Church, or are necessary or essential to ensure the Church's mission in the world and guarantee the sovereignty and independence of the Holy See or the Vatican City State."

Article 4 of the Procurement Code concludes with a brief paragraph (paragraph 2), in which it was specified that "An oversight Committee appointed by the Superior Authority shall supervise the Contracts referred to in paragraph 1, point "d" above."

The Commission set up in recent days therefore assumes these oversight and supervisory tasks.

05 October 2020, 14:58