The status of foundations is clearly defined in the Ciampi Act of 1998/99 and in two sentences of the Constitutional Court (No. 300 and 301 of 2003) which make up the entire legislation on the matter.
Foundations are independently managed nonprofit public benefit organizations with their own bylaws that operate in sectors of public interest. Since they operate in sectors of public interest, they are subject to the oversight of the Ministry for Finance and Economic Affairs that sees that the officers of foundations act in compliance with the law and the bylaws (legitimacy and not merits).
Fondazione Cariplo has its own Bylaws that entered into effect on March 16, 2006 and then were progressively fine-tuned to the current version, as approved by the Finance Ministry by order dated March 20, 2006 and October, 22, 2012.
The Bylaws set out, inter alia, the purposes and areas of action of the Foundation, its programming, employment of assets and transparency rules, the composition of the governing bodies.
To regulate its operation, the Foundation adopted also a series of internal rules:
Annual Meeting Rules
Nomination and election rules
Termination and suspension of officers
Accounting and control rules.
In late 2006, Fondazione Cariplo also adopted a code of ethics that was signed by all its employees.