Act No. 144 of 17 May 1999 provides in its Article 1 that all Italian public administrations - State and regional - set up special appraisal teams for the evaluation and control of public investments. These teams are named in Italian «Nuclea», as to remark their central and strategical role. The institution of these Nuclea was primarily due to the need of updating the planning and programming method in order to promote and achieve relevant and more efficacious territorial development policies. Italian Government has then realized the importance of establishing a functional connection among the Nuclea of each public administration through the creation of a national Network and to support the whole reforming process with a high quality assistance and training programme, afforded by the NUVALProject. The constitution of these special appraisal teams takes on the meaning of a real socio-economic reform, that, originally urged by the European Community regulation regarding the proper use of financial resources granted to the State members through the Structural Funds, tends to strengthen the strategical approach of the increased decentralisation in programme management of public investments inside unitary national principles concerning technical economic evaluation and monitoring of investment decisions. On the other hand, the national Network, conceived as a common experience communication platform, aims at enhancing and spreading excellent practices. It further acts as a mean for the diffusion of methodological and technical tools that can be shared among each operator, thus improving the quality of public investments policies and optimizing the use of available resources. After a brief survey on the planning experiences in Italy following the constitution of Regions in the seventies, the present article draws attention to the actual progress made by the special appraisal teams and their national Network and by the assistance and training NUVALprogramme.