Tertiary education evaluation in Italy began in 1993. A central body examines results produced by an initial, internal assessment by the universities themselves. Evaluation targets the administration of public funds, the productivity of research and teaching activity, as well as the smooth functioning of universities. Internal assessment is carried out by committees made up of representatives of lecturers, students and employees which draw up annual reports that are then sent to the National Institute for the Evaluation of the Education System. This was founded in 1999 and judges the results of both university evaluations and those of education as a whole. The National Institute defines the evaluation criteria after internal assessments have taken place so as not to influence them.