Steering and control of semi-autonomous agency is a largely debated issue in public administration and public management. This article - based on a survey carried out in 2007 - analyzes the steering and control systems in use in Italian central administration. The results are presented with reference to two different clusters of agencies: those created before 1999 and those created afterwards. In 1999, in fact, a major reform of central government, that can be considered a watershed event, was enacted in Italy. Data show that agencies created after 1999 are in some respects different form the other cluster, mainly concerning the contractualisation of the ministry-agency deal. On the other hand, some other features of the pre-existent model of steering and control are strongly resilient.