What has happened since our last update on HIT in July?
• All documents were revised based on the feedback and comments we received during and after the meetings in Barcelona, Madrid and other meetings.
• All documents have been aligned to the new programme intervention logic for the period 2014-2022.
You are of course welcome to express your opinion on this version. We will monitor your feedback. Should there be strong support for particular changes we will of course take them on board:
In response to a request by some transnational programmes to jointly work on adjusting HIT to the specific requirement of this strand, we will offer all TN programmes a workshop in February 2013. Aim of the meeting is to verify the need for a separate proposal and to agree on a common core for HIT, which all or at least the majority of TN programmes can accept.
Please note that INTERACT is also drafting guidance documents on how to use HIT and how the various tools are linked. One first guidance document is already available: INTERACT, in consultation with the Commission (DG Regio), has drafted a guidance paper on the new intervention logic (INTERACT_HARMONISED_IMPLEMENTATION_TOOLS_Programme_project_intervention_logic_draft_.pdf) giving practical examples on how to formulate programme specific objectives and indicators which have been developed in workshops with programmes.
At the same time, for Programmes that express interest in implementing HIT and adjust it to programme-specific requirements, INTERACT offers to provide support in the form of individual advisories.
The FLC network of South-East zone will meet for the fifth time on 9 and 10 May 2012 in Krakow, Poland. At this meeting the participants will have a chance to discuss the current issues/problems and also to work on shaping the future of First Level Control.
The main discussion topics will be:
1. Current issues/challenges facing controllers
2. FLC control report and FLC certificate
3. Risk based control approach and sampling methodology
4. Eligibility and simplified cost options
5. FLC in the draft regulatory framework for the 2014-2020 period
The Future Working Group on Finance management set up by INTERACT will meet again on 28-29 March 2012 in Madrid.
Building on the draft financial management tools presented at the last meeting, inputs received from MAs, JTS, controllers and the European Commission as well as new requirements outlined in the draft legal package, all tools have been updated and will be presented and discussed in detail as necessary:
- Eligibility rules and budget lines
- Simplified cost options, including EU-wide flat rates for office and administration, EU-wide standard unit costs for staff and per diems for travelling
- A risk-based approach to FLC administrative verifications, including draft sampling methodology
- The harmonised FLC report, which has been discussed and amended by controllers throughout Europe
- A proposal for a harmonised FLC Certificate.
Participation is open to all ETC MAs, JTS and First level controllers. Because we would like to give an opportunity to a wide range of programmes and countries to participate in this meeting, it might be necessary to limit the number of participants per programme or country.
At the 3rd meeting of the FLC Network South (IP Valencia Zone), controllers and programme finance managers discussed the proposed harmonised budget lines as well as the draft model control report and the FLC sampling methodology all of which are currently being developed.
Main conclusions are:
1) The proposed common approach to budget lines is highly appreciated. Most participants believe that the budget line 'other’ (the need of which is currently under debate) is not needed.
2) The current version of the FLC control report follows the work flow of first level controls in the South and is considered very useful. The proposed list of required documents (to be submitted by the beneficiary) is appreciated and should also be structured along budget lines. More work is needed with regards to control procedures for individual budget lines.
3) Controllers agree that the option for sampling would greatly simplify FLC work and make it more effective. There is, however, doubt that sampling will be possible in some countries of the South.
Further discussions are going to take place at the seminar 'First level control and eligibility in ETC programmes' on 5-6 October in Riga, Latvia.
At the 4th meeting of the FLC Network South East, controllers provided valuable input to the discussion on the future of FLC and simplified cost option from the perspective of FLC practitioners. Documents previously discussed in the future working group were presented to controllers. Main conclusions were:
1) The work flow for FLC suggested by the working group is appreciated. Especially the option for sampling will greatly simplify FLC work and make it more effective.
2) The suggested draft FLC report goes in the right direction. It requires work on the details (eg concrete FLC questions) and some streamlining of the structure.
3) The suggested simplified cost options were met with enthusiasm. Controllers would even welcome further simplified cost options, especially for travelling and staff costs.
Discussion among FLC practitioners will continue at the meeting of the FLC Network South on 27 September in Valencia.
The 4th meeting of the FLC Network South East will be in part dedicated to the simplification and harmonisation of FLC.
Participants will be informed about the discussions in the FUTURE working group. The draft FLC control report presented originally at the first meeting of the working group will serve as a basis for discussions.
Particiants will also discuss examples of required and additional control checks for staff costs.
The FLC network is not a decision making body but rather a network of experts to provide additional input on very technical matters.
The first meeting took place on 7 and 8 April 2011 in Brussels.
At the first meeting of the working group we discussed the implementation of flat rates for office and administration costs as % of staff costs in the current ETC programmes and how to best approach it in 2014-2010 ETC programmes. The European Commission representative has confirmed that it is very likely that the 2014-2020 regulations will allow a 15% flat rate for indirect cost declared on the basis of direct costs, without the need to justify the methodology.
The working group has also confirmed the support for a limited number of standard budget lines as minimum requirements for 2014-2010 ETC programmes. Consequently, the group expressed their wish to work jointly in the future on agreeing standard approaches, methods and definition (where possible) to budget lines, cost categories and eligibility.
We are currently finalising the discussion outcomes from this meeting and it will be soon available on this website for comments and input.
The group also discussed the future scope of FLC, a draft model control report template and sampling of items for FLC administrative verifications. There was an agreement that FLC should be based on professional judgement and risk considerations. This approach would allow allocating more resources to risky control area and downsize control work in less risky areas. The common control template should outline required control checks per budget line and examples of additional control procedures. A sampling approach for FLC administrative verifications should be developed as well as a model FLC certificate. There was also an agreement that controllers should not be required to control issues beyond the typical expertise of a controller (eg very technical matters). The primary body to control the quality of project outputs should be the JTS.
A draft summary of these discussions can be downloaded in the FLC section or the Forum section of this webpage and disucssed in the Forum.