1. Why can I only find data on amounts awarded in past years? Will the information be updated?
This website presents data from 2007 onwards. We cannot publish final information until the accounts have been closed for the financial yearin question. This means that, to publish data for a given year, we must wait until halfway through the following year.
Every year, the data for the previous financial year will be published in this way.
2. Why can I only find data on procurement contracts and other forms of administrative support only as of 2009?
FTS is being built in stages, to take into account the intricacies of extracting data form the central accounting system and the time needed to adapt this system to the requirements of publication on an external website.
Information on procurement can however still be found on the individual websites of Commission departments.
3. Why can I only find information on some of the amounts awarded from the EU budget?
This site publishes data on beneficiaries of grants(or similar forms of support), and of procurementsand some other administrative expenditure managed by the Commission at the central level only.
However, much of the EU budget is not centrally administered by the Commission.
Farm and regional development subsidies inside the EU, for example, are managed by national governmentsand some aid to countries outside the EU is administered by the local governments or by international organisations authorized by the Commission.
These managing authorities are responsible for publishing the data, and the Commission has agreed with them on publication contents and modes. This information is available on national websites.
4. Why do I find information on commitments and not on payments?
Any amount awarded to a beneficiary has to be previously booked in a budget line in the form of a commitment. The amount committed is a fundamental element of any legal agreement signed for grants and procurements. In general terms, since many agreements last over several years and the implementing rules only allow the payment of instalments of the total committed amount over the agreed time frame, yearly information on payments can give a view on specific implementation stages only, but not a comprehensive appreciation of the overall value of the agreement. Therefore the site focuses only on commitments (except for some administrative expenditure where this approach does not apply).
5. Can I sort out the beneficiaries by type of organisation, such as "NGO", "university", "private company", etc.?
The Commission limits the type of information it collects from beneficiaries to what is necessary to carry out the required payments and other financial operations. When beneficiaries register with the Commission in the accounting system, they are therefore not obliged to indicate which type of organisation they are, only as to whether they represent an individual (private person) or an organisation. It is therefore not possible to search the FTS database on this criterion.
6. Why is there no correspondence between the amounts I find through FTS and the allocated expenditure figures in the annual Financial Reportpublished by the Commission?
FTS and the Financial Report cover completely different ground: FTS reports on amounts awarded (in budgetary terms: "committed") to beneficiaries in a given year, whereas the Financial Report shows what amounts were actually paid out to the Member States associated with these beneficiaries over a year. Moreover, whereas the Financial Report is structured around the policy headings of the 2007-2013 financial framework, FTS provides information on funds managed by the Commission centrally, across all headings. Finally, whilst FTS takes into account the address of the beneficiary as the sole indication of its nationality, since this is the relevant information from an accounting point of view, the Financial Report uses other criteria such as the location of the project activity, which can differ from the address/country of the beneficiary recorded in the Commission's accounting system.
7. What about beneficiaries of the European Development Fund (EDF)?
The EDF expenditure is not part of the EU budget and therefore initially it was not included in the FTS. However, the current edition of the EDF (i.e. the so called 10 thEDF), will be subject to the same publication rules as other EU expenditure. Because the first commitments under the 10 thEDF are only foreseen for the 2 ndhalf of 2010, their publication in FTS is expected in 2011.
A specific websiteset up by the EuropeAid-Co-Operation Office provides information on all forms of external assistance, including the European Development Fund.