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Implementation of grants and administrative credits in the Components & Systems Directorate

Implementation of grants and administrative credits in the Components & Systems Directorate

Administration & Finance (Unit A.5)

An efficient, timely implementation and full execution of the operational and administrative credits contributes to a proper financial management of the DG. Streamlining the financial rules and accelerating budget implementation will help economic recovery in the current financial crisis. Simplification of financial rules and procedures will lead to a more positive image of the institution and reduce overheads for the beneficiaries. The most efficient and effective manner should be found without compromising the quality of the projects or the indispensable checks that ensure sound financial management.


To ensure the coordination and implementation of all financial and contractual matters concerning FP7 Research projects for ICT, Capacities, CIP and H2020 actions as well as administrative expenditure for events and studies with as result full budget consumption and achievement of targets for time to contract/payment. To give assurance that directorate operates in compliance in the directorate with the financial regulation, internal control standards and accounting rules.


Speeding up the processes by complying with the targets set for payment times and time to contract in the new Financial Regulation that came into force on 01/01/2013 shortening the time to pay to 90/30 days.In H2020 grant agreement should be signed within 8 (5+3) months of the closure of the call for proposals ("time to grant").Amendments of existing contracts take a long time which might have a negative impact on the acceleration of payment times. Delays can both occur on EC and consortium side. This can have a negative impact (delay) if an amendment is needed before a payment can be made.Conclusion of audits and the implementation of the results is a very lengthy process, on the one hand doing right to the beneficiary with a contradictory procedure, on the other hand creating uncertainty on the final outcome for both beneficiary and the consortium and suspension of payments in some cases.

Financial regulation ("FR") and its Rules for Application.


Full-Time Equivalent: 
8.00 full-time equivalent (FTE)
The budget available for the Directorate

Financial resources: The budget available for the Directorate, which for new H2020 programme activities in 2014-2015 amount to approximately 715M€ for research grants and 260M€ for contribution to the ECSEL JTI. Moreover payment credits for the running FP7 and CIP projects. Human resources: The team in the AFU unit for which this is a core task. Work also provided by the operational/research units managing the individual projects and supervising the JTI. Informatics: New IT systems for H2020: EMI (for Expert contracts), SYGMA and COMPASS (for grant management). PHOENIX and I-FLOW for FP7 and CIP projects still running. Information: Available trainings/workshops in grant management, mainly under the lead of central units. Operational guidance notes: Mainly under the lead of central CNECT units and/or the Common Support Centre of the Research Family. Knowledge networks: Either Directorate specific or under the lead of central units (Administration and Finance Units, Ex-Post Audit Correspondents, Financial Correspondents, Audit, Internal Control and Budgetary Committee meetings)


Smooth legacy of FP7/CIP programmes in parallel to H2020 start


Timeframe: 2014-2018



Average gross time to pay

Target No increase in average Gross Time to Payment compared to benchmark: (2014-2018)

Time for audit implementation

Time for audit implementation and calculation of impact after closure of the audit by the Compliance unit. Does not include the recovery process itself.

Timeframe: By end 2014



Time for audit implementation

Target Email to beneficiary sent within 30 days (31/12/2014)

100% of contracts signed on time

100% of H2020 grant agreements signed from closing date of the call. Split in two phases max 5 months from call closure to the validation of the Negotiation report and then max 3 months to signature of the contract. Deviations to be recorded according to the guidelines (to be received from directorate R).

Timeframe: Ongoing



Time to Grant (lead indicator)

Target 100% in 5+3 months (240 days) (Ongoing)
Baseline Average time: 77% in 260 days (31/12/2013)
Chart URL See the chart

100% of payments done on time

  • 100% of payments done within the FR rules (90 days for grants, 30 days for other payments). Although a clear target, there might be cases that for reasons of sound financial management these deadlines cannot be met.
  • Gross time to pay and transparency. More than the legal time limits beneficiaries are interested in having precise information of the status of the payments (similar to package delivery tracking, Track and Trace for Transparency to be developed as part of COMPASS/SIGMA) as well as the total time to pay.

Timeframe: Ongoing



Time To Payment 30-90 days depending on the transaction

Net time to payment (lead indicator)

Target 100% of payments done on time (30-90 days depending on the transaction) (End of 2014)
Baseline 99% (value) (End 2013)
Chart URL See the chart

What are the impacts that we want to influence? What is our responsibility in reaching the expected impact?

Earlier signature of contracts will give beneficiaries a legal basis to hire staff and begin earlier with the research work which would have a positive effect on unemployment.Faster release of funding will provide our customers with a better cash-flow and allow them to fulfill their own financial obligations within a shorter timing, thereby creating a knock-on effect on the economy.Simplified and faster processes for contracts, amendments, payments and audits would lead to a higher user satisfaction, better image for the institution. 

Timeframe: Effects to be measured end FP7 and midterm evaluation of H2020



Effects to be measured end FP7 and midterm evaluation of H2020


Ways of gathering information to be decided: e.g. survey, deliverable on impact

Link to DG CONNECT's Top Level Targets

  • DG CONNECT is a lean, modern, effective and efficient public administration

As service unit we contribute to the top level targets of the other units in the Directorate in connection to their DAE and H2020 goals.

In response to the economic situation, the Commission is enhancing EU budget execution and speeding up the payments to beneficiaries.

Helping DG CONNECT become a lean, modern, effective and efficient public administration.