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European Commission Directorate General

Implementation of grants and administrative credits in the Directorate for Sustainable & Secure Society

Implementation of grants and administrative credits in the Directorate for Sustainable & Secure Society

Administration & Finance (Unit H.6)
Goal

We want to ensure a smooth implementation of grants and administrative credits in an effective and efficient manner, within the spirit of simplification, without compromising the checks that are needed to ensure sound financial management or the quality of the projects the Directorate supports.

Action

To coordinate and implement all financial and contractual matters concerning the grants and administrative expenditure (e.g. events and studies) that the Directorate is responsible for.To provide assurance that the Directorate follows the relevant rules and guidelines and that payments and actions happen on time.

Situation

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.

Mandate
Financial regulation ("FR") and is Rules for Application.

Input

Full-Time Equivalent: 
8.00
Budget: 
The budget available for the Directorate. We currently envisage supporting over 2014-2015 spending under the H2020 programme in the order of € 620 million.
Other: 

Other input:Human resources:Input also stems from the operational/research units who manage the individual projects.Informatics:New IT systems (EMI for Appointment Letters; SYGMA and COMPASS for grant management).Information: Available trainings/workshop in grant management, mainly under the lead of central units.Operational guidance notes, mainly under the lead of central units and/or shared by all DGs of the Research Family.Knowledge networks, either Directorate specific (H financial assistants and H project officers), or under the lead of central units (Administration and Finance Units', Ex-Post Audit Correspondents', Financial Correspondents', Audit, Control and Budgetary Committee meetings).

Outputs

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

Timeframe: 2014-2018

Indicators

3428

Gross time to payment

Target No increase in average gross time to payment during the transition period (2014-2018)

100% of grant agreements signed on time.

100% of grant agreements signed on time. Split in two phases: (i) max 5 months from call closure to the validation of the negotiation report and (ii) max 3 months to signature of the contract. Deviations to be recorded according to the guidelines (to be received from directorate R).

Timeframe: On-going

Indicators

594

Time to grant (lead indicator)

Target 100% of grant agreements signed on time (5+3 months) (On-going)
Baseline 33% signed grant agreements where time to grant <270 days (31.12.2013)

100% of payments done on time

100% of payments done on time according to the FR (30-90 days depending on the transaction). Although a clear target, there may be cases where this may not be met for reasons of sound financial management.

Timeframe: On-going.

Indicators

592

Net time to payment (lead indicator)

Target 100% of payments done on time (30-90 days depending on the transaction) (End of 2014)
Baseline 97.9% (value) (31.12.2013)

Gross time to payment

Gross time to payment (time between end of reporting period and payment execution)

Timeframe: To be defined at later stage

Indicators

597

Gross time to payment

Target To be defined at later stage (End of 2014)
Baseline Average time between end of reporting period and related payment execution

Time to amendment

Time to amendmentNo automatic recording is in place from the date the event occurs, so set-up of a systematic method of measurement is required. Proposal to embed it in the future IT tools (SYGMA/COMPASS).

Timeframe: To be defined at later stage

Indicators

596

Time to amendment

Target To be defined at later stage (End of 2014)

Timely audit implementation

Time for audit implementation and calculation of impact after closure of the audit by the Compliance Unit (R4). Does not include the recovery process itself.

Timeframe: On-going

Indicators

595

Timely audit implementation

Target Audit implementation announced to beneficiary within 30 days after audit closure. (On-going)

Track and Trace for Transparency

Track and Trace for TransparencyMore 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/SYGMA).

Timeframe: To be defined at later stage

Indicators

598

Track and Trace for Transparency

Target To be defined at later stage (End of 2014)
Results/Impacts

Knock-on effect on the economy

A 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 timeframe, creating a knock-on effect on the economy.

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

Indicators

601

Impact on growth

Target Positive impact on growth (Mid-term evaluation of H2020)
Baseline Impact on growth (end of FP7)

Positive effect on unemployment

Earlier signature of contracts will give beneficiaries a legal basis upon which to hire staff and to begin their research work; this should have a positive effect on unemployment.

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

Indicators

600

Impact on unemployment

Target Positive effect on unemployment (Mid-term evaluation of H2020)
Baseline Effect on unemployment (End of FP7)

Link to DG CONNECT's Top Level Targets

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

Helping DG CONNECT and our Directorate to meet 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.