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Developing ‘Off-the-Shelf’ Simplified Cost Options (SCOs) under Article 14.1 of the European Social Fund (ESF) regulation – Final Report (25/09/2018)

This study recommends off-the-shelf simplified cost options which could be used by Member States to claim reimbursement of ESF spending from the Commission. The scope covers training of the employed and unemployed and employment counselling services. The rates set out are based on statistical data collected by Eurostat and are designed to be as simple and flexible as possible for Member States to apply. The objective is that by using such simplified costs, Member States can considerably reduce the administrative burden and errors associated with implementing the ESF.

Use and intended use of simplified cost options in European Social Fund (ESF), European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), Cohesion Fund (CF) and European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) (25/06/2018)

This study assesses the use and intended use of Simplified Cost Options (SCOs) across Member States (MS) and ESI Funds1 . The study is based on an online survey carried out between September and October 2017 of all EAFRD, ESF and ERDF-CF Managing Authorities (MAs), including MAs of multi fund programmes. The study reflects MAs’ opinions and uses the data MA have provided. The study shows that between 2014 and 2017 the large majority of ESIF MAs used SCOs (64% of EAFRD Rural Development Programmes (RDPs), 73% of ERDF-CF Operational Programmes (OPs) and 95% of ESF OPs. In terms of projects, the number of projects using SCO is 19% for EAFRD, 65% for ESF, 50% for ERDF and 25% for CF. SCOs are expected to be used even more as from 2018. It is expected that at the end of the programming period SCOs will cover approximately 33% of ESF, 2% of EAFRD and 4% of ERDF-CF budget. In the case of ERDF-CF, the use of SCO is higher for ETC programmes.

Simplified Cost Options in the European Social Fund - Promoting simplification and result-orientation (02/12/2016)

Simplified Cost Options (SCOs) change how we reimburse expenditure under ESF projects. Rather than paying on the basis of real costs backed up with invoices and receipts, we pay on the basis of pre-defined standard scales of unit costs, flat rate or lump sum payments. SCOs are proven to reduce the error rate for the programme and also to reduce the administrative burden for Member States and beneficiaries. They can also help put a greater focus on the outputs and results achieved. This report reviews the current and planned take-up of SCOs. It summarises outcomes for the 2007-2013 period and the regulatory improvements on SCOs for the 2014-2020 period. It presents an overview of the planned implementation of SCOs during the current programming period, and the benefits that national authorities derive from them. Finally, it looks at what else needs to be done to increase the use of SCOs. The results represent the most comprehensive estimate available of the use of the SCOs in the ESF.

Guidance on Joint Action Plans (15/06/2015)

The purpose of this note is to provide Member States with guidance on the content, preparation and implementation of JAPs, as set out in Articles 104-109 of the CPR.

Format of the model for the joint action plan (JAP)

Guidance on standard scales of unit costs and lump sums adopted under Article 14(1) Reg. (EU) 1304/2013 (12/06/2015)

This guidance note specifically covers the situation where the Commission decides to exercise its prerogative to prepare a delegated act on the basis of data submitted for the consideration of the Commission by Member States under Article 14(1) Reg. (EU) 1304/2013.

Guidance Article 14(1)
Template for submitting data for the consideration of the Commission

Orientări privind opțiunile simplificate în materie de costuri (SCO) (10/10/2014)

Documentul de față conține orientări tehnice și exemple privind cele trei tipuri de opțiuni simplificate în materie de costuri aplicabile tuturor fondurilor ESI în perioada de programare 2014-2020.

The implementation of simplified cost options with the ESF in Italy: a case study - ESF thematic paper (25/07/2014)

SCOs were introduced in the 2007–2013 programming period for ESF in order to reduce the administrative burden on Managing Authorities when implementing ESF co-funded projects and on beneficiaries. SCOs enable also to shift the focus from input to output and results. This thematic paper shares the Italian experience with this tool in the hope that good practices can be taken up by other EU countries when managing ESF projects.