3.3.2. Direct centralised management
Where the European Commission applies direct centralised management, implementation tasks are performed directly by its departments either at Headquarters or in delegations81 (to that end, a subdelegation has been granted to any Head of Delegation). The relevant EU service then becomes the Contracting Authority in charge of procedures and of signing contracts/agreements with third parties (grants, procurement contracts, budget support, etc.). Where direct centralised management applies, the applicable Financial Regulation (EU Budget or EDF) and Implementing Rules must be complied with.
For the EDF, the Cotonou Agreement, Internal Agreement and Regulation on the implementation of the 10th EDF foresee instances where the European Commission implements 10th EDF resources by centralised management. These are usually:
- operations to provide budgetary support82 83, support for debt relief84 and support for short-term fluctuations in export earnings85;
- with or without a financing agreement, contracts concluded and managed by the European Commission86 for and on behalf of one or more ACP States87 88;
- execution of payments for contracts concluded by the ACP States, other than in cases specified in the Practical Guide to procedures for programme estimates (project approach) or where management is substantially or fully decentralised;
- resources reserved for expenditure linked to programming and implementation of the EDF by the European Commission;
- operations financed with revenue derived from interest accrued on sums deposited with paying agents in Europe;
- humanitarian and emergency aid operations managed by the Humanitarian Aid Office (ECHO).
See Article 53(a) of the Financial regulation 1605/2002 applicable to the EU Budget and Article 36 of the Implementing rules 2342/2002.
Budgetary support is governed by Articles 60, 61 and 67 of the Cotonou Agreement and managed in accordance with the Guidelines on the programming, design and management of general budget support.
In practice, financing agreements for budgetary support operations can be managed using a combined approach: centralised management for disbursement of tranches and for audit and evaluation contracts, and partially decentralised management for technical assistance contracts.
Support for debt relief is governed by Articles 60 and 66 of the Cotonou Agreement.
Support for short-term fluctuations in export earnings is governed by Articles 60, 61 and 68 of the Cotonou Agreement.
Including execution of the corresponding payments.
In particular, delegation agreements with national public-sector bodies or private-law entities with a public-service mission, contribution agreements with international organisations, audit contracts and evaluation contracts, plus framework contracts and their specific contracts and order forms.
Including contracts concluded and managed by the European Commission for and on behalf of one or more ACP States in cases where the National or Regional Authorising Officer is temporarily replaced by the Authorising Officer by delegation.