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.