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Manual for grant implementation

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  • 1. 21 The Grant Implementation Manual is an unofficial document which does not in any way replace the obligations set out in the Special and General Conditions of the Grant Contract. The contents of this document are the sole responsibility of Eptise Servicios de Ingenieria and can under no circumstances be regarded as reflecting the position of the European Union Grant Implementation Manual for Beneficiaries
  • 2. Implementation Manual for Beneficiaries Strengthening Media Freedom, EuropeAid/134421/L/ACT/RS 2
  • 3. Implementation Manual for Beneficiaries Strengthening Media Freedom, EuropeAid/134421/L/ACT/RS 3 Table of contents 1. INTRODUCTION ....................................................................................................................................... 3 1.1 Scope....................................................................................................................................................... 3 1.2 Legal Basis............................................................................................................................................... 3 1.3 Project Information.................................................................................................................................. 3 1.4 Institutional Framework .......................................................................................................................... 4 1.4.1 Bodies Involved......................................................................................................................................4 2. GRANT CONTRACT BETWEEN THE DELEGATION AND BENEFICIARY(IES)...................................................6 2.1 Project Team................................................................................................................................. 6 2.2 Characteristics and General Principles of the Standard Grant Contract.................................................... 6 2.3 Major Parts of the Grant Contract ........................................................................................................... 7 2.4. Partnership Agreement …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 7 2.5 Modifying Grant Contracts ...................................................................................................................... 8 2.5.1 Notifications to Contract: Minor Modifications................................................................................8 2.5.2 Addendum: Major Changes............................................................................................................11 2.5.3 Preparing an Addendum.................................................................................................................11 2.6. Project Finances..................................................................................................................................... 13 2.6.1 Grant Payment ...............................................................................................................................13 2.6.2 Eligible Costs...................................................................................................................................13 2.6.3 Exchange Rate................................................................................................................................17 2.6.4 Value Added Tax.............................................................................................................................17 2.7. Project documentation and accountancy............................................................................................. 200 2.7.1 Importance of Record Keeping…………............................................................................................22 2.7.2 Technical Documentation...............................................................................................................23 2.8. Reporting requirements......................................................................................................................... 24 2.8.1 Final Report ....................................................................................................................................24 3. SECONDARY PROCUREMENT........................................................................................................... ...........26 3.1 Procurement Plan and Types of Procurement ........................................................................................ 26 3.2. Procurement Procedure........................................................................................................... 28 3.2.1 Single Tender..................................................................................................................................29 3.2.2 Negotiated Procedure without Publication ....................................................................................29 3.2.3 Rule of Origin..................................................................................................................................31 3.2.4. Nationality Rule..............................................................................................................................31 4.MONITORING AND SUPPORT ACTIVITIES..................................................................................................... 32 4.1. Monitoring framework............................................................................................................ 32 4.1.1. Internal Monitoring.......................................................................................................................32 4.1.2. External Monitoring .......................................................................................................................33 5. VISIBILTY PROCEDURES.......................................................................................................................... 33 6. EXPENDITURE VERIFICATION …………..……........................................................................................ ……35 7. TERMINATION OF CONTRACT............................................................................................................... 35 8. WEBSITES............................................................................................................................................... 36
  • 4. Implementation Manual for Beneficiaries Strengthening Media Freedom, EuropeAid/134421/L/ACT/RS 4 This Manual is an unofficial document and provides information on implementation modalities and procedures related to project management, procurement, payments, reporting and visibility. It does not in any way replace the obligations set out in the Specific and General Conditions of the Grant Contract. In case of discrepancy between this document and the Special and General Conditions of the Grant Contract, the latter prevail. 1. INTRODUCTION 1.1. Scope The purpose of this Manual is to provide all Grant Beneficiaries with information necessary to undertake a grant procedure from the very first steps to the award of contracts. In other words, this document also provides information on how to manage the Grant Contract, signed between the EU Delegation and the Coordinator, from the award of the contract until the final report and payment. 1.2. Legal Basis 1. This Manual has been prepared by considering the relevant provisions of the “Practical Guide to contract procedures for European Union external actions (EU PRAG), 2013”. The full version of EU PRAG (including relevant annexes to PRAG) can be found on the webpage: http://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/prag/document.do 2. Council Regulation (EC) No 1085/2006 of 17 July 2006 establishing an Instrument for Pre- Accession Assistance (IPA); 3. Commission Regulation (EC) No 718/2007 of 12 June 2007 implementing Council Regulation (EC) No 1085/2006 2006 establishing an Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA); 4. Framework Agreement for Financial Cooperation between the EU and the Republic of Serbia. 5. Financing Agreement for the National IPA 2012 programme between the EU and the Republic of Serbia, as of 20 December 2012. 6. Strenthening Media Freedom Call for Proposals, EuropeAid/134421/L/ACT/RS 1.3. Project Information “Strengthening Media Freedom” is a two-year EU funded project, managed by the EU Delegation to Serbia and implemented by Eptise Servicios de Ingenieria, in cooperation with Eptisa Regional Office for SEE, Media Diversity Institute and Samardžić and Živković law office. The project is financed under IPA 2012 programme and will be implemented throughout 2014 and 2015. The project aims at enforcing the freedom of expression, democratisation of media and application of EU standards in the media field. The project will concentrate on aligning national media legislation with EU Directives and standards. In addition, the project objectives will be achieved through a grant scheme that will support independence and increase professionalism of journalists and other media professionals, and will be geared
  • 5. Implementation Manual for Beneficiaries Strengthening Media Freedom, EuropeAid/134421/L/ACT/RS 5 towards enhancing investigative reporting through support of quality media productions in Serbia on various themes in the area of rule of law: Independence, transparency and efficiency in administration of justice and work of the judiciary; Law enforcement and fight against all forms of crime, including organised crime and cross-border crime; Border management; Support for refugees, IDPs and asylum seekers; Fight against corruption, abuse of position and office; Protection of media freedoms; Reconciliation, regional cooperation and good neighbouring relations in the area of rule of law; War crimes investigations and trials. The overall indicative amount made available under this Call is EUR 1.800.000. Grants awarded under this project to print, broadcast, on-line media, as well as production houses, news agencies and media associations, are between 50.000 and 150.000 EUR with a maximum duration of 18 months. 1.4. Institutional Framework 1.4.1. Bodies Involved The Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of Serbia: The Contracting Authority for the Grant Contract with the Coordinator (Grant Beneficiary) is the EU Delegation. It is responsible for the management of the project - administrative and financial implementation of the grant scheme, and has the ultimate responsibility for the correct use of grant funds. The EU Delegation approves all project documents (final reports, requests for addendum) and signs Grant Contracts and Addenda. It also makes payments as required in contracts after approval of relevant reports, and oversights the work of Eptisa. Ministry of Culture and Information, Government of the Republic of Serbia: The Ministry's representative will sit on the project’s supervisory body – the Project Steering Committee, whose role is to steer and monitor project implementation and undertake remedial actions for problems that may arise. Eptisa: Eptisa is responsible for the implementation of the "Strengthening Media Freedom" project on a daily basis, regular provision of technical assistance to grant beneficiaries, information dissemination and support to beneficiaries, monitoring and evaluation of the projects and making on-the-spot checks on the projects. Eptise Servicios de Ingenieria, leading a four-member consortium consisting of Eptisa Southeast Europe d.o.o., Media Diversity Institute and Živković and Samardžić law office, has been awarded a service contract to provide technical support to the EU Delegation to Serbia in the implementation of the project. Eptisa reports to the EU Delegation. Coordinator: Coordinator implements the supported projects and is directly responsible for the preparation and management of the action. It is responsible for the project implementation as set out in Annex I to the Grant Contract. Coordinator and co- applicant(s) are collectively referred to as Beneficiary(ies). Beneficiary(ies) are responsible for procurement and are obliged to use procedures and documents complying EU PRAG rules in all procurement procedures (rules set out in Annex IV to the Contract). Coordinator provides narrative and financial reports, requests necessary payments, and is ultimately responsible for project finances and records. The correspondence and view exchanges with third parties regarding contract implementation are the responsibility of Beneficiary(ies) and will not be binding to the Contracting Authority.
  • 6. Implementation Manual for Beneficiaries Strengthening Media Freedom, EuropeAid/134421/L/ACT/RS 6 "Strenthening Media Freedom" project team acts as principal contact point for the grant beneficiaries during the implementation of their projects. Any communication relating to the project implementation, including narrative and financial reports, requests for payment, notification letters, procurement documentation and other relevant documents, must be in writing and should be sent to the "Strenthening Media Freedom" project team office. All project documents must be prepared in the language of the Grant Contract – English language. Contact: "Strengthening Media Freedom" project Vlajkovićeva 3, II fl, office no. 95, 11 000 Belgrade Tel. + 381 11 303 2222 Fax: + 381 11 292 2856 Attn: Ms. Sibina Golubovic, Grant manager, sgolubovic@eptisa.com Cc. Mr. Sandor Organ, Team leader, sorban@eptisa.com 2. GRANT CONTRACT BETWEEN THE EU DELEGATION AND BENEFICIARY(IES) 2.1. Project Team In order to be able to run the project efficiently, the Beneficiary(ies) are responsible for setting up an efficient and reliable management and coordination system handling the administration of the project. Project coordination includes both issues related to the thematic activities of the project, as well as the purely administrative and financial management of the project and its accounts. Two positions that are crucial throughout the project period: project manager and financial officer. Project manager - responsible for the overall organisation of the operation’s work. This includes management of various components of the operation that ensures all procedures are observed, including preparation of all reports, implementation of visibility procedures, etc. Financial officer - responsible for the accounts, financial reporting, the internal handling of the funds, as well as update financial records and accompanying documentation. The financial officer should work in close contact with the project manager/coordinator in order to enable efficient overall financial management of the operation. 2.2. Characteristics and General Principles of the Grant Contract The grant contract between your organisation and the EU Delegation is the main document that defines responsibilities of different parties, reporting, eligibility of costs, accounting, payments, etc. After signing the contract with the EU Delegation, the Coordinator takes the
  • 7. Implementation Manual for Beneficiaries Strengthening Media Freedom, EuropeAid/134421/L/ACT/RS 7 responsibility for the entire project and ensures proper communication with and among co- applicant(s) and affiliates. 2.3. Major Parts of the Grant Contract The Grant Contract has several Annexes, which are compulsory and may not be changed without a written agreement from the EU Delegation. • The Special Conditions (Grant Contract): It specifies the project duration, total project cost and the grant amount, as well as reporting and payment schedule. • Annex I to Grant Contract: “Description of the action” contains the description of your project. By signing the contract you commit yourself to implement all activities described in Annex I and to deliver the stated outputs and results. • Annex II to Grant Contract: “General Conditions” specify the general obligations and financial provisions under the contract. This Annex describes all your obligations on reporting, provision of information, visibility, accounts and technical and financial checks. • Annex III of Grant Contract: “Budget for the action” includes the breakdown of project costs, as well as expected sources of funding. • Annex IV of Grant Contract: “Contract Award Procedures” describes the procedures that you have to follow in case of awarding contracts for services, supplies and works to external organisations. • Annex V of Grant Contract: Request for Payment is a standard template that you have to use when applying to the Delegation for payment request of the further advance and/or balance. It also contains a financial identification form • Annex VI of Grant Contract: Final Narrative and Financial Reports templates. • Annex IX to Grant Contract: Standard template for Transfer of Asset Ownership. 2.4. Partnership Agreement Partnership Agreement establishes the legal base between the Coordinator and co- applicant/affiliate(s) (parties). This contractual arrangement provides an overview of the parties’ roles in the project, activities to be fulfilled, timeframe of the activities, and relationship between the parties, as well as the procedure used in case of disputes. The Partnership Agreement in general lays down provisions regarding: • The Project Parties’ responsibilities and contributions to the project; • The requirements, both internal and external, related to the reporting; • The provisions for ensuring sound financial management, including accounting and documentation obligations; • Provisions and deadlines for transferring funds by the Coordinator to other Agreement parties; • Provisions for retaining documents required for an adequate audit trail; • Internal arrangements for recovering amounts unduly paid;
  • 8. Implementation Manual for Beneficiaries Strengthening Media Freedom, EuropeAid/134421/L/ACT/RS 8 Any modifications of the activities and expected results stated in Annex I should be communicated in writing in the notification letters. Significant modifications of activities will need an Addendum to the contract. If you plan to make minor or major change in your contract, it is strongly recommended to consult "Strenthening Media Freedom" project team before submitting your request. • The ownership of project results (provisions regarding the intellectual property rights, and regarding dissemination rights); • Applicable law, place of jurisdiction, procedures for litigation. 2.5. Modifying grant contracts Grant Beneficiaries should try to implement the project as originally planned. Nevertheless, situations may arise where there is a need to make some changes in the activities or budget. In such situations, they will have to apply for an amendment to the contract. The procedures for amendment of the grant contract are divided into two groups depending on the type of change that should be made (General Conditions, Article 9). Minor changes in the contract must be communicated to the EU Delegation in writing through Notification letters pending the EU Delegation's approval. Major modifications in the contract require a formal Addendum to the contract to be signed by the EU Delegation and Coordinator before their implementation. In case of major modifications of the Contract, an Addendum should be prepared before making the change. The following general principles must always apply: For the acceptance of the Coordinator's request for grant contract modifications, the Coordinator must substantiate its request to the EU Delegation. The EU Delegation examines the reasons given, and rejects requests which have little or no substantiation. The modifications must not have the purpose or effect of making such changes to the contract in a way that would alter the objectives of the project or be contrary to the equal treatment of applicants. Grant contracts can only be modified within the lifetime of the contract; modifications cannot be made retroactively. The maximum amount of the grant may not be increased. Requests for contract modifications to grant contracts must allow an adequate time-limit (minimum 30 days) for the addendum to be signed before the modifications are intended to enter into force. However, for the modification extending the performance period of the contract or budget variations of more than 25% between main budget headings requests should be filed ideally two months before the end of the project. 2.5.1. Notifications to Contract: Minor Modifications Minor modifications, and not a formal Addendum include:
  • 9. Implementation Manual for Beneficiaries Strengthening Media Freedom, EuropeAid/134421/L/ACT/RS 9 It is strongly recommended to consult with "Strenthening Media Freedom" project team before submitting your request officially. Minor changes in activities with no budgetary implications, Budget modifications that do not affect the basic purpose of the project; and the financial impact is limited to a between items within the same main budget heading including cancellation or introduction of an item, or a transfer between main budget headings involving a variation of 25% or less of the amount originally entered in relation to each concerned main heading for eligible costs (not applicable to indirect costs, for the contingency reserve, for in-kind contributions or the amounts or rates of simplified cost options). Change of address or phone number, Change of bank account, Change of key-experts such as project manager, editors in chief, trainers, etc., Increase or decrease in numbers of equipment or unit prices without changes of the budget amount allocated for that budget item Even in the event of minor contract changes, Coordinator must notify the EU Delegation in writing and receive a written consent to apply them. Changes How to notify-Documentation Deadline Small change of activities with no budgetary or contract duration implications Notification Three weeks prior to the changes taking effect Small changes of activities with budgetary implications (variation of 25% or less, inc. cancellation or introduction of an item) Notification. Modified budget proposal including original budget and proposed reallocation (modified budget in excel). Three weeks prior to the changes taking effect Increase of approved unit rates or number of an item. Notification Modified budget proposal including original budget and proposed reallocation Document proving that the new requested rates does not exceed normal market rates. Three weeks prior to the changes taking effect Changes of address Notification Copy from the Business Registry Agency (APR) Immediately after the change occurs Changes of bank account Notification New Financial Identification Immediately after the change occurs
  • 10. Implementation Manual for Beneficiaries Strengthening Media Freedom, EuropeAid/134421/L/ACT/RS 10 Note for Budget variations of 25% and less: The 25% rule can be applied only once on the same budget heading A prior written approval by EU Delegation is requested The 25% rule cannot be applied to administrative costs or contingency reserve Form Change of key persons – project manager Notification Immediately after the change occurs This is an example of a minor budget reallocation: Annex B. Budget for the Action ORIGINAL BUDGET MODIFIED BUDGET REALLOCATION Expenses Unit # of units Unit rate EUR Costs EUR Unit # of units Unit rate in EUR Costs EUR EUR % 4. Local office/Action costs 4.1 Vehicle costs Per month 0 Per month 0 4.2 Office rent Per month 0 Per month 0 4.3 Consumables - office supplies Per month 10 100 1000 Per month 11 100 1100 +100 3,77 4.4 Other services (tel/fax, electricity/heating, maintenance) Per month 11 150 1650 Per month 11 150 1650 Subtotal Local office/Action costs 2650 2750 +100 3,77 5. Other costs, services9 5.1 Publications Per copy 2000 1 2000 Per copy 2100 1 2100 +100 0,72 5.2 Studies, research) Per Study 2 2000 4000 Per Study 2 2000 4000 5.3 TV production Per epsiod e 2 1600 3200 Per epsiode 2 1500 3000 -200 1,44 5.4 Final evaluation Per report 1 1200 1200 Per report 1 1200 1200 5.5 Translation, interpreters Per day 35 80 2800 Per day 26 80 2100 -700 5,04 5.7 Costs of conferences/seminar Per Event 1 700 700 Per Event 2 700 1400 +700 5,04
  • 11. Implementation Manual for Beneficiaries Strengthening Media Freedom, EuropeAid/134421/L/ACT/RS 11 The request for Addendum should contain a detailed description of the requested modification and the reason for modifications. The request must be properly substantiated. The Delegation examines the requests and rejects the ones which have little or no substantiation. Grantees are strongly advised to avoid making changes that require an Addendum. The addendum procedure takes minimum 30 days, so Coordinators are advised to seek an Addendum only if absolutely necessary. The changes come into the force only after the signature of the Addendum by both parties. 2.5.2. Addendum: Major Changes Major modifications that require a formal Addendum are as follows: Extension or early closing of the Contract, Significant changes in activities that effect the basic purpose of the project as long as the proposed changes do not question the grant award decision and are not contrary to the equal treatment of applicants, Transfers amongst budget headings; involve a variation of more than 25% of the amount originally entered under each relevant heading for eligible costs, Change of Co-applicant or affiliates, Changes in your organisation’s name or legal status, Change of authorised person(s). 2.5.3. Preparing an Addendum The procedure for application and signature of the Addendum is as follows: Prepare a request for Addendum, following the template letter (available on CD) in English. Prior to submitting a request for an Addendum, you should contact "Strengthening Media Freedom" project team office for additional consultations. A copy of request will be retained by Coordinator. Requests are sent to "Strengthening Media Freedom" project team first, which will forward the documents to the EU Delegation for approval. s 10 5.8 Visibility actions Subtotal Other costs, services 13900 13800 -100 0,61 TOTAL 16550 16550 0 0
  • 12. Implementation Manual for Beneficiaries Strengthening Media Freedom, EuropeAid/134421/L/ACT/RS 12 The addendum takes effect on the date of the later signature. Remember that Coordinator cannot implement the change before the signature of the Addendum. Any addendum modifying the budget must include a replacement budget showing how the full budget breakdown of the initial contract has been modified by this Addendum and any previous Addenda. Changes How to notify Documentation to be submitted Deadlines Extension or early closing of the Contract Notification Minimum 30 days prior to the changes taking effect Significant changes in activities that effect the basic purpose of the project as long as the proposed changes do not question the grant award decision and are not contrary to the equal treatment of applicants. Notification. Transfers among budget headings involving a variation of more than 25% of the amount originally entered under each relevant heading for eligible costs. Notification Modified budget proposal including original budget and proposed reallocation (modified budget in excel). Change of Co-applicant or affiliates Notification Copy from the Business Registry Agency (APR) Changes in your organisation’s name or legal status Notification Copy from the Business Registry Agency (APR) New Legal Entity Form (LEF) New Financial Identification Form (FIF) Change of authorised person(s). Notification Copy from the Business Registry Agency (APR) New Financial Identification
  • 13. Implementation Manual for Beneficiaries Strengthening Media Freedom, EuropeAid/134421/L/ACT/RS 13 When managing awarded funds, project managers and financial officers should be aware of: Eligibility of costs and approved budget VAT exemption – when planning, final costs of VAT exempted expenditures Form (FIF) Note: Bring a new OP form (authorized persons) to the Tax administration 2.6. Project Finances It is Coordinator's responsibility to ensure that project funds are spent in a timely manner and in compliance with the EU regulations and with local procedures. Accounts and expenditure relating to the project implementation must be easily identifiable and verifiable. In accordance with article 16.1 of the General Conditions, this can be done by ensuring that expenditure for the action concerned can be easily identified and traced to and within the beneficiary’s accounting and bookkeeping systems. 2.6.1. Grant Payment The Contracting Authority will pay the grant to the Coordinator, in accordance with Article 15 of the General Conditions, following one of the payment procedures below, as set out in Article 4 of the Special Conditions. Option 1: Actions with an implementation period of 12 months or less or grant of EUR 100, 000 or less (i) an initial pre-financing payment of 80 % of the maximum amount referred to in Article 3.2 of the Special Conditions (excluding contingencies); and, (ii) the balance of the final amount of the grant. Option 2: Actions with an implementation period of more than 12 months and grant of more than EUR 100,000: (i) an initial pre-financing payment of 100 % of the part of the estimated budget financed by the EU Delegation for the first reporting period (excluding contingencies). The part of the budget financed by the EU Delegation is calculated by applying the percentage set out in Article 3.2 of the Special Conditions; (ii) further pre-financing payments of 100 % of the part of the estimated budget financed by the EU Delegation for the following reporting period (excluding not authorised contingencies); Within 60 days following the end of the reporting period, the Coordinator shall present an interim report. If at the end of the reporting period the part of the expenditure actually
  • 14. Implementation Manual for Beneficiaries Strengthening Media Freedom, EuropeAid/134421/L/ACT/RS 14 As the payment will be made after ALL the project activities have been completed, expenditures paid for and Final Report submitted, the Coordinator will need to pre- finance these payments and be able to fund them until the final payment is made. incurred which is financed by the Contracting Authority is less than 70 % of the previous payment (and 100 % of any previous payments), the further pre-financing payment shall be reduced by the amount corresponding to the difference between the 70 % of the previous pre-financing payment and the part of the expenditure actually incurred which is financed by the EU Delegation. The Coordinator may submit a request for further pre-financing payment before the end of the reporting period, when the part of the expenditure actually incurred which is financed by the Contracting Authority is more than 70 % of the previous payment (and 100 % of any previous payments). The total sum of pre-financing payments may not exceed 90 % of the amount referred to in Article 3.2 of the Special Conditions, excluding not authorised contingencies; Further pre-financing payments shall be made within 60 days of receipt of the payment request by the Contracting Authority. (iii) the balance of the final amount of the grant. Payments of the balance shall be made within 90 days of receipt of the payment request by the Contracting Authority. IMPORTANT NOTE! The EU Delegation undertakes to finance a specific percentage of the total eligible costs rather than a particular part of the action. If at the end of the action, the actual eligible cost is lower than anticipated, the grant will be reduced proportionately. Remember: The EU Delegation may suspend the time-limit for approval of a report by notifying the Coordinator that the report cannot be approved in case that the EU Delegation finds it necessary to carry out additional checks. In such cases, the EU Delegation may request a clarification or additional information, which must be produced within 30 days of the request. The time-limit starts running again on the date the required information is received. 2.6.2. Eligible Costs In reviewing final reports, EU the Delegation determines exactly which costs are eligible for payments. Ineligible costs will result in a lower payment than Coordinator may have expected in the budget. It should also be noted that the Delegation does not pay more than a stipulated proportion of your total eligible costs (see Article 3.2 Special Conditions). In other words, if total spending on the project falls below what was estimated at the outset, grant amount is to be scaled down proportionally. Article 14.1 of the General Conditions defines general principles for eligibility of costs. The main provisions for eligibility of cost are as follows: • Costs have to be included in the project budget (Annex III of the Contract), • Costs must be necessary for carrying out the Project, i.e. approved and presented in the Annex III of the Contract or reallocations presented in a Notification letter.
  • 15. Implementation Manual for Beneficiaries Strengthening Media Freedom, EuropeAid/134421/L/ACT/RS 15 • Costs must be incurred during the project implementation period, as defined in the Contract signed with the EU Delegation (irrespective of the time of actual payments). Any expenditure made prior to signing of the Grant Contract or any financial obligation taken after the Contract expiry date will not be considered as an eligible cost. • Cost must be recorded in the accounts or tax documents of the Beneficiary(ies) and be identifiable, verifiable and backed by originals of supporting evidence, • All costs must be real costs, i.e. actually incurred by the Beneficiary(ies). Beneficiary(ies) should be aware that: • Any expenditure for activities not specifically mentioned in the Contract or any subsequent agreed changes will be ineligible. A distinction is made between: o Eligible direct costs o Eligible indirect costs Budget heading Eligible direct costs 1. Human Resources The amounts budgeted under this budget heading may be used for payment of salaries and fees for staff contracted by the Beneficiary(ies) – Coordinator, Co-applicant(s) and affiliate(s). The cost of staff assigned must include actual salaries plus social security charges and other remuneration-related costs. Salaries and costs must not exceed those normally borne by the Beneficiary(ies). Per diems are allowed only for staff assigned to the project as long as they are envisaged in the project budget. Per diems cover all meal, hotel expenses and short distance travel (e.g. within the city). Per diems should be in line with the budget and should not be higher than the EU maximum daily rates (http://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/work/procedures/implementation/p er_diems/index_en.htm). Per diems are calculated on overnight basis. 2. Travel From the international travel sub-heading may be covered transport expenditure of experts who travel abroad for the needs of the project. From the local transportation subheading may be covered intercity transport expenditures within Serbia. 3. Equipment and supplies The purchase cost of equipment and supplies are eligible provided they are included in the budget and correspond to market rates. The Beneficiary(ies) is obliged to obtain value for money, and to use the tendering procedures described in Annex IV of the Contract. For tendering procedures please see relevant procurement and tender dossiers at : http://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/prag/annexes.do?group=B for Services, and http://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/prag/annexes.do?group=C for Supplies.
  • 16. Implementation Manual for Beneficiaries Strengthening Media Freedom, EuropeAid/134421/L/ACT/RS 16 Budget heading Eligible direct costs 4. Local office / project costs These costs are budgeted under Administrative costs – budget item 10 (Indirect costs). They are eligible under this heading only if a new project office is established. 5. Other costs, services Amounts budgeted under headings 5 & 6 may be used to cover costs for the items specified in the budget and fully sub-contracted services. Those are costs paid on the basis of service contracts and against invoices to external service providers who are sub-contracted to carry out certain tasks of the operation (e.g. studies and surveys, translation, publications, translation, events, etc.). Promotional costs shall be paid on the basis of the contracts with and invoices from the service providers. Procurement rules must be observed in selecting a company or individual to provide external expertise, or carry out the assignment. 6. Other Budget heading Eligible indirect costs 8. Contingency reserve (Not exceeding 5 % of the direct eligible costs). It can be used only with the prior written authorisation of the EU Delegation (Article 14.6. of the General Conditions). 10. Administrative costs A percentage of the final approved total direct eligible costs may be claimed as indirect costs to cover the administrative overheads incurred by the Beneficiary(ies) (max 7%). The costs are eligible provided that: 1. They do not exceed the rate stated in the budget; 2. They do not include costs assigned to another heading of the budget; 3. Their eligibility should conform to items 14, 16 and 17 of the General Conditions. There are some costs which are ineligible under this grant scheme. These are: • taxes, including value added taxes1 ; • customs and import duties, or any other charges; • purchase, rent or leasing of land and existing buildings; • fines, financial penalties and expenses of litigation; • operating costs; • second-hand equipment; • bank charges, costs of guarantees and similar charges; • conversion costs, charges and exchange losses associated with any of the component specific euro accounts, as well as other purely financial expenses; • contribution in kind; • any leasing costs; 1 VAT might be considered as eligible expense if following conditions are met: a) the value added taxes are not recoverable by any means; b) it is established that they are borne by the final beneficiary, and c) they are clearly identified in the project proposal
  • 17. Implementation Manual for Beneficiaries Strengthening Media Freedom, EuropeAid/134421/L/ACT/RS 17 • depreciation costs; • debts and debt service charges (interest); • provisions for losses or potential future liabilities; • costs declared by the Beneficiary(ies) and financed by another action or work programme receiving a Union (including through EDF) grant; • credits to third parties. • costs of preparatory studies or other preparatory activities. Example: Budget EUR % Reported expenses at the end of implementation Total Cost 118,000 EUR 90,000.00 EU grant amount 100,000 EUR 84.7% 76,271.19 Co-finansing 18,000 EUR 15.3% 13,728.81 Pre-financing 80,000.00 Reported expenses 76,271.19 Recovery order 3,728.81 Example: A- Total eligible cost: €118,000.00 B- EU grant (84.7%): €100,000.00 C- Pre-financing: € 80,000,00 D – Reported expenses € 90,000,00 F- Reported expenses D*84,7% - € 76,271.19 Recovery order (C-F): €3,728.81 2.6.3. Exchange Rates The EU Delegation shall make payments to the Coordinator to the bank account referred to in the financial identification form in Annex V. The EU Delegation shall make payments in euro. Reports shall be submitted in the currency set out in the Special Conditions, and may be drawn from financial statements denominated in other currencies, on the basis of the Beneficiary(ies)'s applicable legislation and applicable accounting standards. In such case and for the purpose of reporting, conversion into EUR shall be made using the National Bank of Serbia's middle exchange rate at the day when the EU Delegation 's contribution was recorded in the Beneficiary(ies)'s accounts. Costs incurred in other currencies than the one used in the Beneficiary(ies)'s accounts shall be converted using the monthly Inforeuro on the date of payment. These rates referred to on the InforEuro rates can be found on the following web address: http://ec.europa.eu/budget/contracts_grants/info_contracts/inforeuro/inforeuro_en.cfm
  • 18. Implementation Manual for Beneficiaries Strengthening Media Freedom, EuropeAid/134421/L/ACT/RS 18
  • 19. Implementation Manual for Beneficiaries Strengthening Media Freedom, EuropeAid/134421/L/ACT/RS 19 Value Added Tax (VAT) represents a non-eligible cost that cannot be covered from the grant. VAT exemption can be obtained only for goods / services financed from the grant (not from own resources). VAT exemption can be obtained only for services that have not started and / or goods that are not delivered. Pro-forma invoices and invoices are issued in RSD Payments like telephone bills and utilities cannot be VAT exempted. 2.6.4. Value Added Tax (VAT) In accordance with the Framework Agreement for Financial Cooperation between the EU and the Republic of Serbia, and Financing Agreement for the National IPA 2012 programme between the EU and the Republic of Serbia, as of 20 December 2012, all projects funded by the EU are VAT exempted (Article 24.16в) of the VAT Act of the Republic of Serbia. Please note that only those items listed in the approved budgets may be VAT exempted. Goods and services that are not included in the approved budget will not be eligible for a VAT exemption. For each payment / VAT exemption request, regardless whether you are buying goods or services, you will need to follow this procedure: (1) Obtain a copy of pro-forma invoice (pred-racun) from a supplier listing the procured goods or services, including amount without VAT, the VAT and the full amount including the VAT. (2) Fill-in the VAT exemption form (Obrazac PPO-PDV), with the unique PIB number, stamp and signature (3) Send three signed originals of the VAT exemption form and pro-forma invoice to the Tax Department. (4) You should deliver 1 original to the supplier and keep the other in your financial files. (5) The supplier will provide you with the invoice (racun) where the price without VAT will be shown, with a remark stating that these goods are free of VAT according to the number (Broj overe) of the Obrazac PPO-PDV obtained by the Tax Department. Please see attached a sample of PPO form on CD. When going to the Tax Administration for the first time, bring a copy of the Grant Contract (Special Conditions), a specimen of signature of authorized person (OP obrazac) and a Note specifying the names of persons authorized to sign the PPO forms for the project in question.
  • 20. Implementation Manual for Beneficiaries Strengthening Media Freedom, EuropeAid/134421/L/ACT/RS 20 2.7. Project Documentation and Accountancy You, Co-applicant and affiliates (if applicable), must retain original supporting documents for all expenditures incurred and must keep accurate and regular records and accounts on the project implementation, using a dedicated double-entry book-keeping system (see Article 16.1 of the General Conditions of your contract). To be considered eligible for EU financing, expenses must have actually been incurred during the implementation of the project and be identifiable and verifiable – this means they must be recorded in the accounts and backed by originals of supporting evidence – see Articles 16.7, 16.8 i 16.9. of the General Conditions. The accounting system must identify: the sources of income for the project (EU contribution and other contributions), all expenses incurred during the contract period. Besides standard local book-keeping system, for final project reports all expenditures must be presented in the form of templates provided in the Annex VI of the Contract. In addition to Annex VI, a more detailed list of all expenditures indicating period, title, amount, relevant heading, has to be annexed to the report (General Conditions, Article 2.1.). In line with the donor requirements, please find below two sample templates to be used for expenditures tracking. You will have to attach these tables to the final project report. A. Template 1: Income and Expenditure Sheet This table should include a list of all incomes and expenditures made during the life-time of the project. Each new line starts with the date (taken from bank statement), than information on the budget heading and line; short description of expenditure (for example, round trip Belgrade – Novi Sad), currency (RSD for all payments made in the country or EUR in case of costs for international travels to EU countries). In the income column you should present EU contribution and own contribution. The expenditure column should include all expenditures on the project, including EU and own contribution. Based on the overall income and expenditure sheet you will also prepare individual sheets per budget line (1.1.1, 1.1.2, etc.). It is recommended to update both templates A and B regularly on a monthly basis, and use the financial report format also as a budget control sheet. By inserting the financial data from templates A and B into the financial report format, you will have a monthly overview on how much funds you’ve spent so far. This should provide you with sufficient information on the remaining funds and, in case that portion of funds remains unspent, allow you to prepare a realistic budget reallocation request.
  • 21. 21 Template A: BALANCE (INCOME AND EXPENDITURE) SHEET DATE BUDGET HEADING BUDGET ITEM/ Description INCOME EUR) EXPENDITUR ES (RSD) Exchange rate EUR/RSD EXPENDITURE S (EUR) EXPENDITU RES (Other currency) TOTAL EUR BALANCE REMAININGGRANT LINE
  • 22. Implementation Manual for Beneficiaries Strengthening Media Freedom, EuropeAid/134421/L/ACT/RS 22 Template 2: Balance per budget line Budget Heading 1. Budget line XXXX. DATE BUDGET ITEM Description EXPENDITURE S (RSD) Exchange rate EUR/RSD EXPENDITURE S (EUR) EXPENDITURES (Other currency) TOTAL EUR BALANCE REMAINING (per budget item)
  • 23. Implementation Manual for Beneficiaries Strengthening Media Freedom, EuropeAid/134421/L/ACT/RS 22 2.7.1. Importance of Record Keeping The record keeping procedure is important for several reasons: Helps you keep track of the types of eligible expenses incurred by your project and their rate of occurrence. In addition, you will know how much money remains unspent within the budget categories. Serves as confirmation that the costs have occurred during the Contract implementation period. The records are the basis for the financial section of the project report you have to complete; Expenditure incurred during the project is only eligible for EU financing if there are supporting documents that provide evidence of the expenses, The record of expenditure for the project will be scrutinised during expenditure verification of the project. A lack of supporting evidence could result in reducing the total eligible cost of the project, and therefore reduce the EU co-financing. Remember: The EC and the Court of Auditors have the right to perform record-based and on-the-spot inspections to verify expenditure and the use made of the EU grant (as provided for in Article 16.3. of the General Conditions). Checks may be made at any time during the project’s implementation, or up to seven years after the final payment. All payments have to be supported by accounting documents or documents of an equivalent probative value. You should instruct co-applicant(s) to keep all relevant documents, as they are subject to the same conditions as you. Recommended: Apart from originals kept in your finance department, you should keep copies of all expenditures in a separate project file. This will make report preparation easier. The table below summarizes the main supporting documents that the Coordinator should retain and present for expenditure verification. Expenditure Documents All expenditure 1. Proof of purchase such as invoices and receipts. 2. Proof of payment such as bank statements, debit notices, proof of settlement by the sub-contractor. 3. Proof of delivery of services such as approved reports, proof of attending seminars, conferences and training courses (including relevant documentation and material obtained, list of attendees, certificates), etc. 4. The Coordinator's Accounting records (computerised or manual) such as general ledger, sub ledgers and payroll accounts, fixed assets registers and other relevant accounting information. Additional – specific to particular budget headings Human Resources Staff and payroll records, contracts. Travel Transport tickets (including boarding passes in case of travel by air)
  • 24. Implementation Manual for Beneficiaries Strengthening Media Freedom, EuropeAid/134421/L/ACT/RS 23 Rented transport: Invoice from supplier and summary list of distance covered Car: For fuel expenses, a summary list of the distance covered, the average fuel consumption of the vehicles used, fuel costs. Subcontracted supplies, services or works Proof of procurement procedures such as tendering documents, bids from tenderers and evaluation reports Proof of commitments such as contracts and order forms Proof of receipt of goods such as delivery slips from suppliers Certificate of origin made out by the competent authorities of the country of origin of the supplies (Chamber of Commerce confirmation or customs declaration). 2.7.2. Technical documentation Project technical documentation should be sufficiently detailed to prove implementation of activities, delivery of services and outputs. Examples of project documents for some of the project activities. Surveys /studies − Reports Publications − Copies of publications Seminars, conferences, working meetings − Programme − List of presentations / conference reports − Hand-outs − List of participants − List of speakers − Minutes (if applicable) − Press clippings − Feed-back questionnaires (if applicable) Training − A detailed description of the training – training modules, training hours per subject, methods, etc. − Training schedule − List of participants /Attendance sheets − List of trainers / lecturers − Feed-back questionnaires − Training evaluation report Experts − Timesheets − Copies of the outputs − Activities reports Production
  • 25. Implementation Manual for Beneficiaries Strengthening Media Freedom, EuropeAid/134421/L/ACT/RS 24 The final project report must be forwarded to the EU Delegation within 3 months of project completion. Remember that you can only receive the final payment (balance) for your project once your final report has been approved and expenditure verification conducted. − Copies of articles, supplements, DVD with TV programmes, documentaries. − Reports on share, viewership, ratings, etc. − Broadcast schedule 2.8. Reporting requirements All Coordinators awarded a grant under the Strengthening Media Freedom Grants Scheme, will have to submit reports: • Final narrative and financial report no later than three months after the implementation period, and • Interim narrative and final report (for project implementation period of more than 12 months and grant of more than EUR 100,000. Persons responsible for the overall project implementation, such as project managers will have the main responsibility for the project reporting. From the very beginning of the project until its end, project managers are obliged to keep all data about the project for two reasons: a) They have to know what the status of the project is at all times and, b) They have to be prepared for reporting, monitoring visits and the expenditure verification that will be carried out at the end of the project. Recommended You should keep internal monthly activity updates on realisation of project activities. In this way, all important events / dates will be recorded and you will have no problems preparing final report. The same applies on internal expenditures records: if updated on a monthly basis, you will have no problem utilising available funds in the best possible manner, including budget reallocations. Also, preparation of financial reports will be much easier. In addition, monthly overviews will serve as good preparation for monitoring missions, conducted by "Strengthening media freedom" project team's monitors. 2.8.1. Final report The project final report should primarily deliver all necessary information concerning the implementation of activities, the utilisation of the inputs and the results accomplished throughout the project lifetime. In addition, the report should elaborate experiences that have been made in the course of the project and “lessons learnt”, results achieved, project effects and impact on the target groups. IMPORTANT NOTE! Final narrative report should emphasise results achieved during the project implementation. It should provide answers to the following questions: (i) did the program accomplish its objectives? (ii) did the program operate as originally designed? (iii) did the program activities produce the desired outcomes? If not, why? What is being done to address any problem areas? (iv) how do findings / results affect future planning or new strategies? v) the extent to which the project has impact the
  • 26. Implementation Manual for Beneficiaries Strengthening Media Freedom, EuropeAid/134421/L/ACT/RS 25 target groups? vi) the scope of achieved objectives and results measured through verifiable indicators. The final narrative report includes the following sections: I Description - including general information on the project, such as title, contract number, duration, person in charge for realisation, etc. II Assessment of Implementation of Action Activities, including: 2.1. Executive summary of the implementation of activities for the whole duration of the project. You should comment on level of fulfilment of the overall and specific objectives indicated in the project proposal. You should quantify wherever possible and refer to indicators and sources of verification from the LogFrame. Triangle all possible sources to illustrate the achieved results and impact the project has made. 2.2. Activities and results – emphasis should be on results achieved. You should list all activities realised during reporting period. Activity description should include title of the action, period (date), actors / target groups involved, conclusions / follow –up (if applicable). Remember to quantify results whenever possible and to refer to the project LogFrame. 2.3. Sustainability and follow-up activities. Indicate what has been done on achieving sustainability and how do you plan to finance activities / part of activities after this project. 2.4. Cross-cutting issues. Describe in more details if the project had impact on any of these issues: not only targeting vulnerable groups, but also contributing to equal access to information of these groups, promoting their rights, etc. 2.5. Indicate how you have monitored/evaluate project realisation internally. In case you have conducted external evaluation, please attach the evaluation report. Include information on training and other activities contributing to building of capacities, new experiences gained, polls / surveys results, etc. 2.6. Lessons learned. 2.7. List all materials (and number of copies) produced during the Action. Don’t forget to include information on dissemination and broadcast schedule. 2.8. List all procurements above €60.000. III Beneficiaries/affiliated entities and other Cooperation Partners 3.1. Assess the relationship between the Beneficiaries/affiliated entities. 3.2. Indicate if any future cooperation between those actors will continue. 3.3. Assess the relationship between your organisation and state authorities. 3.4. Assess the relationship between your organisation and associates, subcontractors, beneficiaries, target groups. 3.5. Indicate any links and synergies you have developed with other actions. 3.6. If your organisation has received previous EU grants in view of strengthening the same target group, explain how far has this Action been able to build upon/complement the previous one(s)? 3.7. Also include information on cooperation with the Contracting Authority. IV Visibility Please not that you should provide answer on EU contribution visibility (not only project visibility) and indicate how the final beneficiaries and/or general public were informed. V Indicate location of records, accounting and supporting documents. If the project's duration is over 12 months, the Coordinator must submit an interim narrative and financial report as well. The narrative report should present all necessary information concerning the implementation of activities in the first year, and should give information on the project
  • 27. Implementation Manual for Beneficiaries Strengthening Media Freedom, EuropeAid/134421/L/ACT/RS 26 progress, activities conducted, success of the project, results achieved, possible problems, and should also quantify the level of fulfilment of the objectives and results against the indicators. The final financial report contains accounting of all expenditures over the lifetime of the project, including EU and own contribution. Costs not accounted for or not reported in due time cannot be reimbursed. Please note that costs / signing of contractual obligations are eligible only up to the finalisation date of the operation. After the contract expiry date no costs are eligible. The final financial report demonstrates the extent to which project expenditures have adhered to the original project budget. You should include all expenditures made during the project implementation in the final report. You should complete the balance sheet first, finalise individual sheets and then fill in Annex VI. Following information should be presented in the table: (a) In first 4 columns, B-E you should present the approved budget (b) Columns F-G - include reallocations / contingencies (if notification was submitted to the EU Delegation) (c) Column H – J total costs in RSD for the reporting period (f) Column K – total costs in EUR (g) You may add columns for other expenditures incurred in other currencies (h) Column L – M – total expenditures in EUR (for costs made in EUR and RSD), as well as Column O (i) Column P – R difference in EUR between planned and realised costs (k) Column Q – difference in % (l) Column R – explanation for larger variations List of documents which have to be included with the final project report: Cover letter Narrative report Financial report (a) Annex VI, final report template (b) Income and expenditure sheet and individual sheets per budget line Request for payment (model Annex V) Equipment transfer form – proof of the transfer of ownership (if applicable) Statement confirming that no other claims will be requested 3. SECONDARY PROCUREMENT This section covers general information on procurement according to EU procedures given in Annex IV to the Contract. Detailed information on these procedures and template documents to be used are given in for tendering procedures please see relevant procurement and tender dossiers at http://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/prag/annexes.do?group=B for Services, and http://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/prag/annexes.do?group=C for Supplies. 3.1 Procurement Plan and Types of Procurement Each Grant Beneficiary is to submit to the Project team the procurement plan as in the following table for all tenders indicating the dates for launching, opening and evaluation of the tenders etc.
  • 28. Implementation Manual for Beneficiaries Strengthening Media Freedom, EuropeAid/134421/L/ACT/RS 27 Table for procurement plan Contract Number: Name of the tender 1 Dates for Tender 1 Name of the tender 2 Dates for Tender 2 Name of the tender 3 Dates for Tender 3 Preparation of tender dossier Expected date for sending the tender dossier to the Project team for checking Submission deadline Evaluation Expected date for sending the Evaluation Report to the Project team for checking Contract signature/Pro- invoicing Expected delivery date IMPORTANT NOTE! The first step in any procurement, before launching the process, is to determine what is to be purchased, whether supplies, services or works and to estimate the approximate value of the procurement (it should be in line with your approved budget). In accordance with this information, the Coordinator will then decide what type of the contract and what procedure should be applied. In all cases the contract must be awarded to the contractor whose tender offers the best quality/price ratio (economically most advantageous tender). You must arrive at your decision in a transparent way, allow fair competition between contractors and avoid any conflicts of interest in making your choice. Projects approved under the "Strengthening Media Freedom" grant scheme include two types of procurements: Service contracts – cover engagement of service providers, companies and/or individuals (experts). Service contracts are used for preparation of studies, evaluation reports, trainings, surveys (polls), etc. Supply contracts - cover the purchase or rental of supplies / equipment. The delivery of products may in addition include installation and maintenance. You can always consult "Strengthening Media Freedom" project team during the procurement process. In addition, tender dossiers and evaluation reports for all procurements over €20,000 should be approved by "Strengthening Media Freedom" project team.
  • 29. Implementation Manual for Beneficiaries Strengthening Media Freedom, EuropeAid/134421/L/ACT/RS 28 When conducting procurement procedure, basic principles and rules to be respected are: Transparency Non-discremination Equal treatment Fair competition Eligibility criteria: nationality and origin Grounds for exclusion Types of procurement and procedures: Note: Payments for amounts less than or equal to EUR 2500 may consist simply in payment against invoices without prior acceptance of a tender, however a written track record of this procedure has to be documented. Other essentials: Non-retroactivity SERVICES ≥ 300,000 EUR International restricted tender procedure 300.000>&>20.000 EUR - Framework contracts or - Competitive negotiated procedure ≤ 20.000 EUR Single tender For service and supply contracts, a payment may be made against invoice without prior acceptance of a tender if the expenditure is ≤ 2 500€ SUPPLIES >=300.000 EUR International restricted tender procedure 300.000>&> 100.000 EUR Local open tender procedure or - Frame work contract 100.000>&>20.000 EUR Competitive negotiated procedure or - Frame work contract WORKS >= 5.000.000 EUR International open tender procedure or - International restricted tender procedure 5mil>&>= 300.000 EUR Local open tender procedure 300.000>&>60.000 EUR Competitive negotiated procedure
  • 30. Implementation Manual for Beneficiaries Strengthening Media Freedom, EuropeAid/134421/L/ACT/RS 29 Contracts take effect from the date of signature of the last signatory. Use of standard documents Standard contracts and document formats or adapted versions must be used. Record keeping Unsuccessful tenders have to be kept for five years from the submission deadline of the tender. Contractual and financial documents have to be kept for a minimum of seven years from payment of the balance and up to the prescription date of any dispute about the law governing the contract. Grounds for exclusion Visibility All subcontracted vendors must ensure the visibility of EU financing. 3.2. Procurement procedures Common to all secondary procurement procedures is that they need to include following steps: Procurement Planning – deciding which procedure to use and when to launch procedure. Launching and realisation of the procurements planned is already indicated in the activity plan. However, it is recommended to start the procedure earlier in the project realisation, especially when applying the negotiated procedure (in case you need to repeat the procedure due to an insufficient number of offers, rule of origin, etc.) Launching of the procurement procedure – process of contacting selected suppliers and sending of tender dossier with technical specifications / terms of reference. Selection of the tenderers – should be completed by an evaluation committee, consisting of 3 voting members. Contract preparation – it is recommended to use standard EU contract templates or adapted versions. Contract implementation – for all supply contracts, the Certificate of Provisional Acceptance should be issued to supplier. In line with the signed Grant Contracts and size of the approved procurements, under the Strengthening Media Freedom grant scheme you will be mainly applying the following two procedures: 3.2.1. Single Tender You can award the contract just on the basis of one offer for all service and supply contracts of a value of €20,000 and less. There are no documented rules for “Single Tender”, however we strongly advise you to obtain three written quotations to show that you have got a good deal reflecting the current market prices and meeting required technical specification for the product, service or work that you wish to procure. This will demonstrate that the process has been fair and transparent. 3.2.2. Negotiated Procedure without Publication You need to consult at least 3 contractors of your choice before selecting the one that offers the best quality/price ratio. The Beneficiary prepares a list of potential contractors. The candidates are invited by sending them a letter of invitation to tender accompanied by a tender dossier.
  • 31. Implementation Manual for Beneficiaries Strengthening Media Freedom, EuropeAid/134421/L/ACT/RS 30 The whole procedure works as follows: Phase 1: You prepare the Invitation to Tender and Tender Dossier which should include: Terms of Reference (service contract) or Technical Specifications (supply contract) Maximum budget Form of offer submission (Tender form) Selection criteria that will be used for evaluation (Administrative compliance grid, Evaluation grid) Note: considering that there is no standardized locally used template including all relevant information, you should use standard EU templates for negotiated procedures, modified to your needs if necessary (available on CD) Phase 2: "Strengthening Media Freedom" project team approves tender dossier Invitation letters with tender dossier are sent to selected contractors Deadline for offer submission is 30 days (for procurement of 20,000 EUR or less that period can be shorter) Phase 3: You evaluate received offers by forming an Evaluation Committee comprised of an odd number of voting members (at least 3). Evaluation Committee consist of a non-voting Chairperson, a non-voting Secretary and minimum 3 voting members. The voting members must possess the technical and administrative capacities necessary to give an informed opinion of the tenders. The Committee ranks the proposals using the criteria decided on in advance and identifies which offers the best quality/price ratio. You produce an Evaluation Report detailing this process (standard templates available on CD) Important: If following consultations of tenderers, only one tender is administratively and technically valid, the contract may be awarded providing that the award criteria are met. Phase 4: Evaluation report with copies of all received offers is submitted to the "Strengthening Media Freedom" project team for approval .
  • 32. Implementation Manual for Beneficiaries Strengthening Media Freedom, EuropeAid/134421/L/ACT/RS 31 Phase 5: Once approval is received, you should notify the successful contractor that their tender has been accepted. Contract signing and implementation. The most important part of the dossier you send out is the Terms of Reference / Technical Specifications which give instructions to contractors about what is required from them. This document becomes an annex to the eventual contract and a guide for the contractor in implementing the agreed work. Therefore it needs to be thorough. We advise that when you prepare it you consult everyone involved in the project, and/or colleagues working in specialized departments, such as IT department. IMPORTANT NOTE! Procurement procedures under negotiated procedure might last up to 2 months. You should keep this in mind when planning realisation of other project activities. 3.2.3. Rule of origin All suppliers must state the origin of supplies. Contractors must present a certificate of origin to the Beneficiary no later than when the first invoice is presented, for equipment and vehicles of a unit cost on purchase of more than €5.000. The certificate of origin must be made out by the competent authorities of the country of origin of the supplies (Chamber of Commerce confirmation or customs declaration). EC regulation (C) 2007/2034 articles II.2.2: Goods originating in a country shall be those wholly obtained or produced in that country. Goods whose production involved more than one country shall be deemed to originate in the country where they underwent their last, substantial, economically justified processing or working in an undertaking equipped for that purpose and resulting in the manufacture of a new product or representing an important stage of manufacture. 3.2.4. Nationality Rule Participation in tender procedures administered by the Beneficiary(ies) is open on equal terms to all natural and legal persons of the: • Member States of the European Union (28). • Member State of the European Economic Area (Norway, Island, Lichtenstein) . • An official candidate country or potential candidate that is a beneficiary of the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (Council Regulation (EC) N° 1085/2006 – OJ L 210/82 of 31.7.2006). • A country that is a direct beneficiary of European Neighbourhood and Partnership instrument (Regulation (EC) N° 1638/2006 of the EP and of the Council of 24 October 2006 - OJ L 310/1 of 9.11.2006).
  • 33. Implementation Manual for Beneficiaries Strengthening Media Freedom, EuropeAid/134421/L/ACT/RS 32 Tenderers must state, in the tender, the country of which they are nationals by presenting the usual proof of nationality under their national legislation. This rule does not apply to the experts proposed by service providers taking part in tender procedures or service contracts financed by the grant. Remember: The general principles and rules on nationality and origin apply in all procurement procedures, regardless whether fully financed from the grant or co-financed. 4. MONITORING AND SUPPORT ACTIVITIES 4.1 Monitoring Framework Main aim of monitoring is to verify that grants are used for their stated purpose in the contract. Monitoring is also to ensure that the projects are implemented in compliance with EU procedures, to identify the problems arising during the project implementation and to provide regular support to beneficiaries on solutions. Implementation of your projects will be closely monitored in terms of procedures, progress, performance and problems and needs of the beneficiaries. Why is it important to monitor the project realisation? Monitoring represents an important part of project management (especially internal monitoring) Provides information on the progress towards achieving the project’s objectives Early warning of potential problems. Corrective measures are also based on the monitoring reports Monitoring reports are useful assistance tool when making important decisions All stakeholders are regularly informed on the project progress (internal and external reports) Budget control Generally speaking, there are two types of monitoring: Internal monitoring External monitoring 4.1.1. Internal Monitoring Internal monitoring is one of the key factors of good project management and should be planned and integrated throughout the project realisation. Project managers are responsible to monitor realisation of the project overall and specific results – they should regularly check activity plan to make sure that the project implementation is going as planned and that there are no major discrepancies. Some of the issues the project manager should regularly monitor include: (i) which activities are completed; (ii) which indicators of success are already achieved; (iii) are the basic assumptions changed and why; (iv) has any of the changes affected plan of realisation; (v) which activities are not completed and why; and (vi) which problems remained unsolved. Project managers should conduct internal monitoring on a regular basis and collect information on all conducted activities. Also remember to always return to the Logframe, including indicators and verifiable sources listed.
  • 34. Implementation Manual for Beneficiaries Strengthening Media Freedom, EuropeAid/134421/L/ACT/RS 33 Please find below a template table for monitoring of activities implementation: Activity Person In-charged Start date End date Comments Planned Realised Planned Realised In addition to regular monitoring of project activities and results, project managers should also regularly monitor expenditures made. 4.1.2. External Monitoring "Strengthening Media Freedom" project team will be responsible for external monitoring of your projects. They will review final reports and organize regular field visits to your projects. The external monitoring system is built on the output and result/impact indicators and concerns the following aspects of implementation: Management and coordination: is the management and coordination efficient? Is the operation being implemented in line with the time plan? Is the budget plan being implemented and are allocations per budget lines being observed? Progress towards the achievements of the operation’s goals: Are the outputs being achieved? Are the result/impacts being attained? Dissemination: Are the achievements and results of the operation being maximised through adequate dissemination? Are publicity requirements being fulfilled? You should be prepared for external monitoring / field visits and ready to provide all required information / documents, serving as a basis for discussion. Prior to the second monitoring visit, grantees should prepare an overview of project activities and expenditures, in the form of pre- monitoring report. 5. VISIBILITY PROCEDURES Coordinator, Co-applicant(s) and affiliates must take necessary measures to ensure the visibility of the EU financing or contribution to the financing. Such measures must be in accordance with the applicable rules on the visibility of external actions are set out in the Communication and Visibility Manual for EU External Actions, available from the following Internet address: http://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/work/visibility/index_en.htm The regulations related to EU visibility rules will be followed very carefully. The EU support in the project will be realized through proper implementation tools (all published documents and audio-visual outputs). In particular, the beneficiary shall mention the project and the European Union’s financial contribution in all outputs prepared, information given to the final recipients of the project, in its reports, at conferences, presentations, etc. It shall display the EU logo wherever appropriate. In addition, grantees should indicate in all produced outputs that the project has been supported by the European Union. An EU Funded Project
  • 35. Implementation Manual for Beneficiaries Strengthening Media Freedom, EuropeAid/134421/L/ACT/RS 34 The following text should be used: This project is financed by the EU through the "Strengthening Media Freedom" project, managed by the EU Delegation to Serbia and implemented by EPTISA Servicios de Ingenieria. Any publication or a programme produced, in whatever form and by whatever medium, including the internet, must include the following statement (legal disclaimer): “This …..(document/documentary/programme/publication, etc.) has been produced with the financial assistance of the European Union. The contents of this document are the sole responsibility of <beneficiary’s name > and can under no circumstances be regarded as reflecting the position of the European Union.” Web sites: Mandatory visibility requirements are the EU logo and a “legal disclaimer”. Stickers and labels for fixed assets will be used to identify fixed assets and/or reimbursable (cars, furniture, machinery, equipment, stationery, etc) acquired within a project funded by the European Union. The stickers will be placed in sight, on the front of the objects. The size of the stickers will depend on the size of the place available. The graphics will contain the European Union logo. APPROVAL PROCESS: Requests for approval should be sent at least 7 days in advance to Mr Aleksandar Đorđević, Aleksandar.DJORDJEVIC@eeas.europa.eu and Cc Sibina Golubovic sgolubovic@eptisa.com Bellow: Examples of visual designs - Letterhead, roll-up banner and street billboard.
  • 36. Implementation Manual for Beneficiaries Strengthening Media Freedom, EuropeAid/134421/L/ACT/RS 35 6. EXPENDITURE VERIFICATION REPORT The expenditure verification(s) referred to in Article 15.7 of Annex II will be carried out by the EU Delegation or any external body authorised by the EU Delegation, whose contact will be communicated at later stage, as stipulated in Article 5.2. of the Special Conditions. 7. TERMINATION OF THE GRANT CONTRACT In accordance with the General Conditions, article 12, a Party (Coordinator/EU Delegation) that believes that the Contract can no longer be executed effectively or appropriately, should consult the other Party (beneficiary/EU Delegation). Failing agreement on a solution, either Party may terminate the Contract by serving two months’ written notice, without being required to pay compensation. The EU Delegation may terminate the Contract, without giving notice and without paying compensation of any kind, where the beneficiary: fails, without justification, to fulfil any of the obligations incumbent on him and, after being given notice by letter to comply with those obligations, still fails to do so or to furnish a satisfactory explanation within 30 days of sending of the letter; is bankrupt or being wound up, is having its affairs administered by the courts, has entered into an arrangement with creditors, has suspended business activities, is the subject of proceedings concerning those matters or is in any analogous situation arising from a similar procedure provided for in national legislation or regulations; has been convicted of an offence concerning professional conduct by a judgement which has the force of res judicata or is guilty of grave professional misconduct proven by any justified means; engages in any act of fraud or corruption or is involved in a criminal organisation or any other illegal activity detrimental to the European Union’s financial interests: this also applies to the partners, contractors and agents of the municipality; changes legal personality, unless an addendum recording that fact is drawn up; does not comply with Articles 4, 10 and 16 of the General Conditions makes false or incomplete statements to obtain the grant provided for in the Contract or provides reports that do not reflect reality.
  • 37. Implementation Manual for Beneficiaries Strengthening Media Freedom, EuropeAid/134421/L/ACT/RS 36 In the event of termination the beneficiary shall be entitled to payment of the grant only for the part of the project carried out, excluding costs connected with current commitments that would be implemented after termination. For this purpose the beneficiary shall introduce a payment request and a final report in accordance with Article 2 of the General Conditions. However, in the event of wrongful termination of the Contract by the beneficiary under first and in cases specified in second paragraph d), e) and g) the EU Delegation may request full or partial repayment of sums already paid from the grant, in proportion to the gravity of the failings in question and after allowing the beneficiary to submit his observations. Prior to, or instead of, terminating the Contract as provided for in this paragraph, the EU Delegation may suspend payments as a precautionary measure without prior notice. The Contract shall be terminated automatically if it has not given rise to any payment within three years of its signature. 8. WEBSITES Useful information on procurement can be found on the following websites: • Website of EU Delegation to Serbia: http://www.delscg.ec.europa.eu • An English version of the “Practical Guide to contract procedures for EU external actions” (EU PRAG 2013) • http://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/prag/document.do • Website for InfoEuro rates: http://ec.europa.eu/budget/contracts_grants/info_contracts/inforeuro/inforeuro_en.cfm • Website for Communication and Visibility Manual for EU External Actions http://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/work/visibility/index_en.htm, and images of European flag for reproduction http://europa.eu/about-eu/basic- information/symbols/flag/index_en.htm • Website for Per Diems rate http://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/work/procedures/implementation/per_diems/index_en.ht m • Website for tendering procedures please see relevant procurement and tender dossiers at http://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/prag/annexes.do?group=B for Services, and http://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/prag/annexes.do?group=C for Supplies. • Website for Tax administration http://www.poreskauprava.gov.rs/
  • 38. Implementation Manual for Beneficiaries Strengthening Media Freedom, EuropeAid/134421/L/ACT/RS 37 Important deadlines: Note: In the event of any change in the rules or procedures applicable to your grant management, you will be informed in due time. What When How Procurement plan Revised Action plan Revised Logframe indicators Until 28 February 2014 E-mail Interim report and Request for further pre-financing At the end of 12 month period or earlier Hard copy + E-mail Final narrative and Final financial report Within 3 months of completion of the project Hard copy + E-mail Notification letter Three weeks prior to the changes taking effect Hard copy + E-mail Addendum request Minimum 30 days before the implementation of the change Hard copy + E-mail

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