Registration and distribution of training material
Introduction – Setting the objectives and expected outcomes
Irregularities in EU-funded projects: Why are checks required? We start from the end of the story. The course kicks off with an overview of the most common errors, irregularities and fraud cases as reported by the European Commission, the European Court of Auditors and the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF). Understanding which the errors helps in designing better controls.
Safeguarding and preventing the EU Budget from irregularities This session discusses the mechanisms to safeguard the EU Budget from irregularity, describing the different layers of assurance and the tools used to deter the occurrence of irregularity and fraud.
Ensuring a timely detection of errors (at first-level of control): EC Guidance note on management verifications Prevention mechanisms are just one side of the coin. Detection methods are equally essential in safeguarding public funding. This session discusses the features that ensure the timely detection of error, irregularity, fraud and corruption in EU-funded programmes, with particular emphasis on the fraud indicators. We also review of the EC Guidance note on management verifications.
OTS checks #1: Verifying Eligibility of projects & expenditure The first specific topic relating to management verifications (OTS stands for both administrative and on-the-spot verifications) is eligibility of expenditure. We discuss its verification at all levels of the programme, particularly the question whether national eligibility rules are more demanding than the minimum rules set by the EC.
OTS checks #2: Verifying Durability & Net Revenue Here we discuss the verification of revenue-generating projects, the funding gap and durability of the project after completion.
OTS checks #3: Verifying Horizontal Priorities & Publicity This is an essential element to ensure absorption of funds is maximised. One error in a horizontal priority of a programme and a systemic correction might need to be applied on all projects. First-level control by IBs, MAs and CAs is crucial.
Concluding remarks and wrap-up of Day 1
OTS checks #4.1: Verifying Public Procurement || Workshop - Planning phases Day two is dedicated to public procurement. We kick off with a workshop on the verification of the preparatory phases of the public procurement process – studies justifying procurement, selection of procurement procedure, budgeting, the tender document, exclusion, selection and award criteria, specifications and more.
OTS checks #4.2: Verifying Public Procurement || Workshop - Contract Implementation The second workshop addresses the verification of the performance of contracts during their implementation, covering the most controversial matters such as delays, payment schedules, contract modifications and penalties.
OTS checks #4.3: Verifying Public Procurement || Workshop - How to detect fraud Here we analyse a selection of cases on the detection of suspected fraud and corruption in public procurement.
OTS checks #4.4: Determining financial corrections to public procurement errors The main guidance tool for the application of financial corrections provides the basis for our discussions in the workshops which follow. This session analyses the principles behind it.
Workshop: Applying financial corrections || Tender specifications The afternoon workshops deal with financial corrections. First we analyse and discuss different practical cases related to errors in the planning stage of any tendering procedure and the recommended financial corrections.
Workshop: Applying financial corrections || Advertising Tenders This workshop addresses errors in the publication and advertising of tenders and the corresponding financial corrections.
Workshop: Applying financial corrections || Evaluations of Tenders The third workshop of the afternoon analyses cases in the evaluation of tenders and the applicable corrections.
Workshop: Applying financial corrections || Contract Implementation Finally, we discuss cases in contract implementation and the applicable financial corrections.
Concluding remarks and wrap-up of Day 2
OTS checks #5: Verifying Financial Instruments & State Aid Financial instruments are a relatively new aspect of verifications. In this session we explore the application of financial instruments in the ESI Funds, and their verifications. We also address the verification of State Aid in EU-funded projects.
OTS checks #6: Verifying indicators (in the context of the performance framework) Beyond their crucial role in the monitoring of economy and efficiency of inputs and outputs, management verifications of 14-20 OPs have an important role in ensuring programme effectiveness in the delivery of results. This session explores how..
Workshop: The Performance Framework: Determining the applicable financial correction ESIF 2014-20 is being delivered within the context of a strict performance framework, where priorities are implemented with well-defined objectives in mind. Through this practical workshop we analyse the framework and its relationship with the Performance Reserve, the programme targets and the corrections mechanism.
OTS checks #7.1: Verifying ESF projects In this session we take a closer look at the aspects typically associated with the verification of ESF projects – small projects, large numbers of participants, timely on the spot checks of ‘perishable’ activities, emphasis on employment, education, social inclusion and public administration, and microdata.
OTS checks #7.2: How shall Simplified Cost Options impact verifications? An intensive workshop exploring all simplified cost options through practical examples to display the different verification procedures to adopt under each.
Administrative checks: Verification and certification of payments (incl Workshop) The final workshop of the day presents the process for the clearance of annual pre-financing and interim payments, and the automatic decommitment.
Concluding remarks and wrap-up of Day 3
CF 198 - Ferry Terminal || Cirkewwa
ERDF 31 - Zewwieqa Waterfront || Mgarr
ERDF 32 - Ggantija Temples
discussing ERDF 24 - Villa Rundle Gardens & CF18.104.22.168 - Mgarr-Victoria link
ERDF 142 - Eco Museum|| Victoria
ERDF 246 - Cittadella Masterplan
ERDF 140 - Ta' Pinu Basilica
LIFE - Coastal Nature Reserve || Dwejra
Preparing for EC, ECA & OLAF Audits – Case Studies || The Maltese experience The final day opens with a discussion on the relationship between national authorities and the EU audit bodies, with close reference to real cases.
Tools available for national authorities to improve verifications: The self-assessment and the ARACHNE This session explores how the self-assessment tool of management and control systems and the ARACHNE can help improve management verifications.
Group discussion and presentation of outcomes
Wrap-up and distribution of certificates