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Financial Management toolkit: carrying out administrative and on-the-spot verifications

July 16-20, 2017, Hilton Malta Hotel

Price: EUR 2,999 (incl VAT)


Register by 25 June 2018 and pay EUR 1,999

Course Description

€639bn worth of ESI Funds have been allocated to OPs in the 2014-20 programming period.  Only 5% has been spent by selected projects so far*.  As the implementation of the 2014-20 Programmes approaches its midway point in 2018, much effort will be dedicated by Member States to ramp up project delivery and absorption of funds.  OPs have taken their necessary course to be approved, a new designation process was followed, new management and control systems set up, new guidelines established, and new simplification and digitisation measures applied.  All this whilst having resources tied up in the closure of the previous programming period.    

Alarming as it may seem, however, this is a relatively familiar scenario.  It’s the cycle of EU funds.

Attentions have now been diverted to achieving the results promised for this 14-20 period.  Indeed, much discussion has been dedicated to the reinforced emphasis on result-orientation and effectiveness this time round.  Performance management is the way to go to overcome the obsession with absorption in favour of more value for money.  This is legitimate, but let’s not forget that financial management – with its focus on inputs and outputs – makes up two-thirds of the coveted ‘VFM’ or sound financial management sought after by the EU Regulations.  So let’s focus also on the means to arrive at the final third of the pie, the results.

Financial Management Toolkit: carrying out administrative and on-the-spot verifications delivers a complete, practical toolkit for the implementation of the EU budget and the performance of management verifications on EU-funded projects.  It is designed for all levels of experience, from beginner to the most seasoned managers and controllers.  It provides an extended update on latest developments in the verification and certification of the ESI funds, delivering insight into the errors which still prevail, the controls which are working and those which are not, the state of public procurement after the Directives and national transpositions, the simplification measures, result-orientation, financial instruments, state aid, revenue-generating projects, horizontal priorities, and the monitoring of indicators, amongst other.  

* as at 31st July 2017, https://cohesiondata.ec.europa.eu/overview 


 

Course Highlights

i. Discussing the common errors reported in the recent reports by the EC, ECA, OLAF and other;

ii. Understanding the role of management verifications in the context of the principles and priorities promoted for the 2014-20 financial period;

iii. Presenting the Guidance Note which guides management verifications through the 2014-20 financial period;

iv. Identifying methods for the verification of eligibility, horizontal priorities, publicity, revenue-generating projects and durability;

v. Exploring the different requirements attached to verifying and certifying indicators and ESF projects;

vi. Reviewing the simplified cost options and their verifications;

vii. Applying the right verification and certification methods for financial instruments;

viii. Analysing the features of management verifications in the context of the new regulations for Public Procurement;

ix. Applying proportionate financial corrections in the various stages of the public procurement process;

x. Understanding the contribution of financial management to the Performance Framework and Reserve;

xi. Understanding the certification of expenditure, the clearance of annual and interim payments and the automatic decommitment rule;

xii. Analysing how work on verifications and certifications feeds into the Management Declaration and Annual Summary;

xiii. Using the self-assessment tool on management and control systems and the ARACHNE tool to improve verifications.

 

 
 
Target Audience
Managing Authorities, First Level of Control Bodies, Intermediate Bodies, Certifying Authorities, Audit Authorities, Central Coordination Authorities, Central or Regional Ministries, Finance Officers, Auditors, Methodology Departments, Irregularities officers, officers carrying verification (administrative or OTS) checks.

 

 

One-day EUfundingGOZO expedition included

We take the theme over to Gozo for a one-day expedition to discuss prevention, detection and reporting in the context of the projects implemented on the island of Gozo throughout the 2004-06 and 2007-13 programming periods. The course theme is coupled with visits to ERDF, CF and LIFE projects scattered across Gozo, starting from the Cirkewwa Ferry Terminal, crossing to the Zewwieqa Waterfront in Mgarr, up to the Ggantija Temples in Xaghra, visiting projects in Victoria, and finishing off in Dwejra to discuss the LIFE project.

This is a great opportunity to feel the difference EU funding has made to the small Island of Gozo over the last 10 years and at the same time understand the underlying technicalities that occurred ‘behind-the-scenes’.

 


Want to know more?

 

 
Our Trainers

Ray Bartolo
Director - Speaker

  • Ten years of practical experience in the management and control of European Funds
  • Involved in the implementation and closure process of the Maltese 2004-06 Structural and Cohesion Funds Programme
  • Contributed significantly towards the setting up of the financial management and control systems of the ERDF, CF and ESF Operational Programmes for the 2007-2013 Programming Period
  • Responsible for the implementation of the ERDF and CF Operational Programmes for health, transport, education, urban regeneration and technical assistance
  • Served as National Expert and Coordinator on the CEF coordination committee for transport, Environment and the Telecommunications sectors
  • Prepared Procurement Manuals for a number of Maltese Government entities
  • Drafted and evaluated different types of procurement procedures, including concession contracts
  • Provided strategic guidance and project management services to various beneficiaries of EU-Funding
  • Leading role in the design and approval process of Major Projects
  • Delivered several training sessions and seminars on financial, programme management and public procurement to participants coming from MA, CA, AA, IBs, Beneficiaries, and other stakeholders from all around Europe
  • Masters graduate in Public Policy from the University of Malta

 

Trevor Fenech
Director – Speaker

  • Former Senior Manager at the Managing Authority for Structural and Cohesion funds
  • Past experience in ERDF, ESF, CF, EAGGF and FIFG programmes
  • Strongly involved in the design, implementation and monitoring of the management and control systems for the 04-06 and 07-13 financial periods, including eligibility rules, financial reporting to Management, the European Commission and the Monitoring Committee, management verifications, audits, financial corrections, and internal procedures
  • Carried out the closure process of the 04-06 Single Programming Document (SPD)
  • Delivered several presentations in the field of financial management of EU funds to the MA, CA, AA, IBs, Beneficiaries and TAIEX Beneficiaries
  • Engaged in major audit missions carried out by the EC, ECA and OLAF
  • Former nations delegate to the ESF Committee (Treaty of the Functioning of the EU, Art. 163).
  • Providing expert advise to the Maltese Government on PPPs and the conduct of the Competitive Dialogue procedure
  • Managing successfully a number of EU-funded projects
  • Masters graduate in Financial Management and Economics from the University of London

  

Justine Schinas
Senior Advisor – Expedition

  • Worked for the Managing Authority for Structural and Cohesion Fund since 2009
  • Experience on all Cohesion Policy funds being the ERDF, CF and ESF
  • Assisted in the closure of the 2004-2006 programme
  • Provided technical guidance to MA officials with regards to the implementation of EU Funded projects.
  • Carried out numerous verification and physical project checks, identified financial corrections and was involved in the setting up of operating procedures within the MA.
  • Highly involved in an audit missions carried out by the European Commission
  • Participated in Monitoring Committees, delivered presentations/training to stakeholders and MA officials, and participated in research work and compilation of data, particularly with regards to absorption issues.
  • Managed the implementation of large projects with budgets of close to fifty million.
  • Worked on the Technical Assistance (TA) Fund and was tasked with the role of TA Manager whereby she oversaw a team of officers working on this fund.
  • Responsible for a number of procurement procedures within the MA where she issued call for quotations and tenders. She also formed part of numerous evaluation committees.
  • Masters in Business Administration from the University of Malta

 

 
Venue & Accommodation

Training Venue
Hilton Hotel – Portomaso St. Julian’s

The training course will take place at the Hilton Hotel - Malta, a 5-star luxurious hotel, in St. Julian's. Accommodation can be provided at the Hilton Hotel itself and other hotels in the vicinity.

Below please find special corporate prices for our participants.

 

Hotel
Price

Westin Hotel
EUR 250**

Hilton Hotel
EUR 200*

Intercontinental Hotel
EUR na*

Hotel Valentina
EUR 130**

Hotel Argento
EUR 140**

Cavalieri Art Hotel
EUR 108**

Golden Tulip Vivaldi
EUR 95**

* room only basis
** bed and breakfast basis

How to benefit from Hotels’ corporate rates

NB. Always keep This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. in copy.


Westin Hotel – send an e-mail to Margaret at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and refer to EuropeanFunds.info in your e-mail.

Hilton Malta – send an e-mail to Stephanie at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and refer to EuropeanFunds.info in your e-mail.

Intercontinental Hotel – send an e-mail to Gordon at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and refer to EuropeanFunds.info in your e-mail.

Valentina Hotel – Log on to www.hotelvalentina.com and enter the EUFUNDS promo code

Hotel Argento – send an e-mail to Fabrizio at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and refer to EuropeanFunds.info in your e-mail.

Cavalieri Art Hotel – send an e-mail at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and refer to EuropeanFunds.info in your e-mail.

Golden Tulip Vivaldi – send an e-mail at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and refer to EuropeanFunds.info in your e-mail. 

 

 
 

Useful Information

St Julians

How to get around

Upon arriving at the Malta International Airport, you can get to St. Julian's by catching a taxi or the public transport system (Bus number X2 which runs from 05550hrs till 2250hrs). Buses are quite frequent to St. Julian's.

If you are staying outside of St. Julian's, reaching the training venue is quite easy. The bus stops just further down the road from the Westin Dragonara Resort, which is only 5 minutes away.

 

Weather?

Weather in Malta

Malta has a typical Mediterranean climate with mild winters and warm to hot summers. THe warm season generally starts in Mid-April and ends in September with an average temperature of 20 degrees. Temperatures are between 20 to 30 degrees in July and August.

 

Food?

Local Cuisine

While the island offers a variety of culinary choices, one must not miss the opportunity to try some local, tasty dishes: the Lampuki Pie (fish pie), rabbit stew, Bragioli (beef olives), Kapunata, (Maltese version of ratatouile), and widow's soup. The Gbejniet (sheep or goat's cheese) and Bigilla, a thick pate of broad beans with garlic are an ideal started for your meal.

Don't leave Malta without trying the traditional 'pastizzi'which are flaky parcels filled with ricotta or mushed peas. Some fouvrite dessert delicacies are kannoli and the Helwa tat-Tork.

You should also try out some of our local wines, our local beer and "Kinnie", our local soft drink.

 

 

 

 

Upcoming Courses in 2018

 

Agenda

Day 1 – Monday 16th July 2018

0830-0900
Registration and distribution of training material
0900-0930
Introduction – Setting the objectives and expected outcomes
0930-1030
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.
1030-1100
Coffee Break
1100-1200
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.
1200-1230
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.
1230-1400
Lunch
1400-1500
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.
1500-1530
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.
1530-1600
Coffee Break
1600-1645
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.
1645-1700
Concluding remarks and wrap-up of Day 1

Day 2 – Tuesday 17th July 2018

0830-0900
Welcome coffee
0900-0945
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.
0945-1030
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.
1030-1100
Coffee break
1100-1145
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.
1145-1230
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.
1230-1400
Lunch
1400-1430
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.
1430-1500
Workshop: Applying financial corrections || Advertising Tenders This workshop addresses errors in the publication and advertising of tenders and the corresponding financial corrections.
1500-1530
Workshop: Applying financial corrections || Evaluations of Tenders The third workshop of the afternoon analyses cases in the evaluation of tenders and the applicable corrections.
1530-1600
Coffee Break
1600-1645
Workshop: Applying financial corrections || Contract Implementation Finally, we discuss cases in contract implementation and the applicable financial corrections.
1645-1700
Concluding remarks and wrap-up of Day 2


Day 3 – Wednesday 18th July 2018

0830-0900
Welcome coffee
0900-1000
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.
1000-1030
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..
1030-1100
Coffee break
1100-1145
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.
1145-1230
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.
1230-1400
Lunch
1400-1530
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.
1530-1600
Coffee Break
1600-1645
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.
1645-1700
Concluding remarks and wrap-up of Day 3


Day 4 – Thursday 19th July 2018

Stop1
CF 198 - Ferry Terminal || Cirkewwa
Stop2
ERDF 31 - Zewwieqa Waterfront || Mgarr
Stop3
ERDF 32 - Ggantija Temples
Stop4
discussing ERDF 24 - Villa Rundle Gardens & CF1.1.0.2 - Mgarr-Victoria link
Stop5
ERDF 142 - Eco Museum|| Victoria
Stop6
ERDF 246 - Cittadella Masterplan
Stop7
ERDF 140 - Ta' Pinu Basilica
Stop8
LIFE - Coastal Nature Reserve || Dwejra


Day 5 – Friday 20th July 2018

0830-0900
Welcome coffee
0900-1030
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.
1030-1100
Coffee break
1100-1145
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.
1145-1230
Group discussion and presentation of outcomes
1230-1400
Lunch
1400-1415
Wrap-up and distribution of certificates
1415-1430
End of course

*FIVE-days* July 16-20 || One-day EUfundingGOZO expedition included!


A five-day series of workshops and intensive sessions addressing the main features of financial management and control of ESI Funds, carefully built on the right blend of theory and practice.

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Practical and comprehensive courses on EU Funds management and control based on first-hand experience, research and insight. They will expose the important features of the course theme, through practical, real-world examples, in a set-up that facilitates the free exchange of ideas.   {marcoparallaxbground height="300" image="IPH_0148.jpg"}             February 2018   February 14-16 || Fighting fraud & corruption in EU funded projects One-day EUfundingMalta expedition included! This course explores the realities of fraud and corruption in EU-funded projects and looks at the new solutions available in the hands of Member States to fight fraudulent activities.   March 2018   March 21-23 || Verifying & Certifying ESIF projects in 2014-2020 One-day EUfundingMalta expedition included! Straight-to-the-point facts and methods to improve the verification and certification of ESI-funded projects, based on the latest reports and guidelines.   April 2018   5-day seminar April 16-20 || ESF toolkit: Focus on SCO, Financial Instruments & the quality of public administration One-day EUfundingMalta expedition included! This five-day seminar reaches out to all practitioners involved in the European Social Fund, to discuss all the technical matters that make ESF the catalyst for education, employment and social inclusion in the EU.    May 2018   May 16-18 || Indicators & the performance framework: result-based management for 2014-2020? One-day EUfundingGozo expedition included! The workshop which speaks about anything meaningful to the efficient and effective delivery, monitoring and evaluation of ESI-funded programmes and projects.   June 2018   June 18-20 || State aid & procurement in infrastructural projects One-day EUfundingGozo expedition included! A three-day informative seminar which puts light on the complex subjects of state-aid and public procurement surrounding infrastructural projects. This training course is ideal for project implementers and verifiers.   July 2018   5-day seminar July 16-20 || Financial Management toolkit: carrying out administrative and on-the-spot verifications One-day EUfundingGozo expedition included! A five-day series of workshops and intensive sessions addressing the main features of financial management and control of ESI Funds, carefully built on the right blend of theory and practice.   September 2018   September 12-14 || Simplified Cost Options: improving programme implementation and reimbursements One-day EUfundingGozo expedition included! This course explains all the SCOc available, with practical examples which clearly define the differences between SCOs and the classical view of real-cost reimbursement. We explore each option and discuss how they truly contribute towards better results.   October 2018   October 10-12|| The Most Common Errors: Simpler ways to keep them low One-day EUfundingMalta expedition included! This seminar sheds light on how the newest Regulations, Directives and simplification measures coincide to lower the error rates in EU-funded programmes. This is ideal for practitioners in MAs, IBs, CAs and AAs and project managers.   November 2018   November 7-9 || Financial Corrections Workshop: Procurement, Financial Instruments & other errors One-day EUfundingMalta expedition included! A set of workshops designed to instil confidence in the personal interpretation of errors and the application of knowledge and experience to determine fair financial corrections.     December 2018   5-day seminar December 3-7 || Irregularities toolkit: how to prevent, detect & treat errors One-day EUfundingMalta expedition included! This 5-day toolkit deals with anything you need to know on irregularities; from prevention to detection, all the way to treatment of irregularities. It is ideal for EU-funding practitioners across all stakeholders.     For more information about our courses Subscribe to ENews.  

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About Us

The European Union wants results.  EuropeanFunds.info is just about them.

We provide training and other optimal solutions on the back of experience gained in the management of the 2004-2006, 2007-2013 and 2014-2020 EU funded programmes at the Managing Authority of Malta. Our experts were directly involved in operational programme development, final programme closure reporting and (pretty much) anything in between!

2014-2020 is about performance.  Indeed, we are here to share our knowledge on EU funding and help you perform.

Our Team

Ray Bartolo

Ray Bartolo is Director and Lead Consultant at EuropeanFunds.info.

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Trevor Fenech

Trevor Fenech is Director and Lead Consultant at EuropeanFunds.info.

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Justine Schinas

Justine Schinas is a Senior Advisor and Speaker at EuropeanFunds.info.

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About Malta

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Whether on business or vacation, Malta offers a rich concentration of natural beauty, cultural legacy, vibrant entertainment, friendly faces and top-end facilities.   The country stretches just over 300km2, covering the three main inhabited islands, with the largest – Malta – lying to the south of the smaller islands of Gozo and Comino.  The population is 418,000 and the official languages are Maltese and English.  The capital city is Valletta.

The wealth of historical sites (including nine UNESCO World Heritage Sites), cultural activities, its warm climate, recreational areas, beaches, and architectural diversity, make Malta a popular tourist destination.  It also offers a stable political, economic and industrial environment, hosting thousands of local and international companies in different sectors, mainly tourism, financial services, IT, manufacturing and retail.  EU membership and the adoption of the euro currency have enhanced Malta’s accessibility and attractiveness as an international business hub in the centre of the Mediterranean region.

For more information about Malta, visit www.visitmalta.com.

Malta and European Funds

Malta joined the European Union on 1st May 2004.  Since 2000, the Government of Malta has been actively participating in EU-funded programmes under shared management with the European Commission.  Malta has received in excess of €1bn from the EU under the various initiatives undertaken so far, both pre- and post-accession, including Pre-Accession Funds and the Transition Facility (inc. TAIEX), the Structural Funds Programme 2004-06 (ERDF, ESF, EAGGF, FIFG) and the Cohesion Fund 2004-06, Cohesion Policy 2007-13 (ERDF, CF, ESF), the Rural Development and Agriculture funds (EAGF/EAFRD), The European Fisheries Fund (EFF), Framework Programme on Solidarity and management of Migration funds 2007-2013 and the Lifelong Learning and Youth-in-Action Programmes,

Another €882m are allocated to Malta under the 2014-2020 Multi-annual Financial Framework (Cohesion Policy, Common Agricultural Policy and European Maritime and Fisheries Fund. Source: ec.europa.eu).

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