Irregularities workshops: eligibility, public procurement, fraud

Irregularities workshops: eligibility, public procurement, fraud

October 12-16 October, 2020, Mediterranean Conference Centre, Valletta, Malta

- Discounted Price (till 21 September 2020): EUR 1,999

- Normal Price (from 22 September 2020): EUR 2,499

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Errors or Fraud? Detect and treat irregularities in EU funded projects

October 12-14 October, 2020, Mediterranean Conference Centre, Valletta, Malta

- Discounted Price (till 21 September 2020): EUR 1,499

- Normal Price (from 22 September 2020): EUR 1,699

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Workshops: Financial correction guidelines on public procurement and financial instruments

October 15-16 October, 2020, Mediterranean Conference Centre, Valletta, Malta

- Discounted Price (till 21 September 2020): EUR 999

- Normal Price (from 22 September 2020): EUR 1,199

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If we had to draw one lesson from our first fifteen years’ experience in EU funding, it would be this: errors happen, regardless.  Coupling the erratic traits of human nature with volumes of laws, regulations and guidelines is, inevitably, a prescription for misfired calculations, interpretations and judgements.

Controls help. Reshaping EU and self-inflicted national regulations, obligations and demands help much more.

This seminar sheds light on the continuous struggle in the management of EU-funded programmes, where the ever stronger calls for more results are continuously met by challenging control and compliance arguments. Through intense workshops and first-hand experience, we explore past cases of fraud and irregularity, review the current prevention, detection and correction techniques, interpret statistics, and discuss controls and audits within the evolving regulatory scenario (including the proposals for 21-27).

Course Highlight

i. Defining error and the most common areas of irregularities;

ii. Studying errors in public procurement;

iii. Discussing the main tools and techniques available for the prevention and detection of errors;

iv. Analysing financial corrections in the 2014-20 regulatory package;

v. Examining and discussing different practical cases related to errors in the planning, tendering, selection and contracting stages of any procurement procedure;

vi. Learning how to treat errors by applying financial corrections;

Venue & Accomodation

TRAINING VENUE

Mediterranean Conference Centre, Valletta, Malta

The training course will take place at the Mediterranean Conference Centre in Valletta, Malta. The 16th century building has long been one of Valletta’s most remarkable landmarks. Located towards the tip of Valletta peninsula, the MCC stands for distinction with magnificent views across the Grand Harbour..

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

OUR TRAINERS

Delivering knowledge, experience and good feelings!

Ray Bartolo

Head of Institution

Trevor Fenech

Director – Lead Speaker

Justine Schinas

Senior Advisor

AGENDA

Our Plan for day 1 - 5

DAY 1

Timeline Plan

Monday 12th October 2020
08.30-09.00

Registration and distribution of training material

09.00-09.30

Introduction – Setting the objectives and expected outcomes

09.30-10.30
Irregularities in EU-funded projects: definitions & relevant statistics The course kicks off with an overview of the most common errors, irregularities and fraud cases, ensuring a common understanding of the major terms and definitions and discussing interesting statistics from recent reports.
10:30-11:00
Coffee Break
11:00-11:45

Facts and findings by the EC, ECA and OLAF This session provides an overview of the cases of irregularities as reported by the European Commission, the European Court of Auditors and the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF).

11:45 -12:30
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.
12:30-14:00

Lunch

14:00-14:30
The basic principles of Management Verifications A discussion on the basic principles guiding management verifications, based on the Common Provisions Regulations and the EC Guidance Note on Management Verifications.
14:30-15:00

Common Irregularities #1: Eligibility of projects & expenditure We discuss eligibility of projects and expenditure, particularly the question whether national eligibility rules are more demanding than the minimum rules set by the EC.

15:00-15:30
Coffee Break
15:30-16:15

Common Irregularities #2: Durability & Net Revenue Here we discuss the verification of revenue-generating projects, the funding gap and durability of the project after completion.

16:15-16:30

Concluding remarks and wrap-up of Day 1

DAY 2

Timeline Plan

Tuesday 13th October 2020
08:30-09:00
Welcome coffee
09:00-09:30
Common Irregularities #3: 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 the programme. First-level control by IBs, MAs and CAs is crucial.
09:30-10:30
Common Irregularities #4: Public Procurement An overview of the errors relating to public procurement, referring to the latest reports and updates from the EC and EU audit bodies.
10:30-11:00
Coffee Break
11:00-11:45
Detect Fraud #1 – Implementation of projects Fraudsters thrive in a weak management & control system and use different schemes through which they abuse the vulnerability of the system during the project implementation phase and beyond.
11:45-12:30
Detect Fraud #1 – Verifications and Applications for Payment Over 60% of all fraudulent cases in Cohesion Policy are detected during administrative controls.  This session dissects the roles of the IBs, MAs and CAs in detecting fraud before applying for interim payments and the annual clearance of the accounts.
12:30-14:00
Lunch
14:00-16:15
The Mediterranean Conference Centre ERDF project: a Case Study This on-site workshop gives an overview of the ERDF-funded project at the Mediterranean Conference Centre, the same venue in which the course is held.  We look into the challenges faced during preparation and the current implementation of this €7m project at a site of significant historic and cultural value for Malta.
16:15-16:30
Concluding remarks and wrap-up of Day 2

DAY 3

Timeline Plan

Wednesday 14th October 2020 - EUfundingMalta Projects Expedition
08:00-08:30
Meeting in front of MCC
STOP 1
ERDF 244 – Fort St Elmo
Discussing
CF 124: Valletta Breakwater
STOP 2
ERDF.05.109: Extension/Refurbishment of St John’s Co-Cathedral Museum
STOP 3
ERDF 403 – Castille square project
STOP 4
ERDF 151 – Renewed Saluting Battery (Upper Barrakka)
STOP 5
ERDF 183 – Vertical Connection
Discussing
ESF 2.186 – Re-Skilling of Workers for the Local Film Industry
Discussing
ERDF 245 – Fort St. Angelo Heritage Experience
Discussing
ERDF 311 – National Interactive Science Centre
STOP 6
ERDF 104 – Stronger Cottonera Communities
STOP 7
Fisheries Funds
STOP 8
CF 117 – Improvement of the TEN-T Road (Garibaldi)
STOP 9
ERDF 4 – Hagar Qim & Mnajdra – Qrendi
STOP 10
ERDF 39 – Restoration and rehabilitation of Mdina Fortifications
17:30-18:00
Returning to MCC in Valletta

DAY 4

Timeline Plan

Thursday 15th October 2020
08:30-09:00
Welcome coffee
09:00-09:30
EC guidance note on avoiding the most common errors in Public Procurement This session discusses the most important aspects of the Note which was revised in 2018, with essential guidance on and new examples of procurement cases across the EU.
09:30-10:30
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 and how to interpret them.
10:30-11:00
Coffee Break
11:00-11:45
Workshop: Applying financial corrections || Tender specifications In this first workshop of the day we analyse and discuss different practical cases related to errors in the planning stage of any tendering procedure and the recommended financial corrections.
11:45-12:30
Workshop: Applying financial corrections || Advertising Tenders The second workshop addresses errors in the publication and advertising of tenders and the corresponding financial corrections.
12:30-14:00
Lunch
14:00-15:00

Workshop: Applying financial corrections || Evaluations of Tenders We proceed by analysing cases in the evaluation of tenders.

15:00-15:30
Coffee Break
15:30-16:15
Workshop: Applying financial corrections || Contract Implementation The last workshop discusses cases in contract implementation.
16:15-16:30
Concluding remarks and wrap-up of Day 4

DAY 5

Timeline Plan

Friday 16th October 2020
08:30-09:00
Welcome coffee
09:00-09:45
Financial Instruments #1 – Applying financial corrections to Financial Instruments Financial instruments are a relatively new aspect of verifications. In this session we explore the application of financial corrections to errors in the set-up or implementation of financial instruments.
09:45-10:30
Other errors || Applying flat-rate corrections Following the application the common methodology for the assessment of management and control systems in the Member States, systemic errors may need to be corrected.  We analyse the criteria and understand what actions to take.
10:30-11:00
Coffee Break
11:00-11:45
OLAF & ECA audits & the application of financial corrections We recall the main lessons learnt from OLAF and ECA audits, analysing the audit approach adopted and the interpretation of the cases audited.
11:45-12:00
Concluding remarks and distribution of certificates

Calendar

2020 Training Programme