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Finance Helpdesk Newsletter #28

Upcoming Financial Workshops

60% Transitional Indirect rate is maintained

Commission Document: FP7 Progress Report is available

FP7 Acceptability Criteria for Average Personnel Cost Methodologies are published

The Research Executive Agency is now autonomous

The Finance Helpdesk is now of Twitter

 

Upcoming Open Workshops:

 

Next upcoming workshops in Brussels, Belgium:

14-16/09/2009 3 Day in-depth FP7 Financial Workshop in Brussels, Belgium.

 

Next upcoming workshops in London Heathrow, UK:

22/09/2009 1 Day FP7 European Research Council (ERC) Workshop in London Heathrow, UK.

23/09/2009 1 Day Marie Curie Initial Training Network (ITN) Workshop in London Heathrow, UK.

24/09/2009 1 Day FP7 Financial Workshop in London Heathrow

25/09/2009 1 Day FP7 SME Measures (CRAFT) Workshop in London Heathrow, UK.

 

60% Transitional Indirect rate is maintained:

On the 15 June 2009, the Commission made the decision not to reduce the Transitional Indirect rate for calls closing after 31 December 2009. Instead the 60% rate will continue to be used. This is due to the fact that currently about 84% of Universities still use flat rates. We find this statistic worrying as it is clear that the vast majority of universities have not yet implemented an accounting system that would allow them to receive much higher funding via using actual indirect costs.

The Finance Helpdesk has been assisting Universities and Research Institutes across Europe in setting up their books correctly and advising on the best suited Indirect Costs Methodology.

 

We hope that organisations looking into upgrading their accounting systems will not now decide to halt and continue to use the 60% Transitional Indirect rate, when they could from our experience be due a much higher overhead rate.

 

Commission Document: FP7 Progress Report is available:

The Commission has prepared a document for the Council, the European Parliament, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions, on their view of the progress made under the Seventh European Framework Programme for Research. The document is accompanied by the Commission staff working document (from page 12)

 

This document is currently not adopted by the Commission, hence it is undated. However, this draft is dated April 2009. The document is very good reading. It shows how the Commission view the FP7 to be progressing and it also has some important hints for the future including:

 

·          Option to use Lump Sums for travel and subsistence costs should be introduced with the 2010 work programmes.

·          FP7 aims to have average reporting and payment periods of 18 months (was 12 months in FP6)

·          Main sources of errors in the costs claimed by beneficiaries relate to the personnel costs and indirect costs.

·          A Web based tool for FP7 Scientific Reporting is being created on the back of the FP7 Financial Reporting tool.

 

To download this report, please click here and scroll down to:

FP7 Progress Report (waiting to be adopted).

FP7 Acceptability Criteria for Average Personnel Cost Methodologies are published

On the 23 June 2009 a Commission Decision was adopted on the Acceptability Criteria for Average Personnel Cost Methodologies.

 

The criteria adopted are the following:

·          If the difference between the average rate and the extreme values (upper and lower rates) is equal to or below 5%, for each personnel category, then the methodology is acceptable.

 

·          If the difference between the average rate and the extreme values (upper and lower rates) is above 25% for any personnel category, then the methodology is not acceptable.

 

·          If the difference between the average rate and the extreme values (upper and lower rates) falls between the two above, then if the beneficiaries have participated in at least 4 FP6 projects with an EC contribution in each of them equal to or above 375.000 € or at least 4 FP7 projects with an EC contribution in each of them equal to or above 375.000 € are acceptable.

 

In our view this is not good. What this means is in reality is that the Larger Organisations will potentially be able to have a margin of error up to 24.99% whereas the Smaller Organisation can only have a margin of error of 5%.

We believe that all organisations should be treated equally on which methodologies are eligible or not, and that these criteria are bias towards the Large Organisations.

 

To download the document - dated 25 June 2009, please click here.

 

The Research Executive Agency is now autonomous:

The task of executive agencies is to manage specific activities which would normally have been carried out by the European Commission. The REA has its own legal personality, but is supervised and controlled by the European Commission.

 The Marie-Curie Actions of the People Program.
 The
SME-specific activities of the Capacities Program
.
 A large part of the
Space and the Security themes from the Cooperation Program
.
 In addition, a major role of the REA is to provide and manage the evaluation facilities across the entire framework programme (except evaluation facilities for the
Ideas Program, which is entirely managed by the European Research Council).

 

What this means is that in above areas your Project Officer will now be part of the executive agency and not the Commission.

 

http://ec.europa.eu/research/rea/

 

The Finance Helpdesk is now on Twitter:

The Finance Helpdesk has now started to publish via Twitter – please join us.  Any feedback is appreciated. http://twitter.com/FinanceHelpdesk

 

 

 

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