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Dectection devices - HERCULE-TA-2017-02
Deadline: 09 Aug 2017   CALL EXPIRED

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OUTLINE

The Hercule III Programme (“The Programme”) is an EU programme adopted by Regulation 250/20141 of the European Parliament and the Council. The general objective2 of the Programme is to protect the financial interests of the European Union. The specific objective3 of the Programme is to prevent and combat fraud, corruption and any other illegal activities affecting the Union’s financial interests. The Programme is implemented by the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) of the European Commission on the basis of annual work programmes. The annual work programme 2017 (AWP2017) was adopted by Financing Decision 20174 (FD2017) that provides –inter alia- for the organisation of a "Technical assistance" call for proposals in 2017. The purpose of this call is to invite national and regional administrations to submit applications for actions under the following four topics5:

  1. The purchase and maintenance of investigation tools and methods, including specialised training to operate these tools ("Investigation tools and methods");

  2. The purchase and maintenance of devices and animals to carry out inspections of containers, trucks, railway wagons and vehicles at the Union’s external borders to detect smuggled and counterfeited goods ("Detection tools");

  3. The purchase, maintenance and interconnection of systems for the recognition of vehicle number plates (Automated Number Plate Recognition Systems – ANPRS) or container codes. Specialised training needed to operate these systems is included;

  4. The purchase of services to support Member States’ capacity to analyse, store and destroy seized cigarettes ("Analysis and Destruction of seizures").

The implementation of the actions shall contribute to the achievement of the programme's objectives.

The overall budget in 2017 for "Technical Assistance" amounts to EUR 9 150 000.
The deadline for the submission of applications under this call by national and regional

administrations is set on: Wednesday, 9 August 2017.

The maximum EU funding for the proposed actions amounts to 80% of the eligible costs. This percentage may be increased to a maximum of 90% in exceptional and duly justified cases as set out in section 6.3 of the FD2017. The minimum budget of an action shall be EUR 100 000.

1. INTRODUCTION – OLAF AND THE HERCULE III PROGRAMME 1.1 European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF)

The European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) was established by Commission Decision of 28 April 19996. OLAF is operationally independent but is nevertheless part of the European Commission and is, as such, bound by the administrative and legal provisions of the EU institutions. The mission of the European Anti-Fraud Office is to detect, investigate and stop fraud with EU funds. OLAF fulfils its mission by:

  • carrying out independent investigations into fraud and corruption involving EU funds so as to ensure that all EU taxpayers’ money reaches projects that can stimulate the creation of jobs and growth in Europe;

  • contributing to strengthening citizens’ trust in the EU institutions by investigating serious misconduct by EU staff and members of the EU institutions;

  • developing a sound EU anti-fraud policy.
    By performing its mission as effectively as possible, OLAF contributes to the efforts made by

    the EU institutions to guarantee that the best use is made of taxpayers’ money.

1.2 Hercule III Programme

On 26 February 2014, the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union adopted Regulation (EU) No 250/20147 establishing a programme to promote activities in the field of the protection of the financial interests of the European Union (Hercule III Programme, hereinafter referred to as: “the Programme”). The Programme entered into force on 21 March 2014.

The general objective8 of the Programme “shall be to protect the financial interests of the Union thus enhancing the competitiveness of the Union’s economy and ensuring the protection of the taxpayers’ money”. The specific objective9 shall be to prevent and combat fraud, corruption and any other illegal activities affecting the financial interests of the Union. The Programme is implemented by the European Anti-Fraud Office of the European Commission.

The operational objectives10 of the Programme are listed below:

a) to improve the prevention and investigation of fraud and other illegal activities beyond current levels by enhancing transnational and multi-disciplinary cooperation;

b) to increase the protection of the financial interests of the Union against fraud, facilitating the exchange of information, experiences and best practices, including staff exchanges;

c) to strengthen the fight against fraud and other illegal activities providing technical and operational support to national investigation, and in particular customs and law enforcement, authorities;

  1. d)  to limit the currently known exposure of the financial interests of the Union to fraud, corruption and other illegal activities with a view to reducing the development of an illegal economy in key risk areas such as organised fraud, including cigarette smuggling and counterfeiting;

  2. e)  to enhance the degree of development of the specific legal and judicial protection of the financial interests of the Union against fraud by promoting comparative law analysis.

Article 11 of Regulation 250/2014 requires the Commission to adopt annual work programmes for the implementation of the Programme. The annual work programme 2017 (AWP2017) was adopted by a Commission Decision11 on 22 February 2017. The Programme is implemented in accordance with the Financial Regulation (FR)12 and its Rules of Application (RAP)13.

2. SUBJECT OF THIS CALL FOR PROPOSALS
2.1 Actions eligible for funding under the four topics of the call for proposals

The Programme enables financial support (grants) for actions consisting of the purchase, implementation and installation of special equipment and tools needed by the Programme’s beneficiaries. The grants are awarded to applications under the conditions set out in this document.

The actions for which a grant is given must comply with the objectives of the Programme and the applicant has to demonstrate how this action will contribute to the achievement of the general, specific and operational objectives of the Programme. It should be noted that the purchase of the equipment cannot be the sole component of the grant agreement14.

The AWP201715 provides that the Commission launches a call for proposals "Technical Assistance" in 2017. Under this call, national and regional administrations are invited to submit applications for actions under the following four topics16:

1. The purchase and maintenance of investigation tools and methods used by beneficiaries in the fight against irregularities, fraud and corruption detrimental to the Union’s financial interests, in particular the fight against tobacco smuggling and/or counterfeiting

("Investigation tools and methods"). The Union's financial interests cover Union revenues (traditional own resources (ToR) and VAT) and expenditure, in particular under shared management (structural funds, agriculture). Specialised training to enable staff to operate these tools is included and will be encouraged. The investigation tools include:

a. Technical equipment for electronic and mobile surveillance, including the purchase and adaptation of cars needed for operating the equipment;

b. Technical equipment and software for the retrieval and analysis of data and other evidence taken from, for example, computers or smartphones (“digital forensic hard- and software”). The purchase of equipment for updating existing monitoring tools for (mobile) communications with the latest protocols also falls under this topic;

c. Technical equipment for encrypted communications.

2. The purchase and maintenance of devices for inspecting containers, trucks, railway carriages and vehicles at the Union’s external borders and within the Union ("Detection tools"). This equipment shall contribute to the strengthening of the beneficiaries’ operational and technical capacity to detect smuggled and counterfeited goods, in particular cigarettes or tobacco, imported into the Union with the intention or effect to evade VAT, customs duties and/or excise taxes. This includes:

  1. The purchase of mobile and fixed (x-rays) scanners as well as the costs related to their installation and maintenance17. This equipment shall be used to check containers, trucks and vehicles crossing the external borders of the European Union or those in transit over the territory of a Member State. The checks shall be carried out in order to detect illicit or smuggled goods, in particular smuggled or counterfeited cigarettes and tobacco;

  2. Training for the beneficiaries' staff members to operate the scanner(s) as well as training for the correct interpretation of images generated by the scanners;

  3. Software and hardware to enable the exchange of images, generated by different types of scanners, within and between the beneficiaries;

  4. The purchase, transport, training, lodging18 and feeding of animals used to detect smuggled and illicit goods on the basis of the goods' scent characteristics. These animals are likely to be sniffer dogs, but could also be rats, pigs or bees. For the latter three, the applicant shall demonstrate that the effectiveness and efficiency of the use of these animals for this purpose has been proven on the basis of evidence based research and possibly peer-reviewed publications.

3. The purchase, maintenance and interconnection of systems for the recognition of vehicle number plates (Automated Number Plate Recognition Systems – ANPRS) or container codes for purposes related to the protection of the financial interests of the Union, provided these systems do not overlap with existing EU funded systems, such as the European Car and Driving Licence Information system (EUCARIS network19) or the European Register of Road Transport Undertakings (ERRU20) and the Réseau Permis de Conduire (RESPER21). Specialised training needed to operate these systems is included;

4. Beneficiaries’ purchases of services22 for the analysis, storage and destruction of seized genuine or counterfeited cigarettes and other counterfeited goods detrimental to the Union’s financial interests. These include laboratory equipment and services for the analyses of random samples taken from seizures of cigarettes and tobacco for purposes related to the objectives of the Programme ("Analysis and destruction of seizures").

Research and Development activities, including prototypes for further development, are excluded from the scope of this call for proposals.

2.2 Bodies and legal entities that can submit applications

Applications can be submitted by all national or regional administrations ("applicants")23 of a Member State, which promote the strengthening of European Union action to protect the European Union's financial interests. Applications from third countries are subject to the conditions in Article 7 (2) of the Hercule III Regulation24.

 

3. EXPECTED RESULTS AND DELIVERABLES

3.1 Expected results

The expected results of the actions under any of the four topics are listed below. This is a non-exhaustive list and the applicant may indicate more than one category or add results it considers relevant in relation to the objectives of the Programme.

  1. a)  The strengthening of the operational and investigative capacity of the applicant, by improving the quality, efficiency and effectiveness of specialized technical hardware and technical support used in detecting and monitoring any illegal activity perpetrated against the Union’s financial interests. It shall lead to a faster and more efficient detection of, for example, smuggled cigarettes and tobacco, illicit goods, corruption or the identification of new fraud schemes and modi operandi;

  2. b)  Improved skills and competences of the applicant’s staff that will operate the purchased equipment;

  3. c)  The improvement of the quality of evidence gathered by the applicants during operations and investigations related to suspicions or allegations of fraud, corruption and any other illegal activities perpetrated against the Union’s or national budget, inasmuch as these illegal activities may have an impact on the Union’s financial interests. The improved quality of evidence has to contribute to speeding up legal proceedings in Member States and to reducing the number of dismissals due to prescription, inadmissible evidence, procedural errors or methodological mistakes made during the investigation.

The applicant shall demonstrate how the expected results of the proposed action will be measured and how these results contribute to the achievement of the general, specific and operational objectives of the Hercule III Programme.

 

3.2 Deliverables

The results and achievements of the actions shall be reported in a final technical report and a final financial report25. These final reports shall be submitted at the latest 60 days26 after the closing date indicated in the grant agreement. The final technical report shall include:

  1. a)  A qualitative description of the results mentioned under point 3.1 of this document. It shall contain, inter alia, information on qualitative improvements in existing technical systems that support the investigative and operational activities of the applicant and its staff. It shall also describe how it contributed to the improvement of the quality of the evidence gathered in operations and investigations carried out to protect the Union’s and the Member State's financial interests;

  2. b)  Information on the results of operations and investigations that were enabled or facilitated by using the purchased equipment. The results must be linked to the protection of the financial interests of the Union and could be, for example, the number of arrests and convictions; the number and amounts of seizures of contraband (including smuggled cigarettes and tobacco), bootleg and counterfeited tobacco products;

  3. c)  A short description of the activities the applicant has undertaken to train its staff in the use, maintenance and management of the purchased equipment. This shall also indicate what overall efficiency gains were obtained;

  4. d)  A discussion on the results achieved in relation to the objectives of the Hercule III Programme. This discussion should clearly highlight the added value and benefits for the protection of the Union’s financial interests.

The final financial report shall include information on the financial implementation of the grant.

One year after the final payment, the applicant shall submit a final implementation report27 on the main results achieved with the action for which the grant was awarded. This report shall contain the necessary information for the key performance indicators28 drawn up to monitor the achievement of the objectives of the Programme as well as the information needed to determine the impact, effectiveness and efficiency of the implementation of the Programme itself.

The results reported in the final technical report and the final implementation report may be used by the Commission in its annual overview of the implementation of the Programme, as well as input for the final evaluation of the Programme. This annual overview is requested under Article 13 of Regulation 250/2014. The Commission will not disclose information that could endanger on-going investigations. If a beneficiary does not want that these results are disclosed or disseminated in the Commission’s annual overview, it must clearly explain this in the application.

 

 

4. TIMETABLE

Publication of the call for proposals

End May 2017

 

Last day for submission of questions on the call for proposals

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

 

Deadline for submitting applications

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

 

Information to the applicants

End of October 201729

 

Signature of first grant agreements

Mid November 2017

 

Earliest possible date to start the action

1 December 201730

 

Latest date to finish the action

1 July 2019

 

5. PRE-CONDITIONS

The funding will be made available subject to the following pre-conditions:
a) The overall budget in 2017 for Technical Assistance amounts to EUR 9 150 000. If the budget is not exhausted after the examination of the applications and the award of the

grants, an additional call for proposals may be organized at the end of 2017;

  1. b)  The minimum threshold for the budget of an action submitted in an application has been set at: EUR 100 000. The application will be discarded if the budget of the action is lower

    than EUR 100 000;

  2. c)  The Commission will award a grant to the successful applicants for the implementation of

    an action. This grant will not exceed 80% of the total eligible costs. The eligible costs are listed in Article 6 of the Grant Agreement and guidance is given in the "guidelines for the Application Form", which can be downloaded from the Commission’s website. Applicants are advised to carefully examine the Guidelines before filling in the Application Form;

  3. d)  In exceptional and duly justified cases, the financial support for an action may be increased to a maximum of 90% of the eligible costs. The criteria used to determine whether an action satisfies these conditions are set out in point 6.6;

  4. e)  The applicant must indicate the source of funding for the costs of the action that are not covered by the grant;

  5. f)  The Commission reserves the right to award a grant that is lower than the amount requested by the applicant, if the costs of the action are considered to be too high, not justified or ineligible;

  6. g)  The Commission reserves the right to reduce the co-funding percentage to enable the award of more grants, in particular where the overall amount requested exceeds the available budget;

  7. h)  The grant is given for a specific action and does not confer an obligation for the Commission to provide co-financing in subsequent years. This restriction has to be taken into account for the planning of maintenance costs;

  8. i) The action has to start before the end of 2017 and shall not take more than 18 months. The action must be ended by the closing date indicated in the grant agreement. An extension of the closing date will be given only in exceptional cases: the applicant should make sure that the action can be implemented within 18 months;

  9. j)Expenditures incurred outside the period specified in the grant agreement are not eligible and will not be taken into consideration in the determination of the final payment of the grant.

 

6. PROCEDURE FOR THE EXAMINATION OF THE APPLICATIONS

6.1Evaluation Committee

 

The Commission will appoint an Evaluation Committee to examine the applications on the basis of the eligibility criteria (6.2), the operational capacity set out in the selection criteria (6.4) and the award criteria (6.5). The Evaluation Committee will adopt a list with applicants that it recommends for the award of a grant. Once this list is established, the Commission will verify the compliance with the exclusion criteria (6.3) and the financial capacity set out in the selection criteria (6.4). If an application does not successfully pass the examination of a set of criteria, it will be discarded and the applicant will be informed accordingly.

The Commission may ask an applicant to provide additional information or to clarify the supporting documents submitted in connection with the application, in particular in the case of manifest material errors.

6.2 Eligibility criteria31

Eligibility criteria are used to determine whether an applicant is allowed to participate in this call for proposals. To be eligible, an application must:

  • be submitted by an applicant as defined in point 2.2 of this document; 32

  • be submitted by using the "Participant Portal" for non-H2020 programmes

  • propose an action having a budget of at least EUR 100 000;

  • be submitted before the deadline33 of Wednesday, 9 August 2017;

  • be the only application submitted: a legal entity or body may submit only one application under this call.

For applicants located in the UK: Please be aware that the eligibility criteria must be complied with for the entire duration of the grant. If the United Kingdom withdraws from the EU during the grant period without concluding an agreement with the EU derogating from that rule, you will cease to receive EU funding or be required to leave the project on the basis of Article 34.3.1 (change of the legal situation of the beneficiary) of the grant agreement.

 

6.3 Exclusion criteria34
The Commission will exclude an application if the applicant is:

  • bankrupt, being wound up, having its affairs administered by the courts, entered into an arrangement with creditors, suspended business activities or subject to any other similar proceedings or procedures under national law (including persons with unlimited liability for its debts);

  • declared in breach of social security or tax obligations by a final judgment or decision (including persons with unlimited liability for its debts);

  • found guilty of grave professional misconduct35 by a final judgment or decision (including persons having powers of representation, decision-making or control);

  • convicted of fraud, corruption, involvement in a criminal organisation, money laundering, terrorism-related crimes (including terrorism financing), child labour or human trafficking (including persons having powers of representation, decision- making or control);

  • shown significant deficiencies in complying with main obligations under a procurement contract, grant agreement or grant decision financed by the EU or Euratom budget (including persons having powers of representation, decision-making or control);

  • found guilty of irregularities within the meaning of Article 1(2) of Regulation No 2988/95 (including persons having powers of representation, decision-making or control).

    The verification of this requirement will be made by the Commission after the Evaluation Committee has adopted the lists of applicants it recommends for the award of a grant. The applicant has to fill in the declaration that will be made available on the Participant Portal.

6.4 Selection criteria36

After verification of the eligibility criteria, the Evaluation Committee will examine each application to verify the operational and technical capacity of the applicant to implement the action proposed in the application. The applicant shall demonstrate that it has the operational resources (technical, management) and that its staff has the professional skills, competences and qualifications needed to successfully implement the proposed action. The applicant's staff must have a confirmed experience in the domain for which it proposes the action. This has to be demonstrated by providing the following information in the relevant sections of the Application Form:

  • a short description of the applicant's main activities relevant to the action;

  • a short description of the team and its members that will be tasked with the implementation of the action, the allocation of tasks within the team and a description of

    the relevant competences of the team members;

  • an exhaustive list of received EU grants during the last 3 years (2014-2016).

The examination of the financial capacity of the applicant will be carried out by the Commission after the Evaluation Committee has adopted the lists of applicants it recommends for the award of a grant.

6.5 Award criteria37

The action proposed in the application has to fall in one of the categories mentioned under point 2.1 (Eligible actions), and will be examined on the basis of the following weighted award criteria (weight factors are indicated between parantheses):

1. Added value of the implementation of the action for the protection of the financial interests of the Union and the contribution it will make to the achievement of the general and specific objectives of the Hercule III Programme (4);

2. Conformity with the operational objectives of the Programme (2): Conformity of the aims of the action to one or more of the operational objectives, as described under point 1.2; the relevance of the issues addressed by the project as well as complementarity with other Union activities;

3. Quality (2): originality of the action; accuracy and coherence of the proposed methodology for implementing the action; organisation of work, the allocation of resources; consistency and feasibility of the planning for the implementation of the action as well as appropriateness of the envisaged activities;

4. Value for money (2).

Each application will be scored on a 10 points scale for each criterion. The individual scores for each criterion will be multiplied by the applicable weight factor and added. The minimum score38 for each criterion shall at least be 55% of the theoretical maximum score. The minimum score for the overall score shall be 65% of the theoretical maximum aggregated score. An application that does not obtain these minimum scores will be discarded. The applications with an aggregated score equal or higher than 65% of the theoretical maximum will be ranked on the basis of their scores and will be recommended for a grant, subject to the availability of sufficient financial resources.

The table below gives an overview of the average39 minimum score applications must obtain.

 

(TABLE NOT AVAILABLE)

 

6.6 Criteria for co-financing grants up to 90% of the eligible costs40

The Hercule III Regulation provides for the possibility to increase the maximum co-financing rate of grants from 80% to a maximum of 90% in exceptional and duly justified cases, such as cases concerning Member States exposed to a high risk in relation to the financial interests of the Union41. According to the Financing Decision 201742, at least two of the criteria listed below will be used in determining the exceptional and duly justified cases for actions in the technical assistance sector. The action shall:

  • take place at an external EU border, especially the EU’s eastern border;

  • take place at the most vulnerable locations (as regards seizures of cigarettes and tobacco reported by Member States to the Commission);

  • reflect the results of the Eurobarometer survey44 of citizens’ attitudes towards tobacco and electronic cigarettes, and

  • reflect the findings of the 2015 annual report on implementation of Article 325 TFEU on combating fraud (e.g. as regards the number of cases of smuggled cigarettes reported and the estimated traditional own resources involved)45, in particular the identification of the Member States that are vulnerable and most exposed to threats in relation to the Union’s financial interests.

Please note that the Commission does not have an obligation to award a 90% grant, even if the applicant complies with all the criteria mentioned above.

 

7. SUBMISSION OF AN APPLICATION

The application has to be submitted by making use of the Participant Portal46 developed by the Commission for the submission of applications47 and the management of grant agreements. The "Hercule-III" section of the Participant Portal contains all relevant documents, such as the application form and the budget form as well as the facilities to upload any relevant document.

7.1 Content

The application shall be made by filling in Part A of the Application Form on the Participant Portal. In addition, the applicant shall fill in Part B of the Application Form48 and shall upload the following documents:

  • A scanned version in portable document format (pdf) of the signed copy of Part B of the Application Form, duly completed, giving full details in relation to the description, justification and timetable of the action; 
  • A pdf-file with the budget to be filled in the template spreadsheet file , with a detailed breakdown of forecasted expenditure and income;
  • The expenditure forecasts for technical equipment (Sheet E.1; E.2 and E.3) shall be justified on the basis of direct quotes from suppliers or copies taken from suppliers' (internet) catalogues. For each sheet, the applicant shall upload a pdf file with scanned copies of this information. The size of each file is limited to 10MB.

Language

The application may be submitted in one of the official languages of the European Union. If an application is submitted in a language other than English, German or French, a summary in English, French or German must be added.

7.3 Deadline for the submission of applications

THE DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSION OF THE APPLICATION UNDER THE CALL FOR PROPOSALS TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE 2017 IS:

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

 

Once submitted, the Participant Portal will generate a receipt notification for the application, containing a reference number that shall be used in all correspondence with the Commission. The applicant is strongly recommended to submit its application a few days before the expiration of the deadline to avoid any last-minute bottlenecks.

Any other means of submission, such as delivery by hand to the premises of the European Anti-Fraud Office in Brussels, will not be accepted.

 

8. NOTIFICATION, IMPLEMENTATION AND PAYMENT

8.1 NOTIFICATION

Applicants will be notified within a period of 6 months after the deadline mentioned under point 7.3 of the outcome of the evaluation procedure. If questions arise as the result of the examination of the eligibility, exclusion and/or selection criteria, the Commission will contact the person indicated in the application. The applicant is therefore strongly recommended to notify the Commission of any changes in the name(s) of the contact person(s).

If the Commission decides to award a grant to an application, the Commission will notify the applicant and will ask for a confirmation, to be given via the Participant Portal, within 5 working days50 of its interest. Upon receipt of this confirmation, a grant agreement will be prepared and signed, first by the beneficiary and then by the Commission. The grant agreement only enters into force once the Commission has signed and applicants shall take account of this in the planning of the action as financial commitments made for the 

implementation of the action before the entry into force, or after the closing date of the grant agreement, are not eligible for funding.
If an application was not successful, the applicant will receive information on the score it obtained for each criterion, its ranking as well as a short qualitative description of the justifications given by the Evaluation Committee for its score.

The examination of the applications will take place in August-September 2017. This period may be extended if the Commission receives an unexpected high number of applications. In that case, the Commission will inform all applicants of the revised timetable for the evaluation of the applications.

8.2 Implementation

The beneficiaries undertake to carry out the action as it was presented in the application. The duration of the grant agreement shall not be longer than 18 months. The latest closing date will be 1 July 2019. Modifications to the grant agreement can only be made with prior written approval from the Commission.

8.3 Payment

An amount equivalent to 50% of the grant will be paid within 30 days of the date when the Commission signs the agreement. The balance will be paid within 60 days following receipt and approval of the final technical report and the final financial report. The beneficiary of the grant commits itself to submit a final implementation report one year after the closing date indicated in the grant agreement. All reports have to be drafted on the basis of the templates annexed to the grant agreement.

If the eligible, incurred costs are lower than indicated in the grant agreement, the Commission will adjust the amount of the final payment accordingly by applying the co-financing rate indicated in the grant agreement. If this leads to an amount lower than the first payment of 50%, the Commission will issue a recovery order in respect of that part of the budget that is paid out but has not been used or evidenced. If the incurred costs are higher than indicated in the grant agreement, the excess will automatically be borne by the grant beneficiary and the co-financing rate will be reduced accordingly. The amount of the grant will never be increased if the incurred costs are higher than indicated in the grant agreement.

The grant may not have the purpose or effect of producing a profit for the beneficiary. Where a profit is made, the Commission shall be entitled to recover the percentage of the profit corresponding to the Union contribution to the eligible costs actually incurred by the beneficiary to carry out the action51.

Within the framework of this agreement, the authorised representative of the applicant organisation must undertake to provide proof of the proper use of the grant and to allow the Commission to verify the use of the grant during the validity of the contract as well as for a period of five years from the date of payment of the balance. This may lead, where appropriate, to recovery decisions by the Commission.

 

9. PUBLICITY BY THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION

All grants awarded in the course of a financial year shall be published in the Financial Transparency System (FTS)53 of the European Commission no later than the 30 June of the year following the financial year in which the grants were awarded54. The Commission shall on an on-going basis disseminate, including on relevant websites, the results of the activities supported under the Programme to increase transparency on the use of the funds55.

The European Commission will publish the following information:

  • name of the beneficiary;

  • address of the beneficiary when the latter is a legal person;

  • subject of the grant;

  • amount awarded.

Upon a reasoned and duly substantiated request by the beneficiary, the publication shall be waived if such disclosure risks threatening the rights and freedoms of individuals concerned as protected by the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union or harm the commercial interests of the beneficiaries. The publication may also be waived if the disclosure of this information endangers operations or investigations undertaken by the beneficiary of the grant.

 

10. QUESTIONS

Questions and/or requests for additional information in relation to the submission of an application; the eligibility of an organisation; the planning of an action or the type of actions that are eligible for funding have to be transmitted by e-mail to the Participant Portal until Wednesday, 2 August 2017. The questions and answers may be anonymously published in the "Guidelines for filling in the Application" in the Participant Portal if they are relevant to other applicants. The Commission cannot guarantee that questions asked after Wednesday, 2 August 2017 will be answered before the deadline of Wednesday, 9 August 201756.

Any requests for additional information must be made in writing only to the e-mail address mentioned above (in view of the large number of enquiries, please do not telephone).

In the interest of equal treatment of applicants, the European Commission cannot issue a prior opinion on the eligibility of an applicant, an action or specific activities.

 

11. DATA PROTECTION

The follow-up of responses to the call for proposals will require the recording and further processing of personal data (e.g. name, address). All personal data (names, addresses, CVs, etc.) will be processed in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 45/2001 of the European 

Parliament and of the Council of 18 December 2000 on the protection of individuals with regard to processing of personal data by the institutions and bodies of the EU and on the free movement of such data57. Details concerning the processing of personal data are available on the privacy statement at: http://ec.europa.eu/dataprotectionofficer/privacystatement_publicprocurement_en.pdf http://ec.europa.eu/anti_fraud/about-us/data-protection/processing- operations/not_subject_en.htm

Our replies to the questions in this form are necessary in order for your grant application to be assessed, and they will be processed solely for that purpose by the department responsible for the European Union grant Programme concerned.

On request, you may be sent personal data to correct or complete. If you have any questions relating to these data, please contact OLAF's data protection officer (DPO)58. Beneficiaries may lodge a complaint against the processing of their personal data with the European Data Protection Supervisor59 at any time.

Personal data may be registered in the Early Detection and Exclusion System (EDES).

The EDES is the new system established by the Commission to reinforce the protection of the Union's financial interests and to ensure sound financial management. It replaces the Early Warning System and the Central Exclusion Database as of 1 January 2016. The EDES rules are found in the revised Financial Regulation60 and are applicable since 1 January 2016 to all contracts, grant agreements, prizes, financial instruments and remunerated experts.

The information on early detection/exclusion/financial penalty may stem from:

  • final judgment or final administrative decisions;

  • facts and findings from the Anti-fraud office of the Commission (OLAF), Court of

    Auditors, audits or any other check, audit or control performed under the responsibility of

    the competent authorising officer;

  • non-final judgments or administrative decisions;

  • decisions of the European Central Bank (ECB), the European Investment Bank (EIB), the

    European Investment Fund or international organisations;

  • cases of fraud and/or irregularity by national managing authorities under shared

    management;

  • cases of fraud and/or irregularity by delegated entities under indirect management.

 

12. COMPLAINTS TO THE EUROPEAN OMBUDSMAN

At all stages of the administrative handling of the application, whenever persons or bodies involved consider that they are the victim of maladministration, they may, independently of any other avenue of appeal, submit a complaint to the European Ombudsman (http://www.ombudsman.europa.eu) in accordance with Article 228(1) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union and as provided by the Parliament Decision of 9 March 1994 on the regulations and general conditions governing the performance of the Ombudsman's duties published in the Official Journal L 113 of 4 May 1994.

 

13. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

The following links containing useful information are available from the Commission's (OLAF) website61:

  1. the Financial Regulation 966/2012 (FR) as amended by Regulation 2015/1929 of 28 October 2015 and the Rules of Application, Commission Delegated Regulation 1268/2012 (RAP), as amended by Commission Delegated Regulation 2015/2462 of 30 October 2015;

  2. the beneficiaries of EU funding (Financial Transparency Scheme – FTS);

  3. the Hercule Programmes: Financing Decisions, Annual Work Programmes,

    Evaluation Report and other relevant documents;

  4. Ceilings for the reimbursement of incurred travel and subsistence costs, applicable to EU staff carrying out missions.

Applicants are advised to consult the Participant Portal in the period leading up to the submission deadline, in case announcements, updates or answers to questions (FAQs) are published.



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