In the context of the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) Regulation1 and on the basis of the Multi-annual Work Programme 2014-20202, a call for proposals is launched for a Programme Support Action (PSA) for the implementation of data exchange used for digital maps for Union-wide multimodal travel and real-time traffic information services on the TEN-T network.
The general and the specific objectives of this call are referred to in section 4.3.2 of Annex II of the Multi-annual Work Programme.
Further details on scope and objectives of the call are provided in Annex.
3. INDICATIVE BUDGET
The indicative amount to be allocated on the basis of this call for proposals is EUR 2,000,000. Indicative duration: 4 years.
The Commission intends to award one grant.
Date of publication of call for proposals - 3 May 2017
Deadline for the submission of proposals - 20 June 2017
Evaluation of proposals - Mid July 2017 (indicative)
Adoption of Selection Decision - Mid-September 2017 (indicative)
Signature of individual grant agreement - As from December 2017 (indicative)
5. EXPECTED RESULTS
The implementation of the 2014-2020 Multi-annual Work Programme aims at contributing to the timely and efficient development of the transport core network, thereby further enhancing the effectiveness of the trans-European transport network, while promoting growth and job creation, contributing to the President Juncker priorities.
It is expected that the granting of this PSA will contribute to the achievements of the European transport policy objectives and the realisation of a robust and resource efficient European transport system compliant with European legislations and standards (i.e. the ITS Directive3 and its delegated Regulations4, the standardisation request as regards ITS in urban areas5).
Union funding should help to mobilise European partners around common objectives and foster collaborative implementations.
Further details on the expectations of the call are provided in Annex.
6. PROCEDURE FOR SUBMISSION OF PROPOSALS
Practical information on this call for proposals and the evaluation process is detailed in the relevant documents such as the application form, the model grant agreement for the granting of financial aid, the Multi-annual Work Programme, the CEF Regulation and the TEN-T Guidelines6 on the website of Directorate General for Mobility and Transport (DG MOVE): http://ec.europa.eu/transport/facts-fundings/grants/index_en.htm
Applicants are invited to carefully read all call related documents.
6.1 Application form
Proposals must be submitted using the application form provided on DG MOVE website at the following link:
Proposals in their paper version must be signed by the applicant or his duly authorized representative and must be perfectly legible so that there can be no doubt as to words and figures.
The applicant(s) specified in the application form will automatically be considered as the beneficiary(ies) if the proposal is selected for funding. If applicants designate affiliated entities within the meaning of Article 122 of the Financial Regulation7 to support the
implementation of the submitted action, they must encode in the application form the details of these affiliated entities, and provide the related supporting documents as required.
6.2 Submission of proposals
Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit their applications in the English language as the evaluation of proposals is entirely conducted in English. Applicants also have the possibility to submit their proposal in another language together with an English translation. The latter will be used for the evaluation.
A paper version of the application form and its annex (one original, signed and stamped where applicable) must be submitted no later than 20 June 2017.
The paper application must be sent either by registered post, by courier service, or by hand delivery (in person or by any party representing the applicant) to the following address:
By registered mail, to the following address:
Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport DM 28 - 0/110 - Mail/Archives
By private courier or by hand, to the following address:
Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport - DM 28 - 0/110 Avenue du Bourget 1
B-1140 Brussels (Evere)
For deliveries made in person, delivery will be confirmed by a receipt dated and signed by an official from the Commission's Central Mail Department who accepts delivery of the documents. Delivery should be made to the European Commission's central mail department by 16:00 (Brussels time).
For deliveries by registered post or by courier service, the valid date of sending will be the postmark or the dispatch date as evidenced on the courier's delivery note or the dispatch receipt.
Applicants must retain the proof of the date of sending or hand delivery and be able to present it upon request.
The paper version of the full proposal must be placed inside two sealed envelopes, one inside the other. The inner envelope must bear the indication:
PSA Call for proposals MOVE/B4-2017-63
DG MOVE / B4
- Not to be opened by the Postal Service of the Internal Mail Department -
7. COMMUNICATION ON THE CALL FOR PROPOSALS
Further information or clarifications concerning this call for proposals will be published on DG MOVE website. Applicants are invited to regularly consult this website until the deadline for submission of proposals.
Any additional specific questions related to this call may be addressed to the functional email: MOVE-TENDER-B4@ec.europa.eu
The answers to questions submitted will be published in a FAQ list on DG MOVE website, in order to ensure equal treatment of all potential applicants.
Applications must not be sent to the functional email address.
8. ADMISSIBILITY CONDITIONS
A proposal will not be evaluated if at least one of the following situations occurs:
• It is submitted after the deadline for submission of proposals (see sections 4
'Timetable' and 6.2 'Submission of proposals').
The proposal is incomplete, i.e. any form and/or annexes missing.
In this respect, proposals or part(s) of proposals submitted by email only will not be accepted.
9. ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA
9.1 Eligible applicants
Pursuant to Article 9 of the CEF Regulation, only those proposals submitted by one of the following types of applicants are eligible:
Twelve or more Member States; in addition, where necessary in order to achieve the objectives of this action and where their participation is duly justified, third countries and entities established in third countries may participate in a proposal.
Proposals may be submitted by entities which do not have legal personality under the applicable national law, provided that their representatives have the capacity to undertake legal obligations on their behalf and offer guarantee for the protection of the Union's financial interests equivalent to that offered by legal persons.
The proposals submitted by natural persons shall not be eligible.
Any applicant that cannot provide the agreement of the Member State concerned shall not be eligible.
Applicants may designate affiliated entities within the meaning of Article 122(2)(b) of the Financial Regulation, for the purpose of supporting the implementation of the action submitted for funding. Such affiliated entities shall comply with the eligibility criteria for applicants as specified in Section 6.1 of the Annex of Multi-annual Work Programme.
Applicants which are EU Member States or international organisations may designate implementing body(ies) to be involved in the implementation of the proposed action.
For multi-applicant proposals a coordinator must be designated.
In line with Article 106 of the Financial Regulation and Article 141 of the Rules of Application8, applicants will be excluded from participating in the call for proposals procedure if they are in any of the following situations:
i. they are bankrupt or being wound up, are having their affairs administered by the courts, have entered into an arrangement with creditors, have suspended business activities, are the subject of proceedings concerning those matters, or are in any analogous situation arising from a similar procedure provided for in national legislation or regulations;
ii. they or persons having powers of representation, decision-making or control over them have been convicted of an offence concerning their professional conduct by a judgment of a competent authority of a Member State which has the force of res judicata;
iii. they have been guilty of grave professional misconduct proven by any means which the contracting authority can justify including by decisions of the EIB and international organisations;
iv. they are not in compliance with their obligations relating to the payment of social security contributions or the payment of taxes in accordance with the legal provisions of the country in which they are established or with those of the country of the contracting authority or those of the country where the contract is to be performed;
v. they or persons having powers of representation, decision-making or control over them have been the subject of a judgment which has the force of res judicata for fraud, corruption, involvement in a criminal organisation, money laundering or any other illegal activity, where such illegal activity is detrimental to the Union’s financial interests;
vi. they are subject to a financial or administrative penalty referred to in Article 109(1) of the Financial Regulation.
The cases referred to in point (v) above cover:
1) cases of fraud as referred to in Article 1 of the Convention on the protection of the EU financial interests established by the Council Act of 26 July 1995;
2) cases of corruption as referred to in Article 3 of the Convention on the fight against corruption involving officials of the European Union or officials of Member States of the European Union, established by the Council Act of 26 May 1997;
3) cases of participation in a criminal organisation, as defined in Article 2(1) of Joint Action 98/733/JHA of the Council;
4) cases of money laundering as defined in Article 1 of Council Directive 91/308/EEC.
Applicants will not be granted financial assistance if, in the course of the grant award procedure:
i. they are subject to a conflict of interests;
ii. they are guilty of misrepresenting the information required by the contracting authority as a condition of participation in the grant award procedure or have failed to supply that information;
iii. find themselves in one of the situations of exclusion, referred to above.
The same exclusion criteria apply to affiliated entities. Applicants (and their affiliated entities) must certify that they are not in one of the situations listed above.
9.2 Eligible actions
Only Actions which can be identified as Programme Support Actions as defined in the CEF Regulation may receive Union financial assistance through this call for proposals.
The following types of Actions related to the objectives of the CEF in general, and to interoperability and continuity of ITS across Member States and operators in particular, are eligible for funding:
Provision of technical assistance for the implementation of traffic and travel data specifications and standards;
Expenditure linked to IT tools and networks focusing on exchanges of information and guidance to users;
Stakeholder consultation and cooperation;
Promotion, knowledge dissemination, communication, awareness raising and training
Specific studies for the further development of new or adaptation of existing
specifications and standards (e.g. conceptual development and technical assessment,
development and review of documentation, drafting of standardisation material);
Project management, secretariat and meetings;
10. SELECTION CRITERIA
The selection criteria are detailed in Section 8 of the Annex of Multi-annual Work Programme.
Applicants may designate affiliated entities within the meaning of Article 122 of the Financial Regulation, for the purpose of supporting the implementation of the action submitted for funding. Such affiliated entities shall comply with the selection criteria.
The operational and financial capacity of applicants and designated affiliated entities will be assessed as specified below.
10.1 Financial capacity
The applicants must have stable and sufficient sources of funding to maintain their activity throughout the period during which the action is being carried out and to participate in its funding.
Together with the application, the applicants shall provide their financial statements certified by an external auditor for the last two financial years for which the accounts have been closed. If an applicant has been operating for less than two years, the financial statements may be replaced by a letter of support obtained from a third party (for example, the applicant's parent company) or by another applicant of the proposed action. These documents must be attached to the application.
The requirement for applicants to demonstrate their financial capacity does not apply to Member States, public bodies established in the EU, European Economic Interest Groupings (EEIG)9, and entities 100% owned by public body(ies).
9 Established in line with Council Regulation (EEC) No 2137/85 of 25 July 1985.
10.2 Operational capacity
The applicants must have the operational and technical competencies and capacities required to complete the proposed action for which the grant is awarded. They must provide appropriate documents attesting to that capacity (e.g. organisations' activity report, proof of the experience in carrying out technical actions).
The requirement to demonstrate the operational capacity does not apply to Member States, public bodies established in the EU, European Economic Interest Groupings (EEIG), and entities 100% owned by public body(ies).
11. COMPLIANCE WITH UNION LAW
In accordance with Article 23 of the CEF Regulation, only actions in conformity with Union law and which are in line with the relevant Union policies shall be financed, in particular those relating to competition, the protection of the environment, state aid and public procurement.
12. AWARD CRITERIA
The general award criteria against which each proposal will be evaluated are specified in Section 9 of the Annex of Multi-annual Work Programme.
For the purpose of the evaluation, these criteria will be grouped in the following four blocks and specified as follows:
Relevance. This refers to the contribution of the proposed Action to the TEN-T priorities as laid out in the TEN-T Guidelines, the funding priorities as laid down in the CEF Regulation and specific priorities and objectives described in the call for proposals. In particular, the EU added value of the proposed Action will be considered in light of the definition included in Article 3(d) of the TEN-T Guidelines. Complementarity of the proposed Action with other EU funded projects and standardisation mandates, in view of optimising the impact of investments already made will also be considered.
Maturity. This refers to the state of preparation of the proposed Action, in particular the capacity for it to be implemented in accordance with the proposed time plan and the technical specifications. Proposed Actions which involve well advanced implementation can be considered as contributing most strongly to maturity. Additionally, the state of readiness for commencement of implementation of the proposed Action will also be considered under maturity. This will be determined by the degree of completion of preparatory steps and conditions required for the start of the proposed Action.
Impact. This refers to the expected effect of the EU financial support in terms of its impact in improving weak financial viability in an otherwise economically desirable investment. An assessment will be made of the impact of the financing plan to drive the most efficient use of EU financial support. Moreover, on the basis of the information provided in Application form, the impact of the proposed Action will be assessed in terms of socio-economic effects, climate and environmental aspects, improvement of accessibility, as applicable.
Quality. This refers to the soundness of the Action, in terms of the content of the planned activities, the appropriateness of the project management processes, the coherence between its objectives and planned resources / activities. In this respect, quality will be evidenced by realistic implementation plans that suggest a timely completion of the proposed Action. Additionally, the completeness and clarity of the information provided by the applicant(s) will also be assessed under this criterion.
Relevant information for assessing the above blocks of award criteria must be clearly described in Application form. During the evaluation, each block of award criteria will be given a score between 0 and 5 points (with half-marks allowed). The minimum acceptance threshold for an individual block of award criteria is 3 points. In other words, evaluators will not recommend any proposal for funding which does not obtain at least 3 points for each block. However, subject to appropriate justification, the Commission may deviate from the advice given in the evaluators’ recommendations. The Commission will also pay particular attention to any identified/identifiable risks of double-funding from other Union sources.
13. FINANCIAL PROVISIONS
13.1 General principles
13.1.1 Other sources of financing
Pursuant to Article 129 of the Financial Regulation, no Union financial aid shall be awarded to actions receiving funds from other sources of EU financing. In no circumstances shall the same costs be financed twice by the Union budget.
In that respect any actions or part thereof that receive or have received Union funding under other EU Programmes (i.e. TEN-T, Marco Polo II, Cohesion Fund, FP7, Horizon 2020, ESIF, etc.) will not be eligible.
13.1.2 Non-profit principle
In accordance with Article 125(4) of the Financial Regulation, grants shall not have the purpose or effect of producing a profit within the framework of the action. 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 action10.
Pursuant to Article 130 of the Financial Regulation, no grants may be awarded retrospectively for actions already completed. A grant may be awarded for an action which has already begun provided that the applicant(s) can demonstrate the need for starting the action prior to the signature of the grant agreement. In such cases, costs eligible for financing shall not have been incurred prior to the date of submission of the grant application.
13.2 Funding form
Grants to be awarded further to this call for proposals will take the form of reimbursement of a specified proportion of the eligible costs actually incurred.
13.2.1 Co-funding rates
The EU financial assistance to be granted under this call for proposals is up to 80% of direct eligible costs (indirect costs shall not be eligible).
13.2.2 Eligible costs
Eligible costs are costs actually incurred by the beneficiary of a grant which meet all the criteria laid down in Article 126(2) of the Financial Regulation. The same criteria apply to the costs incurred by affiliated entities and implementing bodies.
The applicants' attention is drawn to paragraphs (3) to (8) of Article 8 of the CEF Regulation concerning the eligibility of costs.
Indirect costs are not eligible.
In line with the first subparagraph of Article 8(7) of the CEF Regulation and Article 126(3)(c) of the Financial Regulation, VAT paid by beneficiaries of grants awarded following this call for proposals is eligible except:
deductible VAT (VAT paid by the beneficiary for the implementation of taxed activities or exempt activities with right of deduction);
Detailed information on eligible and ineligible costs is included in the model grant agreement, which is available on the website of Directorate General for Mobility and Transport (DG MOVE):
13.2.3 Payment arrangements
A first pre-financing payment corresponding to 40% of the maximum grant awarded as specified in the grant agreement will be transferred to the beneficiary within 30 days after the last party signs the grant agreement.
Further pre-financing payments may be made upon request, where required subject to the receipt of a financial guarantee of the amount of the pre-financing, and in accordance with the financial needs of the action.
Requests for interim payments can be submitted provided that the cumulative amount of all pre-financing and interim payments shall not exceed 80% of the maximum amount of the financial aid awarded.
In the event that the beneficiary's financial capacity is not satisfactory, the payment of pre- financing may be subject to the receipt of a financial guarantee for up to the same amount as the pre-financing payment to be made.
The financial guarantee, in euro, shall be provided by an approved bank or financial institution established in one of the Member State of the European Union. Amounts blocked in bank accounts shall not be accepted as financial guarantees.
The guarantee may be replaced by a joint or several guarantees provided by third parties or by a joint guarantee of the beneficiaries of an action that are parties to the same grant agreement.
The guarantee shall be released as the pre-financing is cleared against the interim and/or balance payment(s) made, in accordance with the conditions laid down in the grant agreement.
The final amount of the grant to be awarded to the beneficiary is established after completion of the action, upon approval of the request for payment including, where applicable, the supporting documents as described in the model grant agreement.
For multi-beneficiary actions, it is strongly recommended to the beneficiaries to sign an internal cooperation agreement regarding their operation and coordination, including all internal aspects related to the management of the beneficiaries and the implementation of the Action.
14. PROCESSING OF PERSONAL DATA
Applicants' reply to the grant application involves the recording and processing of personal data (such as name, address and CV), which will be processed pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 45/2001 on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data by the Community institutions and bodies and on the free movement of such data. Unless indicated otherwise, applicant's replies to the questions in this form and any personal data requested are required to assess an applicant's grant application in accordance with the specifications of the call for proposals and will be processed solely for that purpose by Directorate General for Mobility and Transport (DG MOVE) as data controller for this purpose. An applicant may, upon request, have his/her personal data sent to him/her and rectify any inaccurate or incomplete particulars. Should an applicant have any queries concerning the processing of his/her personal data, please address them to the entity acting as data controller within DG MOVE.
The data subjects have the right of recourse at any time to DG MOVE or, in case of conflict with the Controller or data protection officer concerning the processing of his/her personal data, an applicant has the right to submit a complaint at any time directly to the European Data Protection Supervisor (https://secure.edps.europa.eu/EDPSWEB/edps/EDPS).
Details concerning the processing of an applicant's personal data are available on the privacy statement at the page: http://ec.europa.eu/budget/library/contracts_grants/info_contracts/privacy_statement_en.pdf
Personal data included in the application (name, title. organisation, contact information) may be shared with the concerned Member States' representatives in the CEF Coordination Committee on a need to know basis in view of their role in the approval of proposals selected for funding as well as responsibilities under the CEF Regulation.
An applicant personal data (name, given name if natural person, address, legal form, registration number and name and given name of the persons with powers of representation, decision-making or control, if legal person) may be registered by the Accounting Officer of the Commission in the Early Detection and Exclusion System (EDES) established by the Commission pursuant to Article 108(1) of Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 on the financial rules applicable to the general budget of the Union, as amended by Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 2015/1929 (OJ L 286, 30.10.2015, p. 1).
For more information on EDES (including the grounds for being registered in the database), please see http://ec.europa.eu/budget/explained/management/protecting/protect_en.cfm ,
and the privacy statement at http://ec.europa.eu/budget/library/explained/management/protecting/privacy_statement_edes _en.pdf .
Applicants are informed that, to ensure that the Union’s financial interests are protected, their personal data may be communicated to internal audit services, the European Commission, the European Court of Auditors, the body specialising in financial irregularities (Financial Irregularities Panel) or the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF).
The data of applicants in any of the situations referred to in Articles 106(1), 107 and 109(2)(a) of the Financial Regulation may be included in a central exclusion database and communicated to designated persons in the Commission, the other institutions, agencies, authorities and bodies referred to in Article 108(1) and (2) of the Financial Regulation. This also applies to those with powers of representation, decision-making power or powers of control in respect of such applicants. Following a request to the Commission’s Accounting Officer, anyone registered in the database is entitled to be informed of the data recorded about them.
15. IMPORTANT DOCUMENTS
It is recommended to consult the following documents available for preparing an application:
Multi-annual Work Programme 2014-2020
Amendment to Multi-annual Work Programme 2016
Application form and Annex
Model Grant Agreement