Financial Management and Audit of EU Structural and Investment Funds

28/11/2017 - 29/11/2017
Location: Maastricht (NL)
Project number: 1730212

Koninklijke_NBA_11-PE-uur

Financial Management and Audit of EU Structural and Investment Funds

From:  900,00

The seminar will cover all the essentials of Financial Management, Financial Control and Audit for Operational Programmes in the 2014-2020 period, with an emphasis on audit and anti-fraud. What are the major issues and problems holding back programme implementation? Are there still challenges for management and control systems? What are the implications of delay for audit activities? Are anti-fraud systems operational? Will the new OMNIBUS regulation help to simplify the financial management and control of programmes and projects?

Registration for this course is closed. Take a look at our latest course: Financial Management and Audit of EU Structural and Investment Funds 2019

Only 3%-6% of the total Structural and Cohesion Fund budgets (depending on the Fund) for the 2014-2020 Operational Programmes has been spent by mid-2017. Planned expenditure for projects which have been approved is between 25% and 30% of the total budget available. So what are the major issues and problems holding back programme implementation? Are there still challenges for management and control systems? What are the implications of delay for audit activities? Are anti-fraud systems operational? Will the new OMNIBUS regulation help to simplify the financial management and control of programmes and projects?

These issues and many others will be examined. The course will cover all the essentials of Financial Management, Financial Control and Audit for Operational Programmes in the 2014-2020 period, with an emphasis on audit and anti-fraud.

The first part of the seminar is dedicated to programme planning and finance, as well as the new accounting year. It also considers the process of interim payments and automatic de-commitment in detail. We look at what goes into the annual accounts, the calculation of the annual balance, and the link to n+3. There is then an examination of key live issues within Financial Control and Audit, presented by one of the EU’s leading Member State practitioners. This is followed by an in-depth examination of the new eligibility of expenditure rules, gathering experience from around the EU.

Day two looks in detail at the audit of accounts, systems and operations, again from a Member State perspective, plus an examination of irregularities, corrections, and calculation of the error rate. We then look in a highly practical manner at the anti-fraud mining tool, ARACHNE. The rest of the seminar is dedicated to simplifying programmes: how to use all types of Simplified Costs Options and what changes have been introduced with the new OMNIBUS regulation.

How will it help you?
You will work with live issues and practical solutions for challenges in the fields of financial management, financial control and audit. You will enjoy quality speakers from Member States’ authorities and the European Commission, as well as regional experts and consultants. The course will include numerous workshops and exercise sessions where examples and case studies will be presented. You are encouraged to exchange practical examples, experiences and good practice in managing EU Structural Funds.

Who will benefit most?
This course is intended for practitioners from national, regional and local authorities and from other public bodies of EU Member States (and associated countries) working with ESI Funds. The seminar is also open to economic and social partners working with the Structural and Investment Funds, such as universities, NGOs, employers’ associations, consultants.

TUESDAY 28 NOVEMBER 2017
 
08.30 Registration
   
09.00 Opening of the seminar
Marco Lopriore, Expert, EIPA, Maastricht (NL)
   
09.10 Key Financial Management and Control issues for ESI Funds, 2014-2020
·       achieving results, performance-based programmes
·       The Performance Framework and unit cost benchmarks
·       programme finance, financial flows – commitments, advances, interim payments
·       payments progress and problems with n+3
·       the new accounting year and calculating the annual balance
·       irregularities, corrections, withdrawals, recoveries, reconciliation of accounts
·       programme closure
Robin Smail, Consultant and Visiting Expert EIPA(UK/IE) (and former National Expert EC)
   
10.45 Coffee break
   
11.15 Exercise with n+3
·       contracting projects and project delivery
·       spending profiles and n+3 in 2014-2020
Robin Smail
   
11.30 Control and Audit of Structural Funds – challenges in 2014-2020
·       management and control systems, problems with designation
·       key challenges for the authorities
·       risk assessment and risk mitigation
·       most frequent audit problems and the ECA viewpoint
Dermot Byrne, Head of ERDF Audit Authority, Department of Public Expenditure & Reform, Dublin(IE)
   
13.00 Lunch at Hotel Derlon
   
14.30 Exercise with calculating the annual balance
·       pre-financing and interim payments, cash flow
·       calculating the balance, timing, implications
Robin Smail
   
15.00 Eligibility of expenditures
·       impact of simplified cost options on management verifications
·       eligibility of expenditure issues
·       timing, durability, type of support, contributions- in-kind
·       compliance with EU legislation, national rules
·       retention of documents
·       the OMNIBUS regulation
Marco Lopriore
   
16.00 Coffee break
   
16.30 Workshop on eligibility of projects and expenditures
·       in-kind contributions and co-financing
·       ERDF and ESF cases
·       Financial Instruments
Robin Smail, Marco Lopriore
   
18.15 End of the first day
   
18.30 Buffet reception at Hotel Derlon
   
   
WEDNESDAY 29 NOVEMBER 2017
 
09.15 Annual Assurance process, irregularities and audits of systems and operations
·       annual Accounts – preparation, audit and acceptance by Commission
·       audits of systems
·       audits of operations (including sampling)
·       irregularities and corrections
·       calculating error rates for programmes
Dermot Byrne
   
10.45 Coffee break
   
11.15 Exercise with revenue-generating projects
·       calculating the grant – where no revenues, where revenues
Robin Smail
   
11.35 Anti-fraud: using the ARACHNE system
·       What is ARACHNE? Aims and objectives
·       ARACHNE overview – getting started installing and running the application
·       ARACHNE interface/functions
·       Dashboard and reports, other functions
·       Implementation – dataflow from MAs
·       Experiences, cases, lessons learned
Luc Molemans, Arachne Project Manager, DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, Unit G4– Information Technologies, European Commission, Brussels (BE)
   
13.00 Lunch at Hotel Derlon
   
14.30 Simplified Cost options and ESF control and audit issues: case studies from around the EU
·       simplified cost options: flat rates; standard scales of unit costs; lump sums
·       preserving the audit trail
·       cases from around the EU
·       state aid implications
·       the Integrity Pact of DG REGIO
Marco Lopriore
   
15.25 Exercises with Simplified Cost Options
·       flat rates
·       standard scales of unit costs
·       irregularities with SCOs
Marco Lopriore
   
16.25 Evaluation and conclusion of the seminar
   
16.30 End of the seminar

Course venue
European Institute of Public Administration (EIPA)
O.L. Vrouweplein 22
6211 HE, Maastricht
the Netherlands

Fee
The fee includes documentation, two lunches, one reception and refreshments. Accommodation and travel costs are at the expense of the participants or their administration.

If you are collecting the CE units (PE punten) for accountants please indicate this in the additional information box at the bottom of your registration.

Discounts
EIPA offers a 10% discount to all civil servants working for one of EIPA’s supporting countries, and civil servants working for an EU institution, body or agency.

Who are the supporting countries?
Civil servants coming from the following EIPA supporting countries are entitled to get the reduced fee: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom.

For all other participants, the regular fee applies.

Meals
Lunches and the reception will be served at a restaurant in town. Special dietary requirements (e.g. vegetarian, diabetic) can be indicated once you receive the confirmation of the seminar.

Hotel reservations
EIPA has special price arrangements with a number of hotels. All hotels are within 10 minutes walking distance from EIPA. Should you wish to make use of this possibility, please book directly via the links below. Payment is to be made directly and personally to the hotel upon checking out. At the time of booking, please mention in the requested field the EIPA project number for your course.

Confirmation
Confirmation of registration will be forwarded to participants on receipt of the completed registration form.

Payment
Prior payment is a condition for participation. Please indicate the method of payment on the registration form.

Cancellation policy
For administrative reasons you will be charged €150 for cancellations received within 15 days before the activity begins. There is no charge for qualified substitute participants. EIPA reserves the right to cancel the activity up to 2 weeks before the starting date. In that case, registration fees received will be fully reimbursed. EIPA accepts no responsibility for any costs incurred (travel, accommodation, etc.). The mention of a speaker’s name in the programme does not commit EIPA. In the event that an announced speaker does not appear, EIPA will do its utmost to find a suitable replacement.

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