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Fisheries Areas Network

Good Practice Method

Simplifying preparatory support in Poland

Official Title: 
Simplifying preparatory support in Poland
Country:
ID: 
GPM003-PL

Description

Context, needs, opportunity: 

Preparatory support is a mandatory element of CLLD under all EU Funds, and its primary aim is to provide support to LAGs and FLAGs to develop their local development strategy (LDS). In Poland, local partnerships applying for CLLD under EAFRD or EMFF (or both) had to submit their strategies by the end of 2015. It was, therefore, essential that such support should be made available quickly – and should not create unnecessary bureaucratic burden for the LAGs and FLAGs.

The methodology of launching preparatory support in Poland aimed:

  • at making the funding available to LAGs and FLAGs quickly, without a long application and assessment process;
  • at reducing the administrative burden so that the F/LAG personnel could focus on animating the community and developing a high quality strategy;
  • at providing a flexible response for different combinations of EMFF and EAFRD funding in F/LAG strategies.

The implementation of CLLD in Poland is largely harmonised across the ESI Funds. All Funds have published a joint call for strategies and a joint guide to developing LDSs.

Simplified preparatory support under EAFRD

For this preparatory support, the Ministry of Agriculture has decided to use Simplified Cost Options (lump sums). Instead of justifying every individual item of expenditure, the F/LAGs have to demonstrate the delivery of a certain number of outputs (described below). The amount of the lump sum depends on the number of inhabitants in the F/LAG area (there are three thresholds equivalent to approximately €27 000, €33 000 and €36 000). Advance payments are also available.

The three lump sum amounts were calculated on the basis of actual running costs incurred in the past period and validated by a leading rural research institute. The simplified application form included a description of the F/LAG, its area, as well as proof of the commitment of different sectors in each municipality in the area. F/LAGs also have an obligation to:

  • employ a certain minimum number of staff for the time needed to prepare the strategy and at least 4 months after its submission (i.e. until around March 2016);
  • establish an office that is open for a minimum number of hours per week;
  • maintain a website;
  • carry out at least one strategy planning meeting in each municipality in the F/LAG area;
  • submit an LDS which complies with the formal requirements of the call. The regional authorities (Intermediate Body) verify the employment conditions and carry out spot checks to ensure the meetings take place, but they do not check all the financial documentation.

Preparatory support funded from EFF TA 2007-2013

Another option, available only to existing FLAGs, was to apply for a top-up of the running and animation costs funded from 2007-2013 EFF Technical Assistance. This funding could be used for community animation and for costs linked to the preparation of the LDS.

The two options were mutually exclusive, so LAGs and FLAGs had to choose which was best suited to their circumstances. In total, about 300 groups applied for the SCO option, of which 18 are potential FLAGs (i.e. they plan to use EMFF as well as EAFRD). Approximately 30 FLAGs asked for an extension of their 2007-2013 contracts to prepare the new strategies. The selection of LAGs and FLAGs is expected to take place between March and May 2016.

More on Simplified Cost Options

Main achievements: 

The process of providing preparatory support is greatly simplified, reducing the administrative burden and helping to avoid delays. The successful use of lump sums has also opened the way for the further application of SCOs in Poland:

  • initially, there was a lot of scepticism, in both the managing authority and the paying agency,
  • but now that they have been convinced it can work, it has been decided to use another form of simplified costs (flat rates) for CLLD running and animation costs under the EAFRD.
Transferability: 

Many MSs are interested in using SCOs under CLLD, especially for certain types of costs (such as preparatory support or running costs), but some are still hesitating. The Polish example shows that it can be done in practice, with benefits for the programme authorities (MA/PA) and for the F/LAGs.

Lessons: 

The initial stages of preparing an SCO (calculation of the lumpsum amounts and defining appropriate conditions for the grant) can be time and labour intensive. Good cooperation between national and regional authorities and with the paying agency was of key importance.

Resources

Staff resources (FTE): 
0
Other resources: 
  • Approximately three person-months of staff work, i.e. the equivalent of 1/4 annual FTE. 
  • Data from the paying agency on eligible costs, questionnaires from local groups to estimate the necessary minimum employment etc. 

Contacts (programming period 2007-2013) :

  • Jolanta Perkowska, Head of Unit, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (EMFF)
    e-mail: jolanta.perkowska (at) minrol.gov.pl
  • Lukasz Tomczak, Chief Specialist, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (EAFRD)
    e-mail: Lukasz.tomczak (at) minrol.gov.pl
  • Joanna Gierulska, Head of Unit, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (EARDF)
    e-mail : joanna.gierulska (at) minrol.gov.pl

 

Information

Timeframe of implementation From Feb 2015 to May 2015
Sea Basins
Type of area
Theme

Organisation

Ministerstwo Gospodarki Morskiej i Żeglugi Śródlądowej
Publication date: 
30/11/2015
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