Brussels, 26 Sep 2005
The EU funded project 'Finance-NMS-IST' has published a position paper on the Commission's proposals for simplification in the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7), focusing on the financial aspects of the programme. Priorities include consulting financial officers from small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and small auditing firms during the drafting of the programme, and later targeting the same people through explanatory workshops.
Making the case for smaller players, the paper states that the Commission should make available clear guidelines in order to ensure that 'small' partners are not deprived by larger partners of sufficient funding.
The consortium claims that the use of direct costs in FP6 was a 'mistake' that lacks logic, and says instead that overheads should be based on personnel cost only. Percentages could be set according to the size of an organisation, the paper suggests.
The position paper welcomes the proposal to introduce flat-rate financing, but criticises the proposal of 20 per cent for indirect costs based on total direct costs. 'The level and basis of calculation are inappropriate to the vast majority of organisations,' states the consortium. Instead, the overheads percentage should be a percentage of personnel costs only.
Among the consortium's general comments are appeals for uniformity of interpretation, participant financial checks where there is collective responsibility, the establishment of a central ombudsman, the reintroduction of weighting in evaluations, fewer delays in contract conclusion, and the guarantee of a level playing field for peripheral countries. The paper also points out that countries with higher salaries sometimes miss out as work is moved to a country with lower labour costs. 'High labour cost countries contribute proportionally more to the program funding and should not be penalised as a result,' the paper reads. To access the paper, please visit: http://www.finance-helpdesk.org
To access the Commission's proposals, please click here