Lead Partner seminar no 10 was held in Lübeck on the 21-22 of November. Around 80 participants attended workshops on Indicators, Article 4 visits and Reports. The seminar also featured presentations on Communications, the new Interreg IVB North Sea Region Programme and Key points for closing projects.
The approach from the secretariat was to engage the participants in discussions and dialogue as much as possible. The feed back from the seminar proved that this approach was successful and appreciated.
Mini call for extra PR funding
The Mini call for additional PR funding, which will be posted on the programme website in early January 2007, was launched. The call will present projects with an opportunity to do some extraordinary work in communicating and publicising their respective projects, which is of increasing importance as projects are coming into their delivery phase.
Communications Officer Henrik Josephson also discussed the importance of communicating the transnational added value of projects and the programme and to always remember that each and every person involved in a project is to some extent a representative of the North Sea Programme and ultimately, the European Union.
Latest on new programme
Head of Secretariat, Lorraine George, gave a presentation on the new programme in which she emphasised the importance of the Lisbon and Gothenburg Agendas as well as three keywords for new projects: strategic, concrete and focused.
The final Operational Programme (OP) document is scheduled to be submitted to the Commission in mid January 2007. The new programme will be launched at the Annual Conference on the 20-22 June in Brunstad, Norway. The first call for applications will follow shortly after that.
The workshop on indicators illustrated that there is a big interest in the indicator system, but also that there are many questions related to their relevance and accuracy. Indicators can often be used successfully to measure quantitative data and support the findings of qualitative data. There is, however, room for improvement when it comes to the indicators on qualitative data, especially those measuring the success of projects long after they are closed.
Reports and Article 10 check
In the workshop on reports the participants were split into four groups to discuss the issues related to sub-partners, audit trail and public tender. The workshop revealed differences in approaches at both country and organisational level. Each group came up with recommendations on how to tackle the three issues and these were presented during the plenary.
The workshop also included a presentation by a representative from BAFA, the German Federal Office of Economics and Export Control. This presentation featured information on the Article 10 checks, a topic which triggered some debate.
Article 10 check: A number of projects will be subject to Article 10 checks. This involves a full financial audit of the given project. The Member States must send the Commission an annual report on their audit work in the various programmes they are involved in.
Article 4 visits
The workshop on Article 4 visits was carried out as a case study, including a role-play of a fictitious visit, where a project manager was put to the test, supported by another project manager with concrete experience of such a visit. The somewhat experimental approach proved successful and gave the participants a picture of how such a visit is carried out and what kind of questions can be expected.
Article 4 visit: Every project is subject to an Article 4 visit at least once in its lifetime. The check is carried out by project development and finance representatives from the programme secretariat and it aims to verify whether the project complies with the regulations. In addition, it has been a good tool for troubleshooting.