FPA 2014: MAIN CHANGES AND NOVELTIES
FPA REVISION PROCESS
The FPA 2014 is the result of a five steps process:
- External evaluation carried out in 2011-2012, which produced around 60 recommendations. Two third of these recommendations have in one way or another been integrated into the revision.
- Brainstorming sessions between DG ECHO and all the categories of partners and desks representatives.
- Analysis of Vision documents, such as the Consensus and the Good Donorship Principles, to make sure that these documents, which have been adopted after the FPA 2008, were properly reflected in the partnership tools.
- Integration of the new financial and legal rules and procedures established by the 2012 revised Financial Regulation.
- Process review carried out by DG ECHO in 2013, that brought a set of new workflow, procedures, benchmarking aiming at improving ECHO's quality and efficiency
REVISION GUIDING PRINCIPLES
The entire revision process was guided by the following guiding principles.
Accountability: to be granted toward the Parliament and toward other stakeholders such as the European taxpayers. In order to comply with this principle:
- The Single Form has been structured in a way that allows DG ECHO to better extract information needed to improve its reporting capacities (e.g. gender-age markers, disaggregated data on beneficiaries, etc.)
- The Single Form has been designed in a way that facilitates the quality assurance and the reinforcement of the coherence of DG ECHO funded actions with DG ECHO priorities and policies (e.g. Key Result Indicators, gender-age markers, etc.).
- The new FPA and the Single Form focus more on the results of the actions rather than on their inputs.
Visibility: is still considered a key issue and for this reason:
- No changes occurred regarding the visibility obligations, but visibility requirements have been clarified.
- The possibility to do extra visibility/communication in close coordination with DG ECHO has been maintained
- The focus on compliance of visibility obligations has been increased
- Failure to implement minimum visibility requirements may lead to grant reduction and to the application of a penalty in case of unjustified and recurrent failure to comply.
Simplification: as far as possible, information to be provided in the Single Form has been simplified as follows:
- The volume of information has been reduced
- The encoding system has been simplified as much as possible
- Many of the compliance issues (e.g. procurement plan, security trainings, etc) have been taken out of the Single Form
- The quantity and nature of the verifications applied to partners have been revised to ensure that the partner is not submitted to multiple controls analysing the same information (according to the principle that the DG ECHO cannot audit twice the same thing)
Flexibility: where simplification has not been possible, the FPA 2014 introduced increased flexibility. According to this principle:
- The Single form is not an annex of the FPA anymore
- The Single Form format is adapted to the specificities of the Action and the nature of the crisis (Modular Approach)
- The partners have the possibility to modify all elements of the Agreement and of the Action.
Finally, the new FPA increased the emphasis on the need of coherence with Commission sectoral policies; this means that the partners, in the actions’ implementation should respect the Commission’s standards and guidelines for sectoral and thematic issues ensuring accountability and resilience.