“EU support on the preparation of the country to manage the European Social Fund through implementation of the Human Resources Development Component of the IPA instrument” MK/2007/IB/SO/01

Project Starting Date: 10 January 2011

Project End Date: 17 March 2012

Project Budget: € 700.000,00

Contractor: Ministry of Employment and the Economy, Regional Development Department, Government of Finland

Final Beneficiary: Ministry of Finance (MF), Ministry of Education and Science (MES) and Ministry of Labour and Social Policy (MLSP)

Overall objective:

To achieve efficient implementation, monitoring, evaluation, administration and communication of the Multi-annual Operational Programme “Human Resource Development” 2007-2013 and thus prepare the country to manage the European Social Fund (ESF).


To build up the administrative capacity of the Operational Structure for the effective and efficient implementation of the OP Human Resource Development within the whole project management cycle, including programming, tendering and contracting, monitoring at project and Programme level, evaluation at Programme level, information and communication, etc.

Expected Results:

  • Capacity of the Operational Structure trained and strengthened to implement their responsibilities in compliance with the sound financial management and IPA Implementation regulations;
  • Capacity of the Operational Structure improved to implement operations in compliance with the EU regulations and the best practices, all functions and procedures related to the OPHRD management, evaluation, information and control activities;
  • The Operational Structure effectively co-operate at all relevant level in accordance with the OPHRD and the related Financing Agreement for Component IV.

Through the support of the project the Operational Structure gained the capacity to:

  1. draw up the sectoral annual and final implementation reports;
  2. ensure that operations are selected for funding and approved in accordance with the criteria and mechanisms applicable to the programme, and that they comply with the relevant Community and national rules;
  3. set up procedures to ensure the retention of all documents required to ensure an adequate audit trail;
  4. participate in tendering and grant award procedures, as well as providing necessary information concerning technical aspects of the project during the preparation of the tenders and/or tendering procedure;
  5. ensure that the Contractor/Grant Beneficiary perform task in accordance with predefined deadlines in the Contract;
  6. approve the Reports and time-sheets of the Contractor/Grant Beneficiary;
  7. carry out verifications to ensure that the expenditure declared has actually been incurred in accordance with applicable rules, the products or services have been delivered in accordance with the approval decision, and the payment requests by the final beneficiary are correct. These verifications shall cover administrative, financial, technical and physical aspects of operations, as appropriate;
  8. use effectively the information system to manage, monitor and evaluate the programme on a project and/or contract level;
  9. ensure irregularity reporting;
  10. ensure compliance with the information and publicity requirements.

Target groups:          

Employees within the Operating Structure for IPA Component IV (Ministry of Finance (MF), Ministry of Education and Science (MES) and Ministry of Labour and Social Policy (MLSP).

Key project activities:

The Twinning assistance provided in the form of know-how transfer, and delivered though:

Advice and coaching sessions: The training and the on-going support/advice to Operational Structure covered all its functions according Commission regulation (EC) N. 718/2007, Article 28. The advice, coaching and assistance covered the launch of call for proposals/tendering, the running of information campaigns, publicity, advise in preparation and management of application procedures, checks and examinations, selection procedure, decision making, commitment procedure, contracting, controls, monitoring, reporting, etc. These coaching and advice activities helped for the fine tuning of the whole process of managing and implementing the OPHRD.

Tailor made training programme: This project included the development and implementation of a tailor-made training programme for the staff of the Operational Structure. The programme took into account the lessons learnt from the previous trainings and based on a training needs assessment of the specific target groups. The training programme focused on all aspects of implementation and management of the OP HRD and covered all aspects of the audit trail.

Seminars, workshops and conferences: The training programme comprised the organization of seminars, workshops and conferences.

Study tour(s) (up to 2): The study visits on technical issues was organized for representatives of the Operational Structure to Member State for exchange of good practices and experience in connection with management and implementation of European Social Fund programmes.

Manuals of Procedures and Check-lists: The Twinning partner reviewed and revised the existing Manual of Procedures and Check-lists.

Assessment: Activities within the training programme were assessed though practical tools.

Sharing of experience: Sharing of experience was fundamental to improve the overall implementation of IPA.