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The IPA structure regulates the sustainability of EU funded projects
16:15, Monday, September 16, 2019

On an invitation of the Ministry of Finance and the Deputy Minister Ph.D. Shiret Elezi, SEA State Secretary, Ms. Kalinka Gaber, addressed at the "Conference on Sustainability of Projects Financed by IPA Funds".  The conference was organised as a closing event of the EU funded project number 2018/399593/2 "Support by the national authorities for the effective fulfilment of the terms of the financing agreements and the findings of the audit on the implementation of the IPA II assistance", where among other beneficiaries is the Sector for management of the Instrument for pre-accession assistance- IPA.

The project, although with a small budget of funds available through the Instrument for European Integration, is still important because it addresses another aspect of successful project implementation and the project itself contributes to the absorption of IPA funds - said State Secretary Gaber.  

Sustainability Guidelines for Projects financed by IPA funds that are planned to be adopted by the Ministry of Finance were presented at the conference, which will regulate the obligations of the operating structure and end users in the area of sustainability. Within this framework we will have the opportunity to get acquainted with the positive experience in the implementation of investment IPA projects by two end-users, with a particular view of the steps and activities aimed at ensuring their sustainability.

The issue of sustainability of projects following their implementation becomes relevant with the European Commission"s requirements noted in the correspondence on the closure of IPA 1 programmes and in the EC audit findings on the accreditation of IPA structures for indirect management of IPA funds under the IPA 2 programming period. Namely, the very concept of sustainability of infrastructure / investment projects (works contracts/procurement) covers criteria for monitoring of sustainability, in terms of several key aspects:

- Transfer of ownership of investments/equipment from the contracting authority (CFCD/Ministry of Finance) to the end user.

- Accounting of investments/equipment in the end-user record system.

- Use of investments/equipment in accordance with the purpose and the aim for which they were purchased/built and keep records of their use.

- Provision of funds and facilities for maintaining investments/equipment purchased/built.

- Compliance with the EU Visibility Rules.

Within the IPA Indirect Management System, the following authorities have a role in monitoring project sustainability:

- National IPA Coordinator (NIPAC) - Deputy Prime Minister for European Affairs and the Supporting Sector within SEA- monitors project sustainability in terms of meeting project objectives and programmes in general.

- National Authorizing Officer (NAO) - State Counsellor in MoF and the IPA Management Sector - monitors project sustainability in terms of meeting the sustainability criteria mentioned above (by implementing ex post spot checks on an ad hoc basis).

- IPA Coordinator - officer in each IPA beneficiary ministry and the department /unit that supports it - directly monitors the sustainability of all projects within the portfolio of their institution (to all end-users by conducting regular - planned ex post checks on-the-spot).

- End Beneficiaries - State institutions at central and local level, including public companies, state owned joint stock companies and the judiciary. They are ultimately responsible for ensuring the sustainability of IPA funded investment projects.

 

The purpose of the Sustainability Guidelines for IPA funded projects will be to fine-tune the role of end-users in the project sustainability process, as well as explaining the role of oversight bodies within the system for monitoring of the sustainability.

 

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