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Get up-to-date Scottish Government information on European Structural and Investment Funds.

Publicity Guidlines

 Publicity Guidelines

 

Publicity activities conducted by Member States to raise awareness and understanding of European Structural and Investment Funds are governed by European Commission regulations 1303/2013 (articles 115-117 and annex XII), 1304/2013 (article 20) and Commission Implementing Regulation 812/2014 (chapter II and annex II).

 

As Managing Authority for ERDF and ESF in Scotland, the Scottish Government has developed a 2014-2020 Communications Strategy and Publicity Requirements. The documents cover all aspects of promotion and set out the requirements expected of Scottish Government staff publicising ESIF, lead partners and also organisations receiving funding for individual projects. The documents are updated regularly and it is essential that organisations delivering publicity activity consult the documents on a regular basis to ensure they remain fully informed.

Email futurefunds2020@gov.scot for any publicity queries.

News

Operation Applications Deadlines                                                             25 January 2017

Latest date for submission of new Operation Applications or changes to existing Operations Applications to be considered in the March 2017 MAAP is 17 February 2017.

 

EUMIS Update                                                                                            24 January 2017

The majority of operations are now on EUMIS and claims are starting to come in.

Please ensure all operations and SI approved applications to be loaded onto EUMIS as soon as possible. Once we approve them on EUMIS we will send you a designated signatories list for the Strategic Intervention.

Once this has been returned, your SI will be made live and you can submit claims (providing the pre-systems check is complete)

If you are having difficulty entering details please contact us at eumis@gov.scot. If the question relates to your milestones please speak to your Portfolio and Compliance Manager.

Please note that some Lead Partners have several Strategic Interventions and Operations. There have been a number of instances when users have amended the wrong Operation. Before editing or adding any data, please ensure you are in the correct Operation.

 

Claims

When submitting a claim, we need a designated signatory to confirm that the claim has been checked, that all costs are eligible for support and that the supporting documentation is available.

Please download the Claims letter template from the Help section, complete and arrange for the designated signatory to e-mail this to us (or to sign and post to us).

 

Guidance

Application, claims and change request guidance is in the help section of EUMIS. We have had some feedback asking for the claims guidance to be expanded and we will look to update this soon.

 

Change Requests

If you need to change an operation or strategic intervention once it is live on EUMIS, you must complete the relevant change request template and submit as per the guidance.

There are 3 templates: changes at strategic intervention level; changes to operations; changes to the basic data entered for recipients.

 

Uploading to EUMIS

Web Interface

Lead Partners have started to test this and as a result a few amendments have been made to the web interface document and to the results/outputs spreadsheet detailing all the indicators and showing how they appear on EUMIS.

Updated documents can be found here

 

CSV Files

As a result of feedback from Lead Partners we are looking to add the option of uploading to EUMIS through a csv file. Whilst the web interface remains the best option for uploading data, this could be an option for some.

With the csv option, you would still need to be able to export the data from your systems and convert to a format accepted by EUMIS.

The changes required to EUMIS are likely to take 4-5 months. We are in the process of producing a specification for this and once this has been agreed and timescales are in place we will issue an update.

In the meantime we do want claims in so please arrange for manual entry in the meantime.

 

Review

We intend to conduct a review of EUMIS later in the year. Please keep a note of anything you feel could be tweaked/improved in the system and this can feed into the review.

 

Further support

We may have capacity to offer further support to lead partners in the coming months. If you are using EUMIS and would find it useful to have an additional session with us please contact eumis@gov.scot. Please detail the areas you need support in, how many people you would like to involve and the type of support you would like – so would further guidance suffice, would a workshop be of use? We will review demand and see if we can set up some support sessions.

 

 

Scotland to benefit from significant EU funds                                      18 November 2016

Investment for vital projects to tackle poverty and inequality.

Councils across Scotland are set to benefit from almost £13m of funding to tackle poverty in communities across the country.

The money, made up from a combination of £5m of European Social Funds (ESF) and match funding from local authorities, will be targeted to projects that combat poverty and promote equal opportunity.

The First Minister made the announcement as she visited Project Search, an initiative delivered by the local authority in Renfrewshire designed to get young people with autism and learning disabilities into employment.  The full press release can be read here.

 

EU Funding Guarantee                                                                             4 November 2016

Derek Mackay MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Constitution has announced that he will be passing on the UK Government’s recently announced guarantee on European funding in full. The detail of the announcement can be found here.

The guarantee covers all European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) Programmes 2014-20, including European Regional Development Funds (ERDF), European Social Funds (ESF), European Territorial Co-operation (ETC) programmes, agri-environment schemes, and all projects funded directly by the European Commission through, for example Horizon 2020.

Some 45% of the 2014-20 ERDF and ESF programmes are already committed, with almost all the approved projects running to the end of 2018. The Managing Authority (MA) will report to the Joint Programme Monitoring Committee (JPMC) on 30 November 2016 with options for committing the funds for the second phase of the programme.

The guarantee provides reassurance for projects which have been approved by the Managing Authority (MA) and those which will go through the approval process before the UK leaves the European Union.

 

Business Boost                                                                                          25 October 2016

European funding for small and medium-sized enterprise.

More than 20,000 businesses will benefit from a £60 million investment, with EU money being used to grow Scotland’s small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

The European Regional Development Fund support will bolster the business growth pipeline, allowing companies to access the help they need to expand. With SMEs accounting for 95% of businesses in Scotland, this funding will target growth through innovation and investment.  Full press release available here.

 

Winning Ways with Waste                                                                        24 October 2016

Circular Ocean, a project led by the University of Highlands and Islands (UHI), has been announced winner of the Public Choice Award at the European Commission’s RegioStars 2016 Awards.

The awards identify good practices in regional development and highlight original and innovative projects which could be inspiring to other regions. Winning this award has put the spotlight on Circular Ocean as being one of the most innovative EU funded projects.

Engagement with the European Union (EU) has always been at the heart of the development of the University of the Highlands and Islands, whether in terms of financial investment or collaborative work with partners in other member states.

The winning project aims to inspire remote communities to realise the economic opportunities of discarded fish nets and ropes by turning this marine waste into a useful resource. Circular Ocean is not only tackling the problem of marine waste but is supporting Scotland’s move to a more circular economy.

North Highland College UHI have been involved in many excellent EU initiatives over the years and are delighted to receive recognition for their outstanding work in the Circular Ocean project.

 

 

Scottish Government secures funding guarantee for projects             2 September 2016

 

Scottish Government has secured agreement from UK Ministers to guarantee all Structural Funds projects which are approved and have offers of grant agreed by the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement, which is usually toward the end of November or early December. This secures around £340 million of funding for Scotland’s communities, and provides certainty for partners who are undertaking procurement exercises and long-term planning of services.

The guarantee from Treasury also extends to projects funded under the European Territorial Co-operation Programmes and means that Scottish partners should continue to take part in these important collaborative projects as normal.

In addition to confirming and issuing grant offers for projects which have already been endorsed by Ministers, Scottish Government expects to make further Strategic Intervention and Operation approvals over the course of the Autumn to ensure Scotland accesses the funding it is entitled to.

 

 

Strategic Intervention & Operation Application Deadlines                      26 August 2016                                                  

Latest date for submission of Strategic Interventions to be considered in October 2016 MAAP is 14 September 2016

Latest date for submission of Operation Applications to be considered in November 2016 MAAP is 12 October 2016

 

 

Claims training sessions                                                                                 1 June 2016

 

Spaces are still available for the Claims training sessions due to take place this month.  The training will include an overview of the claims process, verifications, the change control process and EUMIS.  Sessions will run from 10am to 3pm.

There are also spaces available for any Lead Partners who wish to book additional places.

To sign up for training sessions please use the links below and remember to enter your email address when adding your name. Agendas will be emailed to all attendees in advance. Attendees with specific requirements, dietary or otherwise, should contact eumis@gov.scot

June 8, 2016 – Inverness (Jury’s Inn). Maximum of 50 attendees. http://doodle.com/poll/b8gsznddrb5tf2vkbyqw9sa2/admin

June 10, 2016 - Edinburgh (Victoria Quay). Maximum of 70 attendees.

http://doodle.com/poll/enzuwvqzimepzwi9

June 13, 17 and 24, 2016 Glasgow (Atlantic Quay). Maximum of 45 attendees for each session.

http://doodle.com/poll/v9s6374kp86k4np5

 

 

Grant offers to be issued as MAAP considers Operation applications          24 May 2016 

 

The Managing Authority Approval Panel (MAAP) met last week to consider over 30 Operation applications. Offer of Grant letters are now in the process of being issued and information about the approved Operations will be published here shortly along with information about those Operations approved at the MAAP meeting in March.

Further MAAPs are scheduled to be held during the summer and the deadline to submit all new Strategic Intervention and Operation applications for these meetings is 13 June 2016.

For further information please contact futurefunds2020@gov.scot

 

 

Operation application approvals issued and next MAAP dates set             22 April 2016 

The Managing Authority Approval Panel (MAAP) met in March 2016 to consider over 120 Operation applications. Offer of Grant letters, or confirmation of approvals, have now been issued to successful applicants. The offer uses standard Scottish Government clauses and cannot be amended beyond any specific references to Structural Funds. The Scottish Government will publish information about all approved Operations by the end of April 2016.

All Operation applications submitted on 31 January 2016 will be considered when the MAAP meets in late May. Operations submitted on 31 March 2016 will be considered at a MAAP towards the end of June 2016.

Next Steps

Once the Managing Authority has received the signed acceptance of the Offer of Grant, Portfolio and Compliance Managers will be in touch with Lead Partners to agree the steps set out below. This will allow Strategic Interventions and Operations to be added to the EUMIS system.

 

  • Confirm the Strategic Intervention Manager (SIM) for EUMIS. The Strategic Intervention Manager will be responsible for ensuring all data is uploaded and that claims are submitted on a regular basis.

  • Confirm a named contact for the Lead Partner. A number of Strategic Interventions may be linked to one lead partner. Each Lead Partner can only have one bank account for payments for all SIs. If the bank account is changed, please note that it will be changed for all SI claim payments. The named contact will be responsible for sharing any required information for all SIs.

  • The claims schedule. There is no enforced claims schedule within EUMIS. However, the Portfolio and Compliance Manager will look to agree the timing and frequency of claims for each SI. Additional claims can be made with the agreement of the Managing Authority, and the Managing Authority has the authority to ask a Lead Partner to submit a claim at additional points if this is required.

  • Set and agree milestones for each Operation. Milestones will be defined by the activity being undertaken and will allow the Managing Authority to track spending and progress towards outcomes.Milestones do not need to be fully met in order to make a claim. Please see the attached guidance on the setting of milestones.

 

 

Work to finalise claims and verifications process nears completion          22 April 2016 

The claims and verification processes are currently being finalised with the Audit Authority. Many of the established principles on retention and availability of documents, and checks on State Aid and procurement compliance, will continue.

However, there are two new and significant aspects to the process to be aware of:

  • The new annual accounts process (effectively annual closure) means that any claims will be paid only after the Managing Authority has verified and agreed them. This minimises the risk that funding is paid out and subsequently has to be recovered or a penalty imposed. It will also ensure that any issues are resolved while documents are still readily available.
  • The risk assessment and risk scoring undertaken during the Managing Authority assessment of applications will shape the initial compliance and verification plans. The Operation Verifications Plans referred to in the Offer of Grant will be issued shortly and should help Lead Partners to manage and mitigate the risks the Managing Authority has identified for each Operation.

Operation Verification Plans and additional guidance will be issued to Lead Partners shortly. Once this is received it should be discussed with Portfolio and Compliance Managers.

 

 

EUMIS                                                                                                             22 April 2016 

Once the next steps have been agreed with the Managing Authority, the Portfolio and Compliance Manager will provide the Strategic Intervention Manager with information to enable access to EUMIS.

Guidance on adding Strategic Interventions and Operations is available in the Help section of the EUMIS system. Portfolio and Compliance Managers will be available to provide additional support to enable applications to be added to the EUMIS system.

 

 

Claims training sessions                                                                                22 April 2016 

Lead Partner training will begin in June 2016. Sessions will include the claims process, verifications, the change control process and EUMIS.

Attendee numbers will be strictly limited to two per Lead Partner for each Strategic Intervention. Please ensure that attendees who attend are those who will be involved in collating the necessary evidence and submitting claims to the Managing Authority.

To sign up for training sessions please use the links below, providing your name and Lead Partner name. Attendees with specific requirements, dietary or otherwise, should contact eumis@gov.scot   

June 8 2016 – Inverness (Jury’s Inn). Maximum of 50 attendees. http://doodle.com/poll/b8gsznddrb5tf2vkbyqw9sa2/admin

June 10 2016 - Edinburgh (Victoria Quay). Maximum of 70 attendees.

http://doodle.com/poll/enzuwvqzimepzwi9

June 13, 17 and 24 2016 Glasgow (Atlantic Quay). Maximum of 45 attendees for each session.

http://doodle.com/poll/v9s6374kp86k4np5

 

 

Web Service Documentation                                                                         22 April 2016 

The web interface will be available for use so that data can be automatically uploaded to EUMIS. Final documentation will be available in the next couple of weeks. If you have any questions about the interface please e-mail eumis@gov.scot

 

 

EC seeking view on European Social Fund                                                      7 April 2016

The European Commission is running an open public consultation as part of the 2007-2013 European Social Fund ex-post evaluation.

The consultation is open to interested individuals and organisations until 27th April 2016 and can be accessed online at:

http://ec.europa.eu/social/main.jsp?langId=en&catId=699&consultId=21&visib=0&furtherConsult=yes

The consultation is in English but respondents can provide views in their own language.

 

 

Dates set for completion of 2014-2020 Operation Applications                   March 2016

Dates have now been set for the Managing Authority Approval Panels to process Operation Applications.

The completion dates are later than originally planned due to new audit and compliance requirements which were introduced following the suspension of funding under the 2007-2013 programmes.

Priority is also being given to Operation Applications where the delivered activity or service is procured. This ensures any eligibility issues can be identified and resolved quickly and effectively.

The following dates have been agreed to complete the processing of Operation Applications:

 

Date Operation Application submitted

Planned issue date for grant offer letters

End November 2015

31 March 2016

End January 2016

31 May 2016

End March 2016

30 June 2016

 

Queries about Operation Application should be sent to futurefunds2020@gov.scot

 

Commission considers 2015 Annual Control Report as work progresses towards lifting of Suspensions

The European Commission is currently considering the 2015 Annual Control Report (ACR) submitted by the Audit Authority as part of the annual European Structural and Investment Fund audit activity.

The ACR is a key reporting mechanism between the Audit Authority (AA) and the Commission, allowing the AA to provide the Commission with a progress report on the administration of the funds in Scotland. The ACR has a number of purposes including:

  • to assess whether activity complies with EC regulations;

  • to evaluate a sample of EU-funded projects for eligibility;

  • to assess the effectiveness of the Management and Control System (MCS).

 

The suspensions imposed by the EC on the 2007-2013 programmes stemmed mostly from the administrative weaknesses of funding recipients including missing documentation, misinterpretation of regulations and missed steps in procurement processes. It was also caused by failures to effectively adhere to the 2007-2013 MCS.

Completion and approval of the 2014-2020 MCS will contribute to the lifting of the 2007-2013 suspensions.

The MCS will set out the procedures underpinning the operation and management of the Funds in Scotland, including the assessment of  applications, verification of expenditure and the maintenance of audit trails and records.

The Audit Authority approves the ACR and the MCS on behalf of the Commission.

The deadline to have an established MCS in place is December 2016. The Managing Authority plans to submit a draft MCS in May.

 

 

Manufacturing Plan to Boost Industry                                                   15 February 2016

£70 million for manufacturing and the circular economy.

Bespoke support and a new Centre of Excellence to help Scotland’s manufacturers innovate and expand have been announced by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

The funding, including £30 million from the European Regional Development Fund, will enable companies to capture new opportunities presented by a move to a more circular economy. Read the full press release here.

To read more about the Circular Economy Accelerator Programme visit the Zero Waste Scotland website.

 

 

ESIF Operation Applications update                                                   18 December 2015

The Managing Authority has had to revise the timescales for approving Operation Applications for the 2014-2020 European Structural and Investment Funds.

The decision follows unforeseen delays in the completion of the Management and Control System (MCS). The MCS will oversee and enable activity to check that Funds comply with EC Regulations, minimising the risk of EU-funded activity in Scotland falling foul of the rules.

A small number of Operation Applications for the Youth Employment Initiative (YEI) Strategic Intervention recently formed part of a pilot scheme to test the MCS. They were used to offset a risk that Scotland could lose valuable EU youth employment funding if it did not meet an EC administrative deadline.

As a result the YEI Operation Applications are expected to be approved by 31 December 2015. Operation Applications submitted under other SIs will be approved during the first quarter of 2016.

 

 

Update on EUMIS IT System                                                                 25 November 2015

Guidance documents providing an overview of the application and claims process on EUMIS are now available. Detailed step-by-step guidance is now available and Lead Partners will be able to access and download the document once they are on the system and Operations have been approved.

Claims Training

Work is underway to conduct claims training and sessions are expected to be rolled out in 2016. Priority will be given to Lead Partners ready to start claiming and efforts will be made to group Lead Partners according to SI type so that group sessions can be held for those undertaking similar work.

Managing Authority staff members Louisa Harvey and Stephanie Robin will provide the training and sessions are expected to take place from the end of January. Arrangements are currently being made to identify and contact those who will need to attend the training sessions to agree suitable dates.

Web Interface/Schema

Testing on the web interface has had to be rescheduled to manage priority areas of work. Guidance will be issued once testing has been completed, including how to access the interface and the IT requirements to do this.

Queries about any EUMIS activity should be directed to Portfolio and Compliance Managers or sent to eumis@scotland.gsi.gov.uk.

 

 

Working with Scotland's Smart Cities                                                  13 November 2015

Investment of £4 million secures £40 million in return.

Scottish Government investment in cities is delivering tenfold, with £4 million bringing £40 million in return, Deputy First Minister John Swinney has revealed.

Read more about the Smart Cities initiative here.

 

 

RegioStars Awards                                                                                       14 March 2015

 

The European Commission is seeking applications for the RegioStars Awards 2016. The awards honour Europe's most inspiring and innovative regional development projects in five separate categories: Smart, Sustainable and Inclusive Growth, CityStar and Effective Management. For further information including how to apply, visit the EC website. The deadline for applications is 15th April 2016.