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Science, Technology, Research & Innovation for the Environment Programme 2007 - 2013 Presented by: Damien Kealy, LHM Casey McGrath. Financial Workshop.

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Presentation on theme: "Science, Technology, Research & Innovation for the Environment Programme 2007 - 2013 Presented by: Damien Kealy, LHM Casey McGrath. Financial Workshop."— Presentation transcript:

1 Science, Technology, Research & Innovation for the Environment Programme Presented by: Damien Kealy, LHM Casey McGrath. Financial Workshop STRIVE

2 Parish Notices  Fire Exits  Smoking  Toilets  Mobile Phones

3 Agenda — Introduction to STRIVE Programme — Available funding and funding rates — Financial Reporting and Drawdown — Eligible costs – some general principles — Eligible costs — Expenditure – specifically not allowed — Questions from the floor — Value Added Tax (VAT)

4 Agenda — Common Errors on applications — Audits – EPA, Department of the Environment and Department of Finance — Questions from the floor — How to complete Budget Template — Questions from the floor

5 Introduction to STRIVE Programme  Runs from with over €100 million of available funding  Based on — Environmental Research Sub-programme of NDP — Governments Strategy for Science, Technology and Innovation (2006) — EPA’s strategy document for 2020 and various workshops with interested parties  “To protect and improve the natural environment by addressing key environmental management issues through the provision of world- class scientific knowledge generated through a vibrant, competitive programme of research developed supported and co-ordinated by the EPA.”  STRIVE funds “not-for-profit” research  Reimbursement basis  Public good purposes

6 Available Funding Project-based AwardsTypical FundingTypical Duration Desk StudyUp to €100, months Medium Scale StudyUp to €350, months Large Scale StudyUp to €1,000, months Capability Development> €1,000, months Research-based Awards Typical FundingTypical Duration Masters scholarshipsUp to €40,00024 months Doctoral scholarshipsUp to €95,00036 months Research fellowsUp to €225, months

7 Funding Rates Third Level Institutions Other Public Bodies SMENon-SME Direct Costs100%75% 50% Indirect Costs (Overheads) 30% Definition Section 1 of Higher Education Act, 1971 EU Definition: “public service mission” EU Definition: Employees <250 Turnover <€50 million Balance sheet < €43 million Independent

8 Financial Reporting and Drawdown  Reporting and Drawdown: — Detailed budgets required as part of application procedure – including Staff costs, equipment, consumables, travel & subsistence, overheads etc. — The project co-ordinator is responsible for overseeing the preparation and collation of Budgets and on-going Financial Reports from each participant in the project, together with an overall Financial Summary. — Advance of up to 35% of STRIVE Grant Aid. — Further 65% (50% + 15% retention) of funding is paid on the basis of submitted claims for cumulative reimbursement of monies previously expensed. — Balance retained until such point in time as all technical/scientific deliverables are met. — Claims for reimbursement to be made using a standard Cost Statement (Excel Template)

9 Eligible Costs - General Principles  Over-riding principle: “wholly exclusively and necessarily incurred”  Costs must be: — Actual — Reasonable and wholly necessary — Incurred during the project — Incurred solely to advance the project — Where shared proportionate to benefit derived — In accordance with usual accounting principles — Recorded in accounts — Exclude any profit — Not otherwise reasonably available and accessible — Of type normally charged to similar projects

10 Eligible Costs  Labour/Personnel Costs: — Additionality no longer a requirement — Up to 100% of staff costs — Includes existing staff and additional staff recruited specifically for the project — Person day costs = actual salary + Employers PRSI + Employers Statutory Pension Contribution — Pension must be to defined pension scheme on behalf of the employee (must be supported with documentation from pension fund) — For purpose of proposal may use Salary Scales/Grades — Where application successful must adjust to actual rates. Subject to the provision of verifiable time sheets for all relevant staff

11 Eligible Costs — Costs of personnel involved in Supervision, Administration and Financial Coordination are eligible — Only costs of actual hours worked on project may be charged — Must be supported by signed and approved timesheets in all cases  Durable Equipment “The purchase of durable equipment, when acquired based on best price and in compliance with Public Procurement Guidelines, is considered to be an eligible cost” — Life expectancy not less than duration of the project — Capitalised and depreciated by contractor — Acquired specifically for the project — Must be justified in the proposal

12 Eligible Costs — Lease Versus Buy- where equipment is purchased under a “finance lease” arrangement then the approach below should be taken — allowable cost = based on proportion of use related to project and the period of the contract relative to the life expectancy of the asset e.g. — Depreciation periods to be used are:  Computer equipment costing up to € 25,000 should be written off over 3 years / 36months  All other categories of durable equipment should be written off over 5 years / 60 months — Costs for lease/hire of equipment must not exceed costs of equipment on a purchase basis. — Equipment purchased for previous project with EPA is eligible once depreciation period and cost has not been exceeded.

13 Eligible Costs  Consumables — “Purchase, fabrication, repair or use of any materials, goods or equipment and software which”: — Off-the-shelf software and personal computing equipment costing < €10k are deemed consumables  Not included in fixed asset register  Not treated as capital expenditure i.e. Balance Sheet  Short useful life < duration of project — Includes laptops — Where consumables are normally treated as indirect costs then cannot be charged as direct e.g. stationery

14 Eligible Costs  Travel Costs — Rates should be = Agreed Revenue Rate or Civil Service travel and subsistence rates — Limited to actual cost — Monthly expense claim submitted by staff member and paid by company — Reimbursed by EPA — Signed and approved in normal manner — Rate per mile clearly stated- not in excess of civil service mileage rates — Prior approval of EPA only required for travel outside EU  Indirect Cost / Overheads — 30% of eligible modified costs- eligible costs excluding durable equipment and external assistance/sub-contracts

15 Eligible Costs  External Assistance/Subcontracts — Costs of subcontracts and services are allowable as external assistance — Specifically services not available within the participating project partners — Such sub-contracts should be awarded and concluded in accordance with normal Public Procurement procedures — Should not represent more than 20% of total budgeted expenditure — Sub-contract arrangements between partners is ineligible

16 Items Specifically Not Allowable  Any profit, interest or return on capital employed  Provision for future losses or liabilities  Interest owed  Bad Debts  Cost relating to projects financed by third parties  Patent / copyright costs  Resources received free of charge  Marketing,sales and distribution costs for products / services  Unnecessary or ill-considered expenses  Entertainment or hospitality expenses except those reasonable expenses accepted as wholly and exclusively necessary for the project

17 Adequate Supporting Documentation & Proof of Payment  Invoices  Receipts  Flight ticket stubs  Timesheets  Conference papers  Technical journals / publications  Contracts of employment  Wageslips  Bank statements -paid cheques  Visa statement and paid direct debit

18 Questions from the floor

19 Value Added Tax (VAT)  Two scenarios can arise: I. Recoverable VAT — all claims for reimbursement must be made on the basis of the net amount of invoices included in the Cost statement. — in this instance the related VAT is reclaimed under the normal VAT imputation system as set down by the Revenue Commissioners II. Non Recoverable VAT — where the lead organisation or participant has not and will not be able to recover VAT paid for the purpose of the project then the VAT element becomes an allowable cost and all costs should be included as the gross amount

20 Common Errors on Applications The following are a number of common issues identified in other similar programmes. This list is meant as a guideline and is by no means an exhaustive listing.  Capital Equipment: — Personal computing items costing < €10k in total = consumable — Leased / Hire Purchase assets - depreciation applies — For item to be capital useful life can’t be < period of the project — The appropriate depreciation rate for computer equipment is 33.33% per annum. — The appropriate depreciation rate for all other equipment is 20% per annum. — Only that portion of the equipment attributable to the project is allowable i.e if equipment is only used 50% of time on this project then only 50% of the relevant cost or depreciation charge can be claimed.

21 Common Errors on Applications  Staff Costs: — Employers PRSI is a legitimate cost when calculating an applicable labour charge: On salaries up to €18,512 the Employers PRSI applicable is only 8.5%. For salaries in excess of €18,512 the rate is 10.75%. — Traditionally staff costs should be based on productive hours- average number of hours available by an employee in a year after deduction of holiday, sick leave and other entitlements:  E.g. Salary Rate per Hour = Salary total costs / Productive hours  Productive hours = 214 days x 7 hours per day = 1498 productive hours per year (124.9 per month)  Hours worked = as per timesheet

22 Common Errors on Applications  Overheads: — An agreed overhead recovery rate of 30% has been established as a reasonable rate – no exceptions — This should be applied to all costs excluding the cost of External Assistance/Subcontracts and Durable Equipment — An overhead charge is included to reimburse the participant for administrative costs incurred such as: Light & heat, insurance, stationery, secretarial, computer time etc.  Consumables: — Where a claim for consumables is made it must be reasonable and should not include costs normally recovered by the relevant overhead rate — Off-the-shelf software is a legitimate consumable expense

23 Common Errors on Applications  Travel & Subsistence: — Travel costs for attendance at interviews included in error — Advances of expenses are not eligible  Sub-contracts / External Assistance: — Only where the necessary expertise / service can not be acquired using the skills of the existing participants should a claim under sub- contract be made  Where applicable number of days and rates per day should be provided to establish reasonableness  Costs of participants should not also be included in sub-contractors – should be one or the other — Sub-contract between partners is not permitted

24 EPA Requirements to Audit  Member states shall organize controls of projects on an appropriate sampling basis designed to: — verify the effectiveness of the management's and control systems in place: — verify selectively, on the basis of risk analysis, expenditure declarations made at the various levels concerned.  These controls should effectively least 5% of “total eligible expenditure” and a representative sample of the projects covered by the programme.

25 Responsibilities of Project Coordinators - Audits  Must make available all pertinent information in whatever format it may be held: — invoices — bank statements — cheque stubs — lodgement books — computer printouts — access to computer programs e.g. accounting software and data files — access to payroll/salary records — details of personnel involved, responsibilities etc. — details of authorisation and payment procedures

26 Responsibilities of Project Coordinators - Audits  All information is normally requested in advance to facilitate the planning  The grantee will be expected to make available key personnel  The project co-ordinator should make themselves available for the duration of the audit.

27 Questions from the floor

28 Thank you Damien Kealy LHM Casey McGrath Chartered Certified Accountants 6 Northbrook Road Dublin 6 Tel: Fax: Web:


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