46 contracts in progress for 22,7% of OPE 2014-2020 budget

10 Nov, 2017 | 11:44

The Managing Authority of Operational programme "Environment 2014-2020" (OPE) has announced 29 procedures worth over BGN 1.64 billion (47% of the resources). 46 grant contracts in total of BGN 786 million are in progress. They represent 22,7% of the OPE budget.

More than BGN 157 million (4.54% of the OPE resource) have been paid to the beneficiaries from the beginning of the programming period. The paid amounts correspond to the planned amount and are transferred on time, strictly ensuring that there is no delay in recovering the costs incurred by the beneficiaries.

The intermediate objectives of the indicators must be accomplished during year 2018. Focusing first on achieving concrete results and then on absorption is a condition for the implementation of OPE during this programming period.

One of the main challeneges is applying for funding with project proposals which do not meet the requirements of the application guidelines as well as the non-completed procedures under the Spatial Development Act. It leads to an extension of the evaluation process. In order to overcome those challenges, the Managing Authority (MA) organizes regular consultations with each beneficiary and monitors the preparation of the project proposals. MA provides further clarification and cooperates with the beneficiaries in order to ensure communication with other administrations and institutions.

The main problem in the implementation of administrative grant contracts is the appeal of the public procurement procedures. Terminating the procedures is also an issue, which leads to slowing down the implementation process of the projects. The time limits for appeal are taken into account in the forecasts that the OPE Managing Authority makes for the European funds absorption. The beneficiaries need to start the public procurement procedures before the conclusion of the grant contracts, which will directly contribute to achieving the Programme’s objectives. The Managing Authority works in close partnership with the beneficiaries long before sending the invitation for project proposal submitting. Any delay in negotiating grants and/or concluding contracts has a negative impact on the financial and physical overall implementation of Operational programme "Environment 2014-2020".

The OPE Managing Authority has established good practices in working with municipalities such as initiating and organizing training seminars for setting and imposing financial corrections. The purpose of the measures taken is to minimize the risk of errors during the public procurement procedures, which will ensure the smooth implementation of the projects and the further successful funds’ absorption.