WORKING WITH DG ECHO AS AN INTERNATIONAL ORGANISATION | 2021 - 2027
All the changes touching one of the mandatory information to be provided for cash transfers and value-based vouchers require a mutual consent procedure.
FIELD OFFICE COSTS | ELIGIBILITY OF COSTS
No. Field office costs have to be declared as unit costs in accordance with the Partners' usual accounting practices. It is enough if Partner fill in the column D2 in Annex 2.
No additional details need to be provided in the SF. The methodology and application of the usual accounting practices will be verified at audit stage.
45 days against 30 days in the FPA.
Modifications are requested by the Partner APPEL as before: the distinction between amendment and non-essential changes, remains. As in the FPA 2014, changes to the budget are not considered an amendment as long as they do not imply a substantive change to the description of the action. Addition of amounts for subcontracts require an amendment or simplified approval (approval given with the final periodic report). Changes in activities or implementing partners will still be treated as non-essential changes. However, modifications regarding the grant  beneficiaries require an amendment. The list of IPs has to be updated at the latest at FR stage and a justification if above 60.000 € must be provided.
The timing to submit the request is the same as what applied under the FPA 2014 (30 calendar days before the end of the implementation period). In exceptional cases, beneficiary may request an amendment after the end of the
implementation period of the Action. However, the acceptance or rejection of the  proposed amendment will not be given with the notification of the final payment  anymore, but in a separate communication.
TEMPORARILY INTERRUPTION-ACTIVITIES REDUCTION
Yes. If the  activities  in  the  field  (or  some  of  them)  must  be temporarily interrupted or reduced due to exceptional circumstances — in particular force majeure  —  the beneficiaries must inform the granting authority and, if needed and agreed, adapt the action to the new circumstances via an amendment. Related costs will then be eligible if approved by DG ECHO.
Formal prior approvals are not possible. In situations of emergency, the Desk Officer responsible for the action may give informal approval by email subject to the acceptance of the amendment.
Could DG ECHO simplify the amendment procedures in these specific cases? Would ECHO in such a case consider any type of prior approvals by email, for example?
The time limit to approve/reject an amendment is now 45 days instead of 30 days under the FPA 2014. However, this does not mean that the Commission will take 45 to give an opinion on the amendment request. Informal approvals have to be discussed with the Desk Officer.