WORKING WITH DG ECHO AS AN NGO PARTNER | 2021 - 2027
As stated in the Article 6.1 (a) (ii) of the MGA, costs related to the preparation of the final report shall be deemed eligible even if incurred after the eligibility period of the Action.
Therefore, if linked to the preparation of the final report, office running costs may be eligible, provided that they are reasonable, justified and compliant with the principle of sound financial management, in particular regarding economy and efficiency. In order to avoid costs to be charged twice, in case of follow-up action, these costs are no more eligibile.
Consortia within ECHO-funded grant agreements is defined as an Action under which several partners work together under a consortium arrangement, with one Certified partner signing the MGA and acting as the coordinator, while other Certified NGOs and partners also take part in the implementation. DG ECHO will not impose on partners to work in consortia. However, it may decide to fund voluntary consortia when operationally justified.
The MGA will be signed only with the lead partner organisation, while the partners will sign Accession Forms. All consortium members will be described in he Single Form. In order to ease ECHO assessment of the proposal, it might be advisable to indicate which partner will be in charge of a specific result.
It is necessary to refine the approach taken depending on which account the unspent balances are held in.
a) if, for whatever reason, some of the money to be distributed to the final beneficiaries is left pending in the Organisation's central holding account at the end of the Action's eligibility period - that money represents an unspent balance which cannot be charged to any donor. The calculation of the unspent balance per donor will be made on a pro rata basis.  Where needed, this balance may be recovered by ECHO following the agreed procedure in the special clause for the recovery of a surplus balance (currently in place with UNICEF, UNHCR, UNRWA, FAO, UNOPS, PAHO, WHO, UNDO & UN-HABITAT). This provision will not apply to the exchange rates used for reporting.
b) if, for whatever reason, some of the money distributed to the final beneficiaries is left pending in the beneficiary's own account at the end of the Action's eligibility period - that money does not automatically represent an unspent balance since it has been 'incurred'  and if is still under the control of the beneficiary. Funds that are however no longer under the control of the beneficiary due to the timeframe having expired or deactivation of an account are considered as unspent funds and subject to return to the donor. The mere fact that a cost has been "incurred", naturally, will not make it an eligible cost unless the other criteria are also respected. However, in multi-donor Actions questions on cost eligibility of this nature will not always have a financial impact as ineligible costs may be covered by the Notional Approach.
In certain contexts the Humanitarian Organisations may be able to ascertain that, due to inactivity or other reasons the account in the name of the final beneficiary has been deactivated. ECHO does not require its Partners to do this but it seems that it may be emerging as a good practice amongst humanitarian actors. If in such context the Humanitarian Organisation is able to reclaim the unspent balance on the beneficiary's account that balance, it is proposed to require that this balance be returned to the central holding account to be treated together with the global unspent balance (point a) above).