WORKING WITH DG ECHO AS AN INTERNATIONAL ORGANISATION
Credit: Evangelos Petratos EU ECHO December 2012
The purpose of the Final Report is to provide the Commission with full information on the implementation of the Action, so as to allow it to form an opinion with reasonable assurance on whether the Action was implemented in accordance with the Agreement and to determine which costs are eligible for EU funding.
It is important that the final report covers the whole Action (as agreed at operational level & defined in the Single Form), regardless of whether the Action is fully or partially funded by the Commission. In a Multi-Donor Action this means that the final report should briefly include information related the contributions of other donors – without this information it would not be possible for the Commission to apply the Notional Approach.
The Final Report has to ensure comparability with the original proposal, while taking into account of any modifications of the Action, as well as the internal reporting and accounting systems of the International Organisation.
The four elements that compose the Final Report are:
The Final Payment Request to which shall be attached:
A Narrative report: on the overall implementation of the Action, prepared on the basis of the Single Form format.
A Financial Report: on the use of the estimated budget together with relevant annexes.
A Management declaration (available below) for the completed Action in accordance with Article 5.7 of the IMDA, using the template annexed to the FPA (Annex III). Where an alternative arrangement for submitting this declaration exists at Commission level this will be specified in the Special Conditions, otherwise it should always be submitted along with the Final Reports.
These documents are necessary in order to process the final payment.
Furthermore, the IMDArequire the submission of an opinion by an independent audit body or an opinion by the internal audit or control body of the International Organisation. The opinion required is not Action-based but should cover the Organisation's accounts, control systems and transactions for the year/s in which the Action was implemented (Article 5.9, IMDA General Conditions).
The IMDA (Article 5.8) provide that this opinion shall be submitted to the Commission within 6 months from the submission of the Final Report.
Due to the annual reporting cycle this is only possible where the Action covers a calendar year so in most cases a Specific Condition will be included (Article 4.3 of the IMDA ) to specify that the opinion will be submitted by the IO to cover the year/s of the implementation of the Action.
Where this clause is used the International Organisation should submit the opinion/s to the Commission when available, regardless of the date of submission of the Final Report.
The obligation to submit this opinion continues even if the Final Payment is made in the meanwhile and any failure to submit this opinion even after final liquidation would still amount to a breach of a contractual obligation.
In principle the International Organisation will submit the final payment request (together with the Final Reports and the Management Declaration) within 3 months of the end of Action. However, a different deadline may be used in the Special Conditions when operationally justified and agreed upon with ECHO. Please remember to double-check the reporting deadline established in article 4.2 of the IMDA.