WORKING WITH DG ECHO AS AN NGO PARTNER | 2021 - 2027
ELIGIBILITY CONDITIONS PER BUDGET CATEGORIES
Under the Humanitarian Aid Model Grant Agreement (HUMA MGA) there are specific eligibility conditions for each budget category. They are detailed in the sessions below.
Subcontracts are normally wide in scope (e.g. implementation of a part of the project/action tasks). If a contract covers only individual equipment or consumables, this will be considered as purchase.
Subcontracting costs (including related duties, taxes and charges, such as non-deductible value added tax (VAT)) are eligible, if they are calculated on the basis of the costs actually incurred, fulfil the general eligibility conditions and are awarded using the Partners’ procurement procedures — provided that the latter ensure subcontracts with best value for money (or if appropriate the lowest price) and that there is no conflict of interests.
Only limited parts of the Action can be subcontracted. The tasks to be subcontracted and the estimated cost for each subcontract must be clarified in the Single Form and the total estimated costs of subcontracting per beneficiary must be set out in Annex 2 (or may be approved ex post in the final report, if the use of subcontracting does not entail changes to the Agreement which would call into question the decision awarding the grant or breach the principle of equal treatment of Partners). However, ex-post approval bears the risk that DG ECHO might not approve the subcontract and reject the costs.
Subcontracting between co-Partners is not allowed. All co-Partners contribute to the action; if one Partner needs the services of another in order to perform its part of the work, it is the second Partner who should declare the costs for that work. Coordination tasks of the coordinator (e.g. distribution of funds, review of reports, communication with DG ECHO, etc.) cannot be subcontracted.
Purchase costs for the action (including related duties, taxes and charges, such as non-deductible value added tax (VAT)) are eligible if they fulfil the general eligibility conditions and compliant with Partner’s procurement procedures — provided these ensure purchases with best value for money (or if appropriate the lowest price) and that there is no conflict of interests.
Purchases between co-Partners are in principle not accepted: if a Partner needs supplies from another Partner, it is the latter beneficiary that should charge them to the action.
OTHER COST CATEGORIES
DG ECHO recognizes as eligible two additional cost categories
FINANCIAL SUPPORT TO THIRD PARTIES
This budget category covers cascading grants, prizes or similar, i.e. where giving such support is part of the project activities. Cascading grants may be given via a financial donation to natural persons (e.g. beneficiaries receiving conditional or unconditional cash transfers) or organisations (Implementing Partners).
Support in kind (e.g. transfer of material for free) by the Partner to a third party is not considered financial support. The recipients are not party to the Grant Agreement and therefore  are not listed in the Data Sheet.
Costs of financial support to third parties must be declared as actual costs, fulfil the general eligibility conditions for actual costs and implemented according to the conditions described in the Single Form.
In particular, for grants, the Partner will indicate:
- The maximum amount of financial support for each recipient. This amount should not exceed EUR 60,000, unless the objectives of the action would otherwise be impossible or excessively difficult to achieve. This is a limit per recipient; several recipients could receive up to EUR 60 000 each.
- The criteria for determining the exact amount of financial support (e.g. on the basis of a Minimum Expenditure Basked).
- A clear and exhaustive list of the types of activities that qualify for financial support for third parties (e.g. cash for training for beneficiaries; activities/results managed by an Implementing Partner).
- The persons or category(ies) of persons that may receive it (e.g. IDPs, GBV survivors, etc.). The Partner should describe in the Single Form the procedures for selecting the beneficiaries.
- The criteria and procedures for giving financial support.
For prizes, the Partner will have to describe:
- The conditions for participation and the conditions for cancellation of the contest, if any (e.g. eligibility and exclusion criteria; deadline for submission of entries; etc.) and the award criteria for assessing the quality of entries in light of the objectives and expected results of the activity. Such criteria must be objective.
- The amount of the prize.
The payment arrangements.
B. FIELD OFFICE COSTS
For grants awarded by DG ECHO, it is possible to declare costs for use of the field office during the Action as actual costs or as unit cost. If field office costs are declared as unit costs according to usual cost accounting practices, such costs must fulfil the unit cost eligibility conditions and the amount per unit must be calculated:
- using the actual costs for the field office recorded in the Partner’s accounts, attributed at the rate of office use and excluding any cost which are ineligible or already included in other budget categories;
- according to usual cost accounting practices which are applied in a consistent manner, based on objective criteria, regardless of the source of funding; and
- in line with the portion of the capitalised and operating costs of project office which corresponds to the duration of the Action.
Partners may charge indirect costs to the Action. This budget category covers all costs for the Action that are not directly linked to it (i.e. overheads).
Indirect costs are declared as a fixed flat-rate (which, according to Article 181(6) of the Financial Regulation, can correspond to a maximum of 7% of the total direct costs).
The costs must fulfil the general conditions for flat-rate costs to be eligible, i.e. direct costs to which the flat-rate is applied must be eligible and calculation must be correct.
In case of multi-beneficiary grant agreement, co-Partners can decide how to split the indirect costs and the final agreement needs to be communicated to DG ECHO in Annex 2 (or, at the latest, in Annex 4). Indirect costs can also be shared with Implementing Partners, but this remains an internal decision.