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Norwegian Financial Mechanism 2014-2021

NFM 2014-2021 Call for proposal under the “HOME AFFAIRS” Programme for the thematic area no. 20 „International police cooperation and combating crime”

DEPARTMENT OF EUROPEAN FUNDS OF THE MINISTRY OF THE INTERIOR AND ADMINISTRATION – PROGRAMME OPERATOR

and

EUROPEAN PROJECTS IMPLEMENTATION CENTRE MINISTRY OF THE INTERIOR AND ADMINISTRATION

ANNOUNCE AN OPEN CALL FOR PROPOSALS

under the “HOME AFFAIRS” Programme for the thematic area no. 20 „International police cooperation and combating crime

financed with funds from the Norwegian Financial Mechanism 2014–2021.

 

Objective: The call for proposals’ objective is to strengthen cooperation between law enforcement services to prevent and detect organised crime through the following measures:

  •  ensuring that law enforcement officers have access to modern technologies and appropriate training;
  •  strengthening cooperation between national and international law enforcement authorities, such as Eurojust, Europol, Interpol or Frontex.

Projects with international cooperation components, involving Eurojust, Europol, Interpol or Frontex and addressing issues such as trafficking in human beings, combating domestic and/or gender-based violence, as well as projects targeting entities operating as part of the “Justice chain”[1] will receive additional points.

 

Eligible applicants: public entity, i.e. institutions representing the public finance sector (pursuant to the Act on public finance, Dz. U. [Journal of Laws] of 2019, item 869), non-governmental organisations established as legal person in Poland , operating in the area of international police cooperation and combating crime[2], as well as international organisations or their bodies or agencies operating in the area of international police cooperation and combating crime[3].

Eligible partners: public entity, i.e. institutions representing the public finance sector (pursuant to the Act on public finance), non-governmental organisations established as a legal person either in  Norway, Poland, other Beneficiary State or a country outside the European Economic Area that has a common border with Poland, and are actively operating in the area of international police cooperation and combating crime[4], as well as international organisations or their bodies, or agencies operating in the area of international police cooperation and combating crime[5].

Total amount available under the call: EUR 4,701,069 - PLN 20 220 237,98 (calculated on the basis of the average monthly exchange rate for the European Central Bank, calculated for the 6 month period prior to the day of publication, ie. 1 EUR = 4.3012 PLN).

Project funding: minimum grant amount for a project is EUR 200,000, with the maximum being EUR 1,500,000.

Level of grant from the “Home Affairs” Programme within NFM  for beneficiaries being public entities is the equivalent to up to 100% of eligible costs[6].

Level of grant from the “Home Affairs” Programme within NFM for beneficiaries that are non-governmental organisations or international organisations is equivalent to up to 90% of eligible costs. The application must include the applicant’s declaration of own contribution made towards the project’s implementation in the amount equivalent to at least 10%, from the applicant’s own funds and/or funds obtained from other sources of funding and/or in the form of voluntary work.

 

Eligibility of expenditures:

Expenditure shall be considered eligible in accordance with the general principles, pursuant to Article 8.3 of the Regulation on the implementation of the Norwegian Financial Mechanism 2014–2021 (available at fundusze.mswia.gov.pl).

In particular, the following direct expenditures shall be considered eligible upon meeting the criteria listed in Article 8.3.1  of the Regulation:

a)      the cost of staff assigned to the project, comprising actual salaries plus social security charges and other statutory costs included in the remuneration, provided that this corresponds to the Project Promoter’s and project partner’s usual policy on remuneration. The corresponding salary costs of staff of national administrations are eligible to the extent that they relate to the cost of activities which the relevant public authority would not carry out if the project concerned were not undertaken;

b)      travel and subsistence allowances for staff taking part in the project. Having regard to the principle of proportionality, travel costs, including subsistence allowance, may be calculated as a lump sum, on the basis of defined rules approved by the Programme Operator;

c)       cost of new or second hand equipment. In case the Programme Operator determines that the equipment is an integral and necessary component for achieving the outcomes of the project, the entire purchase price of that equipment may, by way of exception from the rule contained in paragraph 4 of Article  8.2, be eligible;

d)      purchase of land and real estate under the conditions set in Article 8.6;

e)      costs of consumables and supplies, provided that they are identifiable and assigned to the project;

f)       costs entailed by other contracts awarded by a Project Promoter for the purposes of carrying out the project, provided that the awarding complies with the applicable rules on public procurement and this Regulation; and

g)      costs arising directly from requirements imposed by the project contract for each project.

 

Generally, investment expenditures[7] should not exceed 60% of total eligible expenditures in the project budget. Should the investment expenditures exceed the aforementioned limit, the Applicant provide a detailed explanation that justifies exceeding the limit, in the descriptive section of the application form.

Eligible expenditures also include indirect expenditures, i.e. all costs that the project promoter and/or partner under the project cannot tie to the project, but which may be indicated and justified under the accounting system as having been incurred directly in relation to the direct eligible costs under the project. Methods for showing indirect costs are specified in Article 8.5(1)(a), (b), (c) and (e) of the Regulation. The call for proposals does not provide for the possibility of showing indirect costs by using the method referred to in Article 8.5(1)(d).

Detailed description of how to calculate indirect costs and all other information on the eligibility of expenditures, procedures to follow in making reports and payments, documenting expenditures, including information on settlements and financial flows in projects involving foreign partners, can be found in the Guidelines for Project Promoters under the “Home Affairs” Programme of the Norwegian Financial Mechanism 2014–2021 (Annex no. 2 to the Call for proposals announcement).

An expenditure being included in the project budget is not considered a confirmation of its eligibility.

Date of eligibility of expenditures: Expenditures incurred after 30 April 2024 shall not be considered eligible.

Funding:

The funding model adopted for a project depends on the status of its project promoter:

 

  •  State Budget Entities

State budget entities ensure funds to carry out project-related tasks by making appropriate allowances in their budget.

 

  •  Non-state Budget Entities

Advance payment

An advance payment shall be paid to the Project Promoter after they sign a project contract, submit a payment claim for the first advance, and provide appropriate collateral for proper execution of the aforementioned contract.

The amount of the advance paid is equivalent to up to 50% of the grant value. Exact value of the first advance payment that the Project Promoter may apply for has been set out in the project contract.

Further interim payments

Further payments shall be paid to the Project Promoter after at least 70% of the funds transferred so far is used and certified by the European Project Implementation Centre MIA (EPIC MIA).

Final payment

Final payment for the Project Promoter shall be made after approving the reporting documentation under the project.

 

Payment system details have been described in the Guidelines for Project Promoters.

 

Deadline for the submission of application forms:

After consideration of potential applicants' requests, "Home Affairs" PO, has prolonged the deadline for submitting applications till 28th February 2020 (until 4 p.m.)

Application form has to be prepared on the form constituting Annex No. 1 to the Call for proposals announcement. The application form must also indicate all the consultants involved in the preparation of the application.

Applications must be submitted in Polish in either:

1)      2 copies in writing (on paper) and in electronic form, submitted in person or sent by post/courier to the Headquarters of the EPIC MIA: Centrum Obsługi Projektów Europejskich Ministerstwa Spraw Wewnętrznych i Administracji, ul. Puławska 99a, 02-595 Warszawa.

Both paper copies must be signed by the applicant or a person authorised to represent the institution and must be accompanied by the original or a copy of a document certifying that such person has the capacity to represent the applicant[8];

or

2)      in electronic form via the EPUAP platform to the electronic incoming correspondence box of the European Projects Implementation Centre MIA (address: /COPEMSW/SkrytkaESP). The application must bear a qualified signature of an authorised person and must be accompanied by the original or a copy of a document certifying that such a person has the capacity to represent the applicant[9].

The date of submission to the EPIC MIA shall be:

  1. the date of posting (date of the postmark) – only in the case of posting at a Polish post office of the operator designated under the Act of 23 November 2012 – Postal law (Journal of Laws of 2018, item 2188, as amended), with the applications submitted to the Headquarters of EPIC MIA, referred to above, within 14 days from the call’s completion date, will be regarded as submitted within the deadline;
  2. date of submission to the EPIC MIA – in the case of submitting in person, posting through a postal operator other than the designated operator referred to in point 1, or date of posting by the courier;
  3. date of submission to the incoming correspondence box of the EPIC MIA – in case of sending the application to the ePUAP platform.

Selection procedure:

The assessment of projects is a two-stage process, consisting of a formal (carried out based on administrative and eligibility criteria) and substantive assessment.

Formal assessment is carried out by Polish experts, representatives of the EPIC MIA. Formal assessment provides for a supplementation procedure that lasts 7 working days. Only projects that meet all the formal criteria will be subjected to the substantive assessment. In the case of formal assessment, the applicant will be entitled to appeal to the National Focal Point via the EPIC MIA. There is no appeal procedure against the decision of the National Focal Point.

Should the formal assessment yield positive results (under standard procedure or under appeal procedure), the applicant will be obliged to translate the application into English. EPIC MIA will notify the Applicant about the positive result of the formal assessment.

The substantive assessment is carried out by at least two independent experts (representative of the PO or the EPIC MIA and an external expert). Each application is assessed by two experts and the final score awarded to the application is the average derived from points awarded by both experts. If the difference between the number of points awarded by the two experts exceeds 30%, the application undergoes a substantive assessment by a third independent expert indicated by the PO. In such cases, the average score of the two closest scoring results shall be used.

The minimum total number of points (averaged over the experts' assessments) that would allow an application to be considered as recommended is: 65 points, provided that the eligibility criteria have also been met, i.e. under criterion 1, one should:

  •  score at least 19 points,
  •  score at least 8 points under item 1.4,
  •  choose at least one indicator provided for the “Home Affairs” Programme,
  •  specify at least one own indicator for the project,
  •  in the case of a project run in partnership with a Norwegian institution and/or international organisation – choose at least one bilateral indicator provided for the “Home Affairs” Programme;

under criterion 2, one should: score at least 10 points.

The projects that have reached the minimum score (65 points) are recommended, but only projects within the limit of available funds will receive funding.

No appeal procedure against the substantive assessment is envisaged.

Following the substantive assessment, a ranking list prepared by the PO shall be submitted to the Selection Committee that will consist of members indicated by the PO and the representatives of the Donor Programme Partner. Representatives of the NFP and the Norwegian MFA will be invited to participate as observers in the process of project selection. The Committee reviews the ranking list of projects during the meeting or by mail, provided that the ranking list may be modified in justified cases. Justification of changes will be detailed in the Committee protocol.

The final recommendation of projects for financing should be accepted by the Inter-ministerial Team for the Home Affairs European Funds by way of a resolution.

 

The detailed rules governing recruitment, assessment and selection of applications, along with the criteria of formal and substantive assessment, are included in the Rules of procedure for the call for projects and selection of projects under the “Home Affairs” Programme of the thematic area 20 (Annex No. 3 to the Call for applications).

 

The final ranking list of projects chosen for financing will be published on the website www.fundusze.mswia.gov.pl and applicants will receive official letters in this regard.

Projects which failed to receive financing due to insufficient funding will be placed on the reserve list.

 

Formal and substantive assessment sheets with criteria for project selection are included in the Annex to the announcement.

Questions on rules and scope of the call can be submitted via e-mail: fundusze.kontakt@mswia.gov.pl, not later than 7 working days before the deadline for the submission of applications.

Questions submitted within this deadline will be published, alongside answers to them, on the website www.fundusze.mswia.gov.pl within up to 5 days prior to the deadline for the submission of applications. All documents, including NFM Regulation and guidelines relevant to this call for proposals, are available on the website eog.gov.pl.

The complaints procedure: rules for reporting irregularities have been described on the website: eog.gov.pl.

Annexes:

1. An application form – Thematic area PA 20 of the “Home Affairs” Programme NFM 2014–2021;

2. Guidelines for Project Promoters of the “Home Affairs” Programme NFM 2014–2021;

3. Rules of procedure for call for projects and project selection under the “Home Affairs” Programme – thematic area PA 20;

4. Formal assessment sheet;

5. Substantive assessment sheet.

Policy papers:

  • Regulation on the implementation of the Norwegian Financial Mechanism 2014–2021;
  • Agreement on the “Home Affairs” Programme;
  • Guidelines on awarding procurement contracts under the EEA financial mechanism for 2014–2021 and the Norwegian Financial Mechanism for 2014–2021;
  • Handbook of Communication and Visual Identity for EEA funds and Norway Grants 2014–2021.
 

[1]Justice chain” – cooperation between institutions operating in the area of internal affairs, i.e. Police, Border Guard, Office for Foreigners, National Fire Service and the judicial system, including courts, the prosecutor’s office and prison services.

[2] The scope of an NGO’s operations must follow from its statute.

[3] The scope of an international organisation’s operations and that of its body or agency must follow from the legal act establishing the international organisation, its body or agency.

[4] See footnote 2.

[5] See footnote 3.

[6] 15% is a contribution of the State budget secured in the unit’s budget.

[7] Investment expenditure – an investment expenditure shall be an expenditure incurred to purchase a tangible asset whose individual value exceeds PLN 10,000. As a rule, purchase of services (e.g. conference, training, transport services, etc.), even if their individual value exceeds PLN 10,000, shall not be considered an investment expenditure.

[8] This does not apply to the situation when the document is accessible in the public register.

[9] This does not apply to the situation when the document is accessible in the public register.