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Pitanja i odgovori (ENG) » SIIF zastave-apstraktne2
Ministarstvo znanosti, obrazovanja i sporta, Donje Svetice 38, 10000 Zagreb, +38514594463, e-mail ivana.roicivcek@mzos.hr
HRVATSKI | ENGLISH

Pitanja i odgovori (ENG)

SCIENCE AND INNOVATION INVESTMENT FUND – PHASE II
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

1    REPORTING    1
2    PROCUREMENT    1
3    REALOCATION AND CONTRACT AMENDMENTS    2
4    VISIBILITY    3
5    FINANCING    3
6    HUMAN RESOURCES    5

REPORTING

Q: What are specific reporting requirements for the GBs in case of quarterly progress reports?
A: Narrative and financial quarterly progress reports should be written in a manner to present each three months of implementation of the project. It is consisting of narrative section in word document + interim (financial) report template filled in for reporting quarter followed by individual payment sheet for reporting quarter.

PROCUREMENT

Q: Is it possible to shorten the time frame for the delivery of tenders in competitive negotiated or open procedures from 30 days to 15 or 20 days?
A: Annex IV “Contract-award procedure” does not strictly specify the time-limits for receipt of tenders, but it reads: “The time-limits for receipt of tenders and requests to participate must be long enough to allow interested parties a reasonable and appropriate period to prepare and submit their tenders.” Therefore Grant Beneficiary should allow enough time to potential bidders to prepare quality tenders. On the other hand it is recommended that time frame for the delivery of tenders in competitive negotiated or open procedures is 30 days.

Q: Is there any possibility to shorten the time frame from 30 days to 15 or 20 days for Competitive negotiated procedure making sure that all invited tenderers have submitted their offers or letters in which they are stating that they will not submit their offers.
A: No, shortening of the time frame for start of evaluation from 30 days to 15 or 20 days in case that all invited tenderers have either submitted their offer or letter that they will not submit one is not possible as the invited tenderers have the right to amend or withdraw their tenders within the 30 day time-frame. Further, for supply and works procedures, it will jeopardize the transparency of the public opening.

Q: Is there a need/obligation to publish procurement notice for International open tender for supply in international press or is it enough if tender is published on EUROPAID.
A: As per Annex IV of the Grant Contract “the procurement notice is to be published in all appropriate media, in particular on the Beneficiary’s web site, in the international press and the national press of the country in which the Action is being carried out, or in other specialist periodicals”. Furthermore it is stated that The European Commission will not publish the tender documents established by the Beneficiary, therefore Grant Beneficiary neither needs nor it is obliged to publish procurement notice on EuropeAid webpage.

Q: Which documents successful tenderer prior to signing a contract should deliver? Is there a sanction if GB is not asking for example BON 2 or statement from Tax office?
A: It is very important that GB secures all relevant proofs that successful tenderer is not in any of the situations excluding them from participating in contracts which are listed in Section 2.3.3 of the Practical Guide to contract procedures financed from the General Budget of the European Communities in the context of external actions. Contrracting authority ad well as Audit (External expenditure verification) might check did GB ask all documents needed as proof for tenderers declaration.

Q: Is order form accompanied with receipt sufficient documentation for implementation of single tender or should there be a contract as well?
A: Order form accompanied with receipt and bank statements with visual/audio of physical proofs or implemented service, supply or works is sufficient evidence. Contract in this case is not obligatory. GB has to make sure that there are all elements for audit and contracting authority to examine eligibility of the costs incurred.

Q: Is it possible to combine procurement of 3 services/experts in one tender. Requests for 3 services would be separated in different lots and evaluated accordingly?
A: There are several possibilities how to go about this issue: one can launch 3 separate procurement procedures, negotiated in case there are companies/private or public legal entities that can provide services/experts of all 3 profiles.
Second option is to launch one procurement procedure with 3 lots. This is unusual procedure under PRAG procurement but it is not forbidden. In this case one would have to send invitations to at least 3 potential providers per lot – 9 in total in order to secure competition. In this case one provider could offer services for one lot or more. In case one would invite only 3 potential provider for all lots this would meant that each is assigned to one lot and that there is no real competition and could be evaluated as irregularity in procurement procedure.

Q: Can grant beneficiary invite already employed juniors (up to 2 years of working experience) in its institutions to apply for the position in the project team?
A: Grant contract, Annex IV does not specify eligibility criteria. Eligibility criteria are specified by Grant Beneficiary. Some limitations to this specific issue can be elaborated in Annex I of the contract but in case those are not part of the procurement procedure there should not be any obstacle to invite both employed and unemployed to the call for job opening.

Q: Is it necessary to conduct market research for procurement of services or can one invite candidates, potential providers based on different info Grant beneficiary has on their willingness to compete and provide services. Does Grant Beneficiary need to justify its selection of potential providers invited to the tender?
A: Market research is not obligatory by annex IV for any procurement, however it is consider to be on of the main basis and very important precondition for efficient and effective procurement procedure without irregularities and mistakes than might lead to cancelation of the tender. Therefore market research should be done for all procurement regardless of procurement subject. In any case decision to whom Grant beneficiary will send the invitation is on Grant beneficiary and in some case explanation is requested by Contracting Authority or different types of audit.

Q: Documentation in relation to procurement states: “The offers, all correspondence and documents related to the tender exchanged by the tenderer and the Grant Beneficiary must be written in English.” Does this include all electronic communication including emails?
A: provision on use of English language applies to all communication. If there is a fear of misunderstanding or lack of understanding part of the documentation can always be published bilingually.

Q: Does copy of technical and financial offer needs to be originally signed or is it only a copied version of signed original.
A: Copies do not have to have original signature.

Q: Is it possible to include installation and implementation of equipment for each individual item in technical specifications?
A: Yes, installation and implementation/compatibility check can be included in each specific item in Technical specifications. Price can be estimated per item or included in total price.

Q: As a part of the installation of new equipment Grant Beneficiary needs to dispose old equipment/part of the equipment. Is it possible to include in the invitation to tender provision that providers can take used equipment and reduce the price of new based on the old for new principle?
A: Even though this case is not specifically explained under any provision or documentation contracting authority would probably treat such action as revenue. Your contract budget has forecasted market price of the equipment and therefore there is no need for this amount to be reduced.

Q: Can Grant beneficiary cancelled tender for one lot only and re-launch tender for that lot with change of currency in tender documentation from HRK to EU?
A: It is possible to cancel the tender for specific lots, for example tender has been launched with 4 lots and contracts for 2 lots have been signed while tender has been cancelled for 2 remaining lots. Cancelled procedure is implemented again for those that were canceled. In case of changing currency please have in mind that exchange rates are not eligible cost.

Q: When putting together a tender dossier is it better to estimate max contract value in EUR or in HRK?
A: Max contract value should be in the same currency as in request for offer and as expected in the process of payment.

 

REALOCATION AND CONTRACT AMENDMENTS

Q: In relation to minor modification of the contract what is the procedure to be followed?
A: Minor modifications should be announced to contracting authority though Notification letter (IMGB annexes). In one Notification letter it is possible to inform contracting authority on several different modifications. In case these modifications are related to costs there is a need to attach reallocation table (IMGB annexes) with suggested modifications. Instructions are described in detail both in the IMGB as well as in the workshop materials.

VISIBILITY

Q: Is there a need for disclaimer in case of publishing of scientific articles in different scientific journals/editions?
A: No

Q: Is there a deadline for submission of communication plan? If so, which is it?
A: There is no deadline for submission of the communication plan, however as it is to determine the course of visibility actions and adherence to Article 6 of the GC it is recommended to be prepared as soon as possible.

Q: Does web page need to have “IPA” in its text/address?
A: No, but it is very important to highlight on the web page (in its content) that project is financed from EU and respect all other visibility criteria.

FINANCING

Q: Is there a need for separate specific decision/document of GB and partners for co-financing salaries of their staff?
A: No

Q: What is the advice on money transfer to partners? What are the periods in which partners can ask for pre-financing from the applicant in order to pay their costs?
A: Transfer of money from applicant to partner is solely responsibility of the applicant. However transfer of money should be based on the “just in time” principle and yet not to represent financial and administrative burden to GB. This means that transfer of money for the project implementation should be done each 3-6 months. There cannot be issuing of invoices from one partner to another due to the fact that in order to issue an invoice some sort of service needs to be implemented/conducted. In scope of joint project one partner can not/is not conducting service for another but they are jointly implementing selected project.

Q: In case of payment/administration of travel sheets what is the correct exchange rate to be used?
A: Based on the signed contract, exchange rate used in the reports is average exchange rate for all months of the implementation period. Based on this exchange rate used for individual payment is not the final one but the estimated one by the GB at the moment of the payment. It is important to highlight once again that, as stated in contract, difference in amounts cause by variations in exchange rates are not eligible cost.

Q: Is there a need to document monthly reimbursement for travel costs with receipt? Are the same principle/rule applied for newly employed and the ones already employed by GB (working on project implementation in specific %)?
A: all project documentation (except for administrative costs) has to be supported by relevant proofs: receipts; copies of the tickets; travel sheets, etc. Contract does not specify type of proof/supporting documents for individual expense therefore it is recommended to follow accounting/financial booking standards applied in Croatia. In case of a very specific situation in relation to supporting documents/proofs of payments Contracting Authority CFCA should advise GB since they are responsible for approval of interim and final financial reports. There should not be any difference between newly employed and the ones already employed by GB institution due to the fact that both are employees of the same institutions with same type of contracts securing same rights.

Q: Can there be pre-financing payments in subcontracting and if yes what are the rules and limitation in % for pre-financing payments?
A: Pre-financing payment can be made to contracted supplier but it is not obligatory. In case GB estimates that there is a need to pre-finance service, supply or works contract one need to be careful when doing so. For example In case of single tender there is no written rule however more than 30% of pre-financing is not advised based on the practice of different contracting authorities in Croatia.  Giving pre-financing hasn’t been a case in many single tenders moreover CFCA is discouraging it with reasoning that GB supplier must have sufficient capacities not to depend on pre- financing of one single tender. In case of CNP tender when planning pre-financing payments it is strongly recommended to request performance guarantee in tender documentation.

«SC Article 11 Performance guarantee – IMPORTANT – instruction to Grant Beneficiary: on the basis of objective criteria such as the type and value of the contract, the Grant Beneficiary may decide not to request the performance guarantee. If this will be the case, then no pre-financing payment can be made (article 26). If the pre-financing payment will be realised, the Contractor MUST provide the performance guarantee of an equivalent amount (PRAG, 2.4.11.1.1.). …….The performance guarantee shall be released within 45 days upon issuance of the Provisional Acceptance Certificate»

NOTE: for Local open or International procedure as governed by PRAG, the pre-financing guarantee is requested together with performance guarantee.

HUMAN RESOURCES

Q: Is it possible to have per diem for overnight stay in Croatia over the weekend where needed? (Friday – Saturday; Saturday – Sunday, Sunday – Monday)?
A: Working days eligible in course of the project are the ones eligible in the legal framework of the country where project in this case Zakon o radu. According to that there is no reason for prior ineligibility of working days Saturday /Sunday. For example there are many cases where educational programs are held over the weekend due to other commitments participants/target group has during the working week. Therefore it can be a case where project staff has to have per dimes including overnight stay over the weekend. Per diem should be accepted when there is a need for overnight stay and it is supported by the contract (description of the activities and budget)

Q: What is the correct procedure for filling in TS. Should it be in days or in hours?
A:  There is no written rule in relation to this issue however CFCA practice is to have TS in hours.

Q: Can GB/applicant institution pay out per diems and travel costs to GB/partner institution employees individually or should it be done in a way that applicable amount is transferred to partner account and partner institution is paying out per diems and travel costs to its employees or should partner institution invoice applicant institution for the costs they had in relation to per dime and travel costs of their employees?
A: If legislative framework of Croatia is enabling applicant to pay out per diems and travel costs to persons not employed in their institution this would be in line with the project as well. Other option is for partner institution to request transfer of funds from applicant institution specifying which payment is to be made for partner institution employees for their per diems and travel costs. However IN NO CASE CAN PARTNER INVOICE OTHER PARTNER (APPLICANT) IN THE JOINT PROJECT.

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