The Government wants to speed up the execution of EU funds and eliminate the so-called ‘bottlenecks’ of the Administration and for this it will carry out a transformation of the functioning of the public sector that includes, among other things, that the ministerial departments prepare in one month an annual schedule of the contracts necessary for the implementation of the Recovery Plan projects linked to said funds, which may receive advances of up to 50% to accelerate their execution.
In addition, it will recover the state agencies, the processing times will be reduced by half , the control of the operations will not exceed 5 business days and a web portal will be created to register all the projects, which will act as a ‘one-stop shop’ for making requests. .
This is included in the draft of the royal decree-law of urgent measures for the modernization of the Public Administration and for the execution of the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan, which will be approved in December and which addresses a structural reform to modernize the budget execution procedures and streamline and simplify procedures to channel the 27,000 million European funds advanced in the Budgets since January .
The norm recovers administrative figures and creates new ‘ad hoc’ structures to speed up the absorption of funds, as is the case with the creation of state agencies as a public body , which return to the Public Administration as an organizational formula endowed with “a higher level autonomy and flexibility in management “.
In addition, the Government creates a new administrative figure for public-private collaboration: Strategic Projects for Economic Recovery and Transformation (PERTE), dependent on the Ministry of Industry, which within three months must prepare the state registry of entities interested in the PERTE.
The President of the Government already announced at the end of July to the regional leaders, in the Conference of Presidents that he held in person in San Millán de la Cogolla (La Rioja), that he himself would be in charge of leading the management of the Recovery Fund , through a new Interministerial Commission.
Specifically, and although at first five new governance bodies for the funds were to be created, which would first go through a Commission for Recovery, Transformation and Resilience, which will be chaired by Sánchez and in which 11 ministers will participate , the complaints of United We Can for the exclusion of Pablo Iglesias have rectified Moncloa. In this way, the body will end up falling over the entire Council of Ministers.
A Technical Committee will also be created, which will provide technical and legal support to the Ministerial Commission, and a Recovery Plan Monitoring Unit, which from the Presidency of the Government will carry out political and strategic monitoring of the plan.
Forums and high-level advisory councils will also be created in the main sectors involved and the Sectoral Conference of European Funds will be reactivated with the Autonomous Communities. The Directorate of European Funds, of the Ministry of Finance, will be designated as the managing authority responsible for accountability in Brussels.
This new organizational and administrative structure will be in charge of streamlining as much as possible all the terms of contracts financed with European funds, to which “the exceptional regime of urgent processing” will be applied.
Consequently, these projects will have priority and the deadlines for issuing the respective reports or completing the corresponding procedures will be reduced to five calendar days, without any extension, while the deadlines set for the processing of the open procedure will be reduced by half due to excess, except for the deadline for submitting proposals, which will be 15 calendar days.
In parallel, the economic thresholds are raised to resort to simplified, ordinary and abbreviated open procedures. In detail, in the abbreviated simplified open procedure, a threshold is set for work contracts with an estimated value of less than 200,000 euros and for supply and service contracts of less than 100,000 euros; and for the ordinary simplified open procedure it is established that the value of the contract is less than 5.34 million if it is for works or supplies and services, less than 138,999 euros when they are contracts awarded by the State, autonomous bodies or Social Security entities , or to 213,999 euros when they are different contracts.
If they are for social services, the value must be less than 749,999 euros.
In addition, the simplification of the processing of administrative agreements is addressed by eliminating authorizations by the Council of Ministers and reducing deadlines for the issuance of those reports that are mandatory. Advance processing of the files of agreements that will be executed in the following year or later is allowed.
Exceptionally, the term of validity of these agreements may have a duration greater than that legally established, and may reach a maximum of ten years, with the possibility of an extension of seven years.
The processing of grants for the use of these funds will be streamlined
The processing of grants related to the use of European funds is also expedited and deadlines shortened. Thus, reporting requirements and mandatory authorizations are eliminated, although to authorize the granting of subsidies of amounts greater than 12 million euros, an agreement from the Council of Ministers will be necessary.
Likewise, the advance disbursement of the funds may be made up to a maximum limit of 50% of the total amount to be received in the expense files that are processed for which its regulatory regulations do not allow or the advance disbursement is limited.
In turn, spending commitments that have to be extended to subsequent years may be acquired, provided they do not exceed the established limits and annuities.
Regarding the audit, it points out about the prior control regime applicable to the files, that the dispatch of these files will enjoy priority over any other, and the control body must make a decision within a period of five working days.
The decree establishes that a single website of the Recovery Plan will be created, which will centralize and distribute the information to all interested parties. Through the one-stop shop of this portal, it is possible to process the requests for participation in the calls for the execution of funds.
Likewise, jobs are reorganized and the assignment of officials to manage the funds, and the assignment of part-time functions may be agreed and, “exceptionally” and when it is essential, the creation or modification of jobs will be contemplated. functions are directly related to project management.
As a general rule, there will be primarily those public employees who have direct or indirect experience in managing projects related to European funds. All those who are dedicated to managing the funds may receive a variable salary supplement for the achievement of objectives to compensate the performance of the staff.