AWI/61/18 W: Simplified Cost Options for education providers

In the current programming period (2014-2020) of the Common Agricultural Policy, the European Commission offers the possibility to claim costs for projects in a simplified way (European Commission, 2015). When applied, eligible costs are calculated according to a predefined methodology based on performance, results or some other costs. It is no longer necessary to trace each euro of co-financed expenditure to individual accounting documents, which means a significant simplification of management and control. There are basically three options for simplified costs, namely flat-rate financing, standard scales of unit costs and lump sums.

The present project pursued the goal of implementing a simplified cost option in the priority area "Promotion of lifelong learning and vocational training in LuFW" of Priority 1 "Knowledge transfer and innovation" of Rural Development. In cooperation with the BMNT, the AMA and the training providers for the priority area, a suitable solution for implementing the simplified cost options in the priority area was to be developed. The Federal Institute of Agricultural Economics, as an external agency, took over the calculation of uniform cost rates (above all personnel and material costs) on the basis of accounting data of the training providers, which were transmitted to the AWI. A uniform cost rate was to be calculated for all training providers, in which material costs (costs for external trainers, travel costs for external events, room rent, documents, etc.), which are not directly charged to training products, are added to standardised personnel costs. These standardised personnel cost rates including material costs can be applied to predefined groups of educational products to calculate a uniform cost rate for different educational products. Documentation of the calculation should be prepared for these cost rates, which can be submitted to the European Commission for review.

For the current programme period, training providers who carry out projects in the priority area "Promoting Lifelong Learning and Vocational Training in the LuFW" must document chargeable costs by means of receipts. This ties up administrative resources for the training providers and for the approving bodies and supervisory authorities. The possibility of simplified costs can achieve administrative simplification in this area, with the aim that human and administrative resources can be used to a greater extent for the implementation of policy objectives rather than for the collection and verification of financial documents.

For the standardised unit cost project for training providers, work was already done in 2017 by the AMA, BMNT, AWI and training providers. The Federal Institute of Agricultural Economics joined at a later stage as an external body for the calculation. The tasks of the Federal Institute of Agricultural Economics include the calculation of standardised personnel costs on the basis of accounting data submitted by the training providers and the documentation of the calculation. Types of training products were defined and cost rates for these products were calculated in cooperation with the BMNT, the AMA and the training providers.

Project start: January 2018
Project end: December 2018

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