Decentralised Implementation System where responsibility and programme/project management are transferred to the user state, was established in 2004 (for projects within the pre-accession assistance CARDS programme) A total of six Sectoral Monitoring Sub-Committees (SMSC) are responsible for the process of monitoring programmes/projects and they report to the Joint Monitoring Committee (JMC), who is responsible for the entire process of monitoring the implementation. In such a system European Commission Delegation maintained ex-ante control including the following:
- approving competition documents before the announcement of the competition,
- approving members of the Evaluation Committee,
- checking and approving reports during the process of evaluation of received offers,
- co-signing of the financing contract by the Head of the Delegation of the European Commission,
- deciding on the course of further decentralisation based on the regular monitoring of implementation, decentralised projects and the functioning of the implementation system in total.
Institutions in decentralised implementation process of EU projects
Ministry of Regional Development and EU Funds (MRDEUF) is in charge of the entire coordination and especially for preparation, monitoring and evaluation of EU programmes. The department for coordinating projects in the field of political criteria, civil society, judiciary and internal affairs performs expert and administrative tasks in relation to the use of EU pre-accession assistance programmes (CARDS, PHARE, IPA) in the domain of meeting political criteria for EU membership, development of civil society, judiciary and fundamental rights, freedom, security and internal affairs.
The authority for financial management of EU programmes is the Central Finance and Contracting Agency. In February 2006, by the Decision of the European Commission on the conveyance of authority for the management of PHARE and CARDS programmes, the Central Finance and Contracting Agency of the Ministry of Finance (CFCA), which received the accreditation, became the implementing agency and it attained exclusive responsibility for the payment, accounting, contracting, archiving and financial statements with regard to the procedure and implementation of services, goods and jobs procurement. CFCA delegates technical implementation to corresponding ministries, i.e. all state administrative bodies. Senior Programme Officer (SPO) and the Head of Project Implementation Unit (PIU) in every state administrative body report to CFCA.
A Senior Programme Officer is a state administrative official (in the competent ministry/agency) responsible for technical project implementation in cases where CFCA is responsible for administrative and financial implementation of the abovementioned projects.
Project Implementation Unit of the Government Office for Cooperation with NGOs
Project Implementation Unit - PIU is the authority structured within a state administrative body (of the competent ministry/agency) and it is reports to the Senior Programme Officer for technical implementation of decentralised projects under his jurisdiction.
CFCA transferred a part of its responsibilities to the PIU and the distribution of duties is defined by the Inter-institutional Operational Agreement. The Agreement was signed by the Head of CFCA and the Senior Programme Officer for civil society sector, who holds the position of the Head of the Government Office for Cooperation with NGOs. The Government Office for Cooperation with NGOs acts as a Project Implementation Unit (PIU) within the framework of pre-accession assistance of the European Union to the civil society sector.
PIU's duties include:
- implementation of the process of programming grant schemes
- preparation of Guidelines for Applicants,
- proposing Members for the Evaluation Committee,
- writing monitoring reports for CFCA, Sectoral Sub-committee and Joint Monitoring Committee,
- monitoring implementation results of all EU projects and programmes under its jurisdiction through field trips and regular reporting by the beneficiaries,
- preparation of reports for CFCa and MRDEUF based on the collected data, with the aim of monitoring the implementation at different stages.
Within the scope of decentralized system of implementation, the PIU has participated in the management of several projects at different stages of implementation:
- CARDS 2003 – Capacity Building and Grants to Civil Society Organizations in Social Services – Technical Assistance
- CARDS 2003/2004 - Good Governance and the Rule of Law – Grant Scheme
- CARDS 2004 – Grants to Civil Society Organizations Active in the Field of Environment and Sustainable Development - Grant Scheme
- CARDS 2004 – Social Services Delivery by the Non-profit Sector - Grant Scheme
- CARDS 2004 – Technical Assistance in Grant Scheme Management - Croatia - Technical Assistance
- PHARE 2005 – Capacity building for Council for Civil Society Development and Government Office for Cooperation with NGOs – Technical Assistance
- PHARE 2006 – Capacity Building for the Government Office for Cooperation with NGOs in the monitoring and evaluation of the IPA projects – Technical Assistance
- PHARE 2006 – Enabling the Civil Society Sector for Active Contribution in the Pre-accession Process - Grant Scheme in the area of: Democratization and Human Rights, Environmental Protection and Sustainable development, Youth Participation
- IPA 2008 – Enhancing the capacities of the civil society sector for the monitoring of implementation of the EU Acquis - Three Grant schemes for projects which contribute to strengthening capacities and role of civil society organizations for monitoring of implementation of the EU Acquis in field of anti-discrimination policy, fight against corruption, good governance and sustainable growth.
- IPA 2009 – Enhancing the Sustainability and the Development of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) as Proactive Social Actors in the Implementation of the EU Acquis - Grant Schemes in the following fields: Building Capacities of CSOs for Implementing Innovative Social Service Delivery Programmes in the Areas of Special State Concern and Building Capacities of the Civil Society Organisations for Monitoring and Advocacy in the Field of Democratization, Human Rights, Minority Integration and Sustainable Refugee Return in the Areas of Special State Concern
- IPA 2010 – Assisting Civil Society Organisations in developing, implementing and monitoring public and Acquis related policies
- IPA 2011 – Active Civil Society for Ensuring Durability of Policy Reforms in Post-Accession Croatia
- IPA 2012 – Civil Society Organisations – Internal Control Mechanism for Safeguarding the EU Standards
- IPA Component IV; Human Resources Development
- European Social Fund; Efficient Human Resources
The Government Office for Cooperation with NGOs is also responsible for the implementation of the Community Programme Europe for Citizens
as well as its Contact Point in Croatia.