Question 6

In a project with an infrastructure component in the present call for proposals for hard projects:

– the minimum PRAG of 1 million euro relates to the total value in annex A. 1 Indicative infrastructure budget breakdown or the costs of the budget line 3. Infrastructure within the project budget (part D, Application Form)?

– if the minimum PRAG 1 million euro for the infrastructure component relates to the total value of the investments in the infrastructure provided on both sides of the border (infrastructure value in Romania and infrastructure value in the Republic of Moldova) or does the 1 million euro threshold have to be reached by investment in infrastructure provided only in one of the two countries?

– the information and communication activities and the capacity building activities must be carried out in parallel with those relating to the execution of the infrastructure or they may take place and subsequently the completion and delivery of the infrastructure, in compliance with the maximum period of 24 months for implementation?

Answer:

In drafting and submitting the project as part of the HARD project call for proposals, please consider the following information provided in the Guidelines for the grant applicants:

– The HARD project has to include an infrastructure component that has a minimum value of 1 million euro. According to chapter 1.4.3 Type of projects, there is no provision according to which each partner’s investment has to satisfy the mentioned condition.

– According to the Programme, “Infrastructure means permanent works and/or equipment which contribute to at least one programme (common) output that is specifically addressed by the project. Infrastructure must be entirely described in the Feasibility Studies”;

– In this context, the investments executed by the Partners from the project must be permanent and have to specifically address an output of the Programme (see Programme indicators per priority); the cumulated costs of those investments must be at least 1 million euro;

– The infrastructure component must be described in the technical documentation – the content is provided in Annex F- Feasibility Study (template showing the main content).

In the ideal case, the applicant can provide an integrated Feasibility Study for the infrastructure component (as a whole) at the project level, but the Programme accepts feasibility studies for the individual investments of the Partners in the project;

– Thus, the Feasibility Study/Studies should contain at least the content provided in Annex F, and must describe completely the permanent works and/or the equipment to be installed, which form the infrastructure component with a minimum value of at least 1 million euro;

– The assessment of the infrastructure component and, implicitly, the eligibility verification of the project are going to be performed in the stage of technical and financial evaluation and in the phase of evaluation of additional documents.

In line with the above mentioned, in the evaluation grid (Annex J.3) for step 2 – Technical and financial evaluation, there is a section dedicated to the infrastructure component (3.3 The infrastructure component), which, at point 3.3 (e) specifies that “the assessment will be made with reference to the budget sheet indicative infrastructure budget breakdown “, and in the evaluation grid for step 3 (Annex J.4) at section 2 Content assessment states at one of the criteria “the estimated costs of the infrastructure given by the Feasibility Study matches the overall cost in the budget sheet Indicative infrastructure budget breakdown of the Application Form”;

– In the column “Corresponding budget line” of Indicative budget for breakdown for infrastructure clear references are made to the budget lines related/associated to the infrastructure component. In line with the Programme rules, the cost of the infrastructure component ( section 2.5.1 Eligible direct costs “costs for provision of the infrastructure”, Guidelines for grant applicants) must be indicated at chapter 3 Infrastructure budget, line 3.2 Infrastructure execution (the value must be at least 1 million euro);

– There is a clear distinction between the implementation period of the project (in the Guidelines chapter 2.4.3 Project duration) and the duration of the infrastructure component execution. The maximum duration of implementing a project is 24 months, period during which all project activities, including the capacity building component and information and communication must be completed.

– The execution time-line of the infrastructure component must be included in the implementing period of the project and it cannot be longer than the entire Project duration and it must be compliant with the duration set by Feasibility Study at chapter 5.2 Implementation strategy;

– During the evaluation process of additional documents (evaluation grid step 3 section 2 Content assessment) it will be analysed if the duration of the infrastructure component execution from the Indicative time plan corresponds with the period stipulated in the Feasibility Study (section Implementation strategy).