2 Evalueringsrapport Side i 1. INTRODUKTION Rapporten Læsevejledning Forkortelser EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Overall conclusion Data collection Quantitative studies Qualitative studies Programme and strategy The ex ante evaluation Programme relevance Programme and project administration Programme administration Programme Monitoring Committee (PMC) The controller function Audit OPUS Project administration Application and approval procedures Project administration Resources with the PAU Information Programme performance up to now Indicators and data collection methods Programme performance Barriers to target completion Unexpected effects Overall evaluation of programme performance Cost effectiveness Socio-economic frameworking Additionality Gender mainstreaming Mainstreaming Empowerment The performance reserve SAMMENFATNING Samlet konklusion Dataindsamling Kvantitative undersøgelser Kvalitative undersøgelser... 33
3 Evalueringsrapport Side ii 3.3 Program og strategi Ex ante-evalueringen Program relevans Program- og projektadministrationen Programadministrationen Programovervågningsudvalget (POU) Controllerfunktionen Revisionen OPUS Projektadministrationen Ansøgnings- og godkendelsesprocedurer Projektadministrationen Ressourcer hos PAE Informationsindsats Programmets hidtidige resultater Indikatorer og dataindsamlingsmetoder Programmets resultater Barrierer for målopfyldelse Uforudsete effekter Samlet evaluering af programmets resultater Omkostningseffektiviteten Socioøkonomisk rammesætning Additionalitet Kønsligestilling Mainstreaming Empowerment Resultatreserven TEMATISK OG METODISK FOKUS FOR EVALUERINGEN Tematisk fokus for evalueringen Metodisk fokus for evalueringen Formål med det metodiske fokus Lærende evaluering Dataindsamling Kvantitative undersøgelser Kvalitative undersøgelser PROGRAM OG STRATEGI Ex ante-evalueringens fortsatte gyldighed Programmets relevans MÅL 3-programmet og den nationale og internationale rammesætning Mål 3 og den nye NAP proces Mål 3 og NAPincl... 78
4 Evalueringsrapport Side iii 5.5 MÅL 3 og Lissabon-processerne Flere i arbejde Sammenhængen mellem lovgivningen og Mål 3-programmet PAE niveau (regionalt og centralt) Øget klarhed i regelfortolkning Forbedret samarbejde Nationalt plan Forbedret information Dispensationer eller ændringer i national lovgivning Nationalt og EU plan Reprogrammering Konklusioner og anbefalinger i forhold til programstrategi PROGRAM- OG PROJEKTADMINISTRATIONEN Programadministrationen Kommunikation Fleksibilitet og prioriteringer Programovervågningsudvalget (POU) Controllerfunktionen Revisionen OPUS Projektadministrationen Ansøgnings- og udvælgelsesprocedurerne Ressourcer hos PAE Informationsindsats Informationsspredning på forskellige niveauer Det elektroniske ansigt udadtil Let adgang til hurtigt overblik Tryksager og publikationer Hjemmesiden for projekterne Regional informationsindsats Inddragelse af pressen Anbefalinger FORDELING OG FORBRUG Indledning Antallet af projekter Forbrug Antallet af deltagere og deltageraktiviteten PROGRAMMETS HIDTIDIGE RESULTATER Formål Målsætninger
5 Evalueringsrapport Side iv 8.2 Resultater sammenlignet med mål og indikatorer Langsigtede mål (impact) Mål på mellemlang sigt (outcome) Umiddelbare mål (output) Sammenfatning Målgrupper Målgrupperne Barrierer for målopfyldelse Uforudsete effekter Omkostningseffektiviteten Samlet evaluering af programmets resultater Anbefalinger SOCIOØKONOMISK RAMMESÆTNING Additionalitet Forståelse af additionalitet Additionalitetskriterier og forskellen på additionalitet og innovation Additionaliteten en vurderingssag Anbefalinger Kønsligestilling Hvilke krav stilles der til kønsligestilling? Forskellige kønsligestillingsaspekter Kønsligestilling i projekterne Barrierer for kønsligestilling Indsatsområder og muligheder Indikatorer for kønsligestilling Anbefalinger Mainstreaming - Fra smult vande til hovedstrøm Operationalisering af begrebet mainstreaming Projektmainstreaming Programmainstreaming Projekternes mainstreamingsstrategier Samarbejdspartnere og netværk Anbefalinger Empowerment Udfoldelse af begrebet Empowerment i projekterne Anbefalinger RESULTATRESERVEN
6 Evalueringsrapport Side 1 1. INTRODUKTION Denne rapport indeholder resultaterne af den anden Mål 3 evaluering, der er gennemført i perioden januar til oktober DMA/Research og NIRAS Konsulenterne har i samarbejde med revisionsfirmaet KPMG gennemført evalueringen på vegne af Erhvervs- og Boligstyrelsen (tidligere Arbejdsmarkedsstyrelsen). Evalueringen er et element i det samlede evalueringsforløb som er planlagt i forhold til Mål 3-programmet og Fællesskabsinitiativet EQUAL under Den Europæiske Socialfond (ESF) i Danmark Der er tale om en programevaluering, hvor det ikke er de enkelte projekter, der evalueres, men program- og projektadministrationen samt programmets samlede effekt. I evalueringen er der foruden effekt- og kontrolaspekter fokus på det fremadrettede perspektiv, og rapporten præsenterer således forslag til forbedringer af programog projektadministrationen. Hensigten er, at Erhvervs- og Boligstyrelsen (EBST) og de decentrale administrationsenheder i amterne kan indarbejde de forslag, som findes hensigtsmæssige, i indeværende programperiode og tage andre op til overvejelse i planlægningen af den næste programperiode. Årets evaluering er en midtvejsevaluering, og med dette for øje er der lagt op til en ret omfattende evaluering, der inddrager ikke mindre end følgende 13 temaer: 1. Programadministration fordeling af midler, planlægning og implementering af programmet 2. Projektadministration ansøgnings- og godkendelsesprocedurer, sagsbehandling, information, monitorering og kontrol 3. Effectiveness foreløbige resultater ved programmet 4. Efficiency omkostningseffektivitet i gennemførelse af programmet 5. Programrelevans eventuel reprogrammering herunder relevans af strategi, målgrupper samt forholdet til den nationale beskæftigelsesplan (NAP) 6. Opfølgning vedrørende relevans og holdbarhed af ex ante-evaluering 7. Vurdering af indikatorer i programmet 8. Resultatreserven, der udløser 4% af programmidlerne ved opfyldelse af krav 9. Uforudsete effekter ved gennemførelse af programmet 10. Forståelse og anvendelse af additionalitetsbegrebet 11. Kønsligestilling som tema (bl.a. udvikling af indikatorer) 12. Mainstreaming i programmet (vurdering af strategi, udvikling af indikatorer)
7 Evalueringsrapport Side Empowerment af målgrupper som tema (bl.a. udvikling af indikatorer). Midtvejsevalueringen og dermed også rapporten for 2003 har fokus på disse temaer. Med det omfattende fokus for evalueringen er det nødvendigt af hensyn til overskueligheden og en hensigtsmæssig formidling af resultaterne at anvende et forholdsvis koncentreret og opsummerende rapportdesign. Der vil derfor i rapporten blive anlagt en vis form for helikopterperspektiv i fremstillingen idet der dog samtidig i tabeller og grafik vil være mulighed for også at få detaljer og præcise landkendinger med i billedet. Vi vil gerne takke de mange mennesker, som har deltaget i årets evalueringsaktiviteter. Vi har atter haft fornøjelsen af at tale med og interviewe en lang række aktører omkring programmet. Det drejer sig om projektledere samt ansøgere der ikke har opnået støtte fra programmet regionale og nationale projekt- og programadministrationer, repræsentanter fra de regionale socialfondsudvalg (RSU), regionale indstillings- og høringsgrupper, samt det nationale programovervågningsudvalg (POU) og det nationale projektgodkendelsesudvalg (PGU). Vi finder, at det ved hjælp af en omfattende dataindsamling og analyse er lykkedes at afdække, belyse og skabe sammenhæng mellem de fastlagte emner. 1.1 Rapporten Afrapporteringen af årets midtvejsevaluering gennemføres efter aftale mellem EBST og evaluator i tre trin, hvor nærværende rapport udgør den endelige version. 1 Denne endelige rapport har indarbejdet de kommentarer som er kommet i forskellige møde fora samt skriftlige kommentarer som er modtaget sideløbende fra involverede høringsparter. Blandt de møder, som specielt i denne sidste fase har givet input til den endelige rapport, er en innovationsworkshop afholdt d. 22. oktober, hvor et større antal aktører med interesse i Mål 3 har drøftet årets temaer, de vigtigste problemstillinger samt evaluators forslag til anbefalinger. Endvidere har evalueringsstyregruppen på et møde den 27. oktober og den 26. november givet input til rapporten. Endelig har rapportens konklusioner og anbefalinger været fremlagt på en socialfondskonference som blev afholdt den 24. november, hvor temaerne var foreløbig status, fremdrift og fremtid for Socialfonden i Danmark. På baggrund af høringsprocessen og den afholdte konference er udarbejdet herværende endelige midtvejsrapport, der i samsvar med EU Kommissionens 1 Diverse materialer, inkl. rapporten kan downloades fra samt evalueringens egen hjemmeside
8 Evalueringsrapport Side 3 gældende retningslinjer for midtvejsevaluering af strukturfondsinterventioner sigter på at kunne anvendes som et middel til at forbedre relevans og kvalitet af programmet. 1.2 Læsevejledning I kapitel 2 præsenteres et engelsk summary. I kapitel 3 præsenteres en sammenfatning, der opsummerer de vigtigste elementer i evalueringens metode og resultater. Kapitel 4 rummer en gennemgang af det tematiske og metodiske fokus for evalueringen. Kapitel 5 behandler program og strategi og analyserer med udgangspunkt i en vurdering af ex ante-evalueringens fortsatte gyldighed, programmets relevans og strategiens potentiale. Kapitel 6 omhandler programadministration og projektadministration. Kapitlet indeholder en vurdering af de administrative og organisatoriske rammer for programmet, programmets kontrol og revision samt informationsstrategien. Kapitel 7 giver et billede af programmets forbrug og fordelingen af midler på indsatsområder og geografisk via budget- og regnskabstal samt data mining i OPUS. Programmets rammesætning og de foreløbige resultater er hovedtemaerne for kapitel 8. Her fokuseres der på de langsigtede, de mellemlange og de kortsigtede resultater og effektiviteten i programmet. De nuværende indikatorer vurderes, og der fremlægges forslag til optimeret anvendelse af indikatorer. Endelig fremlægges måleresultater på de indikatorer, der er i anvendelse. I kapitel 9 behandles den socioøkonomiske rammesætning og resultater. Her behandles temaerne additionalitet, mainstreaming, kønsligestilling og empowerment. Endelig indeholder Kapitel 10 en opgørelse over de beregninger, som indgår i grundlaget for den såkaldte resultatreserves anvendelse.
9 Evalueringsrapport Side Forkortelser AF Arbejdsformidlingen AMS ARF EBST EES EPD ESF FAQ FoU NAP NAPincl PAE PGU POU PT RAR RSU VEU Arbejdsmarkedsstyrelsen Amtsrådsforeningen Erhvervs- og Boligstyrelsen European Employment Strategy (den europæiske beskæftigelsesstrategi) Enhedsprogrammeringsdokument Den Europæiske Socialfond Frequently Asked Questions Forsknings- og Udviklingsmidler National Action Plan (den nationale handlingsplan for beskæftigelse) National handlingsplan til bekæmpelse af fattigdom og social udstødelse Projektadministrerende enhed (både i EBST og regionalt i amter) Projektgodkendelsesudvalg Programovervågningsudvalg Programtillæg Det Regionale Arbejdsmarkedsråd Regionalt Socialfondsudvalg Voksen- og Efteruddannelse
10 Evalueringsrapport Side 5 2. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY On behalf of the National Agency for Enterprise and Housing (Erhvervs- og Boligstyrelsen) (previously the National Labour Market Authority Arbejdsmarkedsstyrelsen), DMA/Research and NIRAS Consultants, in cooperation with the auditing firm KPMG, are evaluating the Objective 3 programme and the EQUAL Community initiative programme under the European Social Fund (ESF) in Denmark This report contains the results of the second Objective 3 evaluation a mid-term evaluation carried out during the period January to October The evaluation is a programme evaluation, meaning that the programme and the project administration as well as the actual substance of the programme, rather than the single projects, have been evaluated. This chapter presents a summary of the Objective 3 mid-term evaluation 2003 which consists of an overall conclusion and a summary of the individual chapters of the evaluation report. The conclusion is the result of an overall analysis of the 13 themes of the year, and the summary states recommendations and the main results of the individual chapters. 2.1 Overall conclusion The main elements of the Social Fund strategy in Denmark can be summarised as the following six main objectives: 1. Strengthening of the early initiatives in relation to groups of unemployed who face a considerable risk of long-term unemployment. An individual assessment is to be made of the needs of the unemployed with a view to a targeted and efficient early initiative. Further, it must be ensured that existing groups of unemployed who are at the fringe or outside of the workforce will be given the possibility of being integrated in the labour market. 2. The number of persons receiving passive benefits is to be reduced and new opportunities created for employment of weak target groups. 3. Through continuous training and education as well as competence development and an active seniority policy, present employees are to be encouraged to remain in the labour market for longer.
11 Evalueringsrapport Side 6 4. Targeted efforts are to be made to improve the education and the qualifications of the workforce, particularly within ICT. 5. An increased focus on and a more visible gender mainstreaming and equal opportunities perspective is to characterise the policy implementation. Targeted efforts must be made to reduce the gender-divided labour market. 6. There is a need to strengthen efforts to develop the entrepreneurial and innovation culture. A number of the recommendations drawn up in connection with the initial evaluation 2002 are still topical in the autumn of However, in recent months a number of activities have been implemented which give reason to believe that many of the recommendations will be implemented now and in the months to come. Under the Objective 3 programme almost projects have been initiated, and a large number of tools and routines have been developed with a view to ensuring project selection, monitoring and control of as well as follow-up on the projects. In this mid-term evaluation a reasonable development of the programme can be seen. This development is due partly to the activities mentioned, partly to the routine developed in connection with the practical handling of administrative issues. To strengthen the possibilities of success, a number of challenges to the programme have, as suggested by the evaluator, been set up at the National Agency for Enterprise and Housing, the counties and the Programme Monitoring Committee (PMC). The evaluator calls for a more coordinated gathering of experience and dissemination of knowledge, both across counties and agency in relation to influencing the ordinary initiatives (horizontally) and centrally in relation to influencing the national strategies and reform measures (vertically). Here, the Objective 3 programme can benefit from the overall mainstreaming activities of the EQUAL programme. 2 The report states a different number of projects in tables and calculations because various sources (OPUS, questionnaire, etc.) have been used at various times. Early December 2003 the correct number of projects is close to 700 whereas the extract in connection with the questionnaire study showed that there were 599 projects at the time.
12 Evalueringsrapport Side 7 The evaluator suggests that the National Agency for Enterprise and Housing works to achieve an increased coordination with the national strategies. The Objective 3 programme can add experience in connection with the drawing up of new reforms and commission work (such as the Welfare Commission) and it can test new national strategies. At the same time the co-financing issue could be remedied if the Objective 3 programme was linked to the new measures for which the government sets aside funds. This could be in relation to employment, business and education (i.e. bridging projects) and in relation to special target groups such as newly unemployed, those at risk of becoming unemployed, exposed groups, early retirees, refugees and immigrants as well as entrepreneurs (for example by means of special funds allocated for such purposes (Satspuljemidler)). The evaluator recommends a higher degree of coordination of good administrative routines and procedures across counties and between the agency and counties, particularly concerning common guidelines and coordination in relation to suggestions for themes for applications, procedures for application assessment, application approval, administration, audit, control and project evaluation. The evaluator suggests a further development of indicators for frameworking and measurement of project performance. This and last year s evaluations suggest both fixed and recommended indicators in relation to gender distribution, additionality, mainstreaming, innovation and target group involvement. It is necessary that the Programme Monitoring Committee s (PMC) work is strengthened. The PMC is to have more insight into initiatives, experience and performance across projects and to use this knowledge to work with programme strategies and the connection with the national and European strategies. The work could be carried out in strategic sub-groups working with selected themes or priorities. To ensure coordination with the regional strategies, regional representatives could be attached to the groups. At the same time, PMC members should ensure coordination with their regional units which are often represented in the regional Social Fund committees. The National Agency for Enterprise and Housing and the counties can only take up these challenges if the resources are available. As it is, the programme administration has problems finding time for the contents side of the programme, which reduces the cost effectiveness. The implementation of the 2002 recommendations and probably also the recommendations of this evaluation are hampered by the extensive administration to which the Social Fund administrations as well as the projects are submitted primarily be-
13 Evalueringsrapport Side 8 cause of the comprehensive registration and control of the participant financing. The administration and control will not discontinue, but efforts must be made to make administration and control easier to give more room for working with the contents side which in itself can increase quality control. The situation for the programme administration is one in which a centrally formulated programme provides the framework for the regional initiatives and in which the Objective 3 Social Fund administration has been placed under a different authority in the middle of the programme period. The change to the National Agency for Enterprise and Housing and an active effort to coordinate the issues centrally and regionally seem to solve a number of the issues which this and last year s evaluations address. This concerns a coordination of control and audit assignments and the work on adapting to the new labour market reforms, among other things. Strategically, the choice of an overall programme model without central national co-financing is one of the most significant factors for the implementation of the Objective 3 programme in Denmark. By not choosing a model with central national co-financing, as opposed to the situation in many other member states, Demark has laid down project terms which involve control of co-financing at project level. This means control at participant level with subsequent documentation requirements (payslips, participant registration, affidavits, etc.). In connection with the co-financing issue, there may be a trend towards the Social Fund directing its efforts towards more stable target groups. The target groups ought not be too weak, as the projects risk to be lacking cofinancing because of illness or non-appearance, and they ought not be too strong, as the participants risk leaving the project because they get ordinary jobs. 2.2 Data collection The mid-term evaluation builds on the methods developed and applied in the previous evaluation. In ongoing contact with the National Agency for Enterprise and Housing the evaluator has adjusted the data collection activities both as regards the evaluation relevance and the scope of the involvement of different parties. The new elements in this year s evaluation are questionnaires for approved and rejected projects as well as a number of innovation workshops focusing on the development of the programme contents.
14 Evalueringsrapport Side 9 As last year, the data collection further consists of individual interviews, focus groups, desk research, data mining and a concluding workshop which follows up on the evaluation results so far Quantitative studies The quantitative data in the evaluation is based on several sources: Desk research Extracts from OPUS on projects and participants under the Objective 3 programme Questionnaire study among all ongoing and concluded projects under the Objective 3 programme Telephone interviews with representatives of rejected projects Register-based data at individual level compared with DREAM In the evaluator s opinion it will still be necessary to develop OPUS as a management tool and to facilitate access to conducting runs across projects, priorities, the PAU (project administrative unit), etc., thus enabling continuous monitoring of developments in relation to relevant indicators. An examination of data from the projects indicates a need to improve response categories and strengthen the data discipline of the units entering the data, i.e. the projects. This particularly applies to information on participants, where the data quality is insufficient Qualitative studies Apart from the ongoing contact with the National Agency for Enterprise and Housing and the evaluation steering group, the evaluation uses various qualitative approaches: 43 personal interviews A focus group with projects Four innovation workshops Desk research A concluding innovation workshop A Social Fund conference At the request of the EU Commission a Social Fund conference was held in November with a view to discussing relevant topics. On that occasion the evaluator
15 Evalueringsrapport Side 10 could at the request of the National Agency for Enterprise and Housing obtain further graduations and observations for use in the formulation of the final report. 2.3 Programme and strategy This chapter deals with the Social Fund Objective 3 programme at a strategic level. The chapter has special focus on theme 5 on the relevance of the programme and on theme 6 on follow-up on the ex ante evaluation which has been carried out prior to the initiation of the programme. The purpose is to identify whether the programme still has the right focus and clear objectives which are relevant in relation to the current educational, employment and industrial policy situations and frameworking. In this respect the programme is evaluated as an overall action tool and it is important to consider the direction and bearings in relation to other programmes and tendencies. This partly concerns developments in relation to the Lisbon process and the challenges determined by economic trends as well as the new European reality The ex ante evaluation The main recommendations of the ex ante report are: To target and focus efforts, priorities and target groups To include the demand side more explicitly in the unit programming document (UPD) To target efforts at bottleneck sectors and trades employing many unemployed people and many persons without or with short educations To target efforts at the weak groups of unemployed To have a flexible approach to concentration and visibility in order that small, experimental projects are not discontinued The report will evaluate these recommendations and comment on the actual extent of realisation of said recommendations. On the basis of this the evaluator concludes that the recommendations from the ex ante evaluation are constant at the general level and that despite cyclical changes they are, due to their general and generic nature, to a large extent still relevant. In the continued programme-strategic work within the framework of the PMC there is thus reason to reflect on several of the recommendations. It is thus recommended to consider an integration of priorities. Priority 4 is, for example, very small and could preferably be integrated with priority 3.
16 Evalueringsrapport Side 11 Furthermore, it is relevant to follow the recommendations of the ex ante evaluation and create a basis for project tenders which are subject to a higher degree of frameworking and which can aim at larger and more distinctive project types. The recommendation to focus on the needs of the demand side can also be followed up more significantly. The PMC should participate more actively in ensuring that the demand side is involved and that project activities are initiated to procure the concepts and competences demanded. The recommendation of the ex ante evaluation to aim at the weak groups is to a certain extent set aside today. A number of new government initiatives focus increasingly on the most marginalized groups. The PMC must ensure that the Objective 3 programme is used in the best possible way in the interaction with these initiatives. Finally, the ex ante evaluation s recommendation to ensure a continued high degree of innovation seems to point at a highly topical need for increasing the freedom of action in several areas partly in the relation between the priorities (e.g. in a possible financial transfer of funds from priority 1 to priority 2 and an integration of priorities 3 and 4), partly towards creating more free funds for more daring and inventive projects Programme relevance In relation to theme 5 the analysis is to contribute to assessing the continued relevance of the programme strategy and to identify whether there is a need for reprogramming. The analysis is to examine whether the target groups are still right and whether there is a need for adjustments in relation to the European employment strategy (EES) and the national action plan (NAP). This is particularly to be seen in the light of the latest changes in the labour market and the new situation caused by the enlargement of the EU. The evaluator finds that the Danish Objective 3 process in combination with the Danish employment strategies are in many respects ahead of the European objectives and initiatives. The many new signals in the European context thus do not seem to require immediate changes in the Danish Objective 3 strategy. However, as has already been pointed out in the initial evaluation 2002, the Danish model does have the additional challenge of coordinating the regional Social Fund plans with the national level. Therefore, with a view to facilitating this process, it is still important to create a maximum degree of transparency in the programme system. There must be transparency with regard to which frameworks are set up by EU regulations and processes and which are laid down at national level.
17 Evalueringsrapport Side 12 There is much to indicate that in the transfer of EU programme regulations via the national UPD to the regional planning a tightening has taken place as well as a more rigid interpretation of the conditions level by level. To be on the safe side, the framework has been designed so as to be sure to be on the right side when it comes to interpreting the possibilities. This has led to a more limited freedom to act than necessary. On this exact background the evaluator finds it important to repeat the recommendation from last year s evaluation, that a new and more radical effort could be made to create an increased understanding of the connection between European, national and regional strategies and plans. Such an information campaign could contribute to removing some of the myths which thrive and to reducing unnecessary restrictions of the freedom to act, just as it could create a clearer understanding of which plans and processes interact, which would probably lead to a better understanding of the background for the intentions and purposes which are operationalised via Objective 3. There is also reason to recall the conclusion from the interim evaluation 2002 that because of the fixed procedures the connection between the strategies is well planned and on the whole well functioning. The strength of being able to create a common movement and initiative in synergy not only with other national initiatives but also with the initiatives of other member states, coordinated at EU level seems still more obvious. Whereas the Danish strategy for the Objective 3 programme can to a wide extent be adapted to and work within the overall framework of and the new signals within ESS, NAP and NAPincl, there are obstacles in relation to the national employment legislation. There are, thus, problems with applying the priority 1 funds after the new provisions of the employment legislation have restricted access to education for newly unemployed. It is recommended: That recommendations from the ex ante evaluation, which are constant at the general level, are still followed despite cyclical changes That the ex ante evaluation s recommendations are followed up on concerning focus on purpose and target groups by creating a basis for projects which are subject to a higher degree of frameworking and which can aim at larger and more distinctive project types
18 Evalueringsrapport Side 13 That the PMC participates more actively in ensuring that the demand side is involved and that project activities are initiated to procure the concepts and competences demanded That the PMC ensures that the Objective 3 programme is used in the best possible way in the interaction with new government initiatives for marginalized groups That the ex ante evaluation to ensure a continued high degree of innovation is followed up on to increase the freedom of action in several areas as well as increased opportunities for more daring and inventive projects That the programme s general direction is maintained and that the management tools are continuously improved That the connection between the strategic, specific and operational goals are continuously prioritised, as it should be considered to integrate priorities 3 and 4 and to transfer funds from priority 1 to priority 2 That the programme communication and marketing are strengthened That the work on competence development of the PAU nationally and regionally continue to receive priority That the programme-related mainstreaming (dissemination and embedding of positive experience) is prioritised to enable the fast implementation of good examples, both horizontally and vertically 2.4 Programme and project administration This chapter evaluates the progress of the programme with special focus on programme and project administration. In relation to the programme administration, the distribution of funds and the planning and implementation of the programme are central topics. In relation to the project administration, focus is on application and approval procedures, case administration, information, monitoring and control Programme administration Since the 2002 evaluation a significant organisational change has been made, as in May 2003 the European Social Fund was transferred from the National Labour Market Authority to the National Agency for Enterprise and Housing. This change of managing authority is in line with a shift of focus from activation and employment policy (priorities 1 and 2) towards industrial policy and entrepreneurship (via competence development in companies with priorities 3 and 4).
19 Evalueringsrapport Side 14 The administrative integration of the Objective 2 and Objective 3 programmes is in line with the government s regional growth strategy which is in continuation of the growth strategies of the relevant regions. In continuation of the transfer, most regional PAUs call for a further strengthening of communications with the National Agency for Enterprise and Housing. The fundamental problem is the lack of specification of role and distribution of competence in the programme. There is, therefore, doubt as to where the line is drawn and how it is defined between the National Agency for Enterprise and Housing, the auditors, the Social Fund coordinators and the FAQ. In addition, it is unfortunate when the doubts concern the interpretation of requirements and possibilities within the framework of Objective 3. Instead, the Social Fund coordinators draw up their own routines or attempt to find advise for interpretation of problems within the framework of coordination meetings. This meeting forum is chosen for discussions of principles, but several Social Fund coordinators call for more direct decision-making competence at these coordination meetings. With a view to creating fast solutions to problems, a small, fast-working nutcracker committee has been set up to find solutions to mutual problems. Projects, regional Social Fund committees (RSC) as well as regional PAUs call for incorporation of a higher degree of flexibility in the Objective 3 programme. What is particularly called for is the flexibility to relocate funds between different priorities. It is recommended: That the communication between the central and the regional level is strengthened That a general strengthening of the communication and the information about the programme are implemented between the National Agency for Enterprise and Housing and the PAU in the counties, for example as part of a general competence development and programme-internal mainstreaming at the two levels That there is a strengthening of follow-up and reflection at the National Agency for Enterprise and Housing. This can be achieved through ensuring continuity in the staff group. Another possibility is for the National Agency for Enterprise and Housing to outsource different activities that they do not
20 Evalueringsrapport Side 15 have the resources to implement themselves. A third option is to make smart control That at all levels there is increased focus on experience gathering in the projects and less on financial control That a defined role and distribution of work between counties, agency, auditors and commission are described and implemented Programme Monitoring Committee (PMC) The purpose of the PMC is to discuss and lay down strategic issues for the Objective 3 programme. The PMC has just held its first meeting in eight months. There has thus not been an ongoing formal forum for discussion of the strategy and the implementation rate in the Objective 3 programme. It should, therefore, be pointed out that the PMC should be regularly involved in and informed about the former and future initiatives of the programme. It is thus important to raise the meeting frequency, and it should be considered to allow for written hearing responses in connection with urgent problems. It is recommended: That the provisions in executive order no. 132 are continuously complied with, ensuring the handling of the PMC s tasks That an executive committee reporting to the PMC is set up which can meet more often to make the required decisions. It should further be considered to set up sub-committees or thematic committees under the PMC, whereby PMC members can follow the vital measures of the programme in a more differentiated way That on the basis of the executive order a clear definition is made of the issues which the PMC and the Project Approval Committee (PAC), respectively, are to deal with That there is a discussion and a description of how the programme administration will be further supporting in relation to the tasks which the executive order stipulates the PMC to solve The controller function Cf. executive order no. 132 the controller function is to draw up an annual control report to the EU Commission. The controller function has drawn up a plan for completion of controller visits up to 30 June According to the controller schedule, it is planned to visit all 16 regional and central project administra-