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Q: Which procurement procedure should be followed during project implementation period?

The project promoters and partners will observe national and European Union legislation on public procurement. According to Standard Terms and Conditions (art.8) and Rules and Procedures (art.5.2), a project promoter that receives 50 percent or more of the eligible expenditures of the project shall conduct its procurement for that project in compliance with the national public procurement law as though the project promoter were a contracting authority under paragraph 9 of Article 1 of Directive 2004/18/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 31 March 2004 on the coordination of procedures for the award of public works contracts, public supply contracts and public service contracts. This applies also to Project Partners. 

Overall objective and geographic outreach

Q: What is tripartite dialog and by whom is it performed?

This is the definition provided by the International Labour Organisation (ILO):

Underlying ILO’s work is the importance of cooperation between governments, employers’ organizations and workers’ organizations in fostering social and economic progress. Dialogue among and between the governments and the two “social partners” promotes consensus building and democratic involvement of those with vital stakes in the world of work. Social dialogue may mean negotiation, consultation or simply an exchange of information and views between representatives of employers, workers and governments.

Q: Are there any requirements related to the project’s geographical coverage?

There is no particular requirement as to geographical coverage, but the projects must benefit at least one of the 12 beneficiary countries. In addition, Norwegian partners can be involved, but not without at least one partner in one of the Beneficiary States, we also expect such projects to have a positive impact on the ground in the beneficiary country. Networking and experience-sharing across borders are supported. The projects can target national, regional or the local level.

Eligibility – Who are considered to be social partners?

Q: I’m an NGO dealing with issues related to Decent Work. Am I eligible as a Social Partner?

Social partners are legal entities, formally representing the interests of employers or employees, which are members of their organisation, when agreeing on wages, occupational health and safety, other working conditions or broader labour market and social issues. It’s not enough to be an entity with activities related to such issues, e.g. an organization established in order to campaign against bullying at work. Although such activities would benefit employees, directly or indirectly, the entity would not be eligible as Project Promoter. However, the entity could be involved in projects funded by the fund as supplier of expertise.

It’s the nature of the work that is important and not how the entity is formally registered. A non-governmental organisation (NGO) could be, for instance, eligible as long as the criteria above are fulfilled.

Eligibility – What are the criteria for public authorities to be eligible? 

Q: My university has their own department working on Decent Work-issues. Are we eligible? In order to be eligible, public authorities need to have statuary roles related to decent work or tripartite cooperation. That means either to formally represent the public when agreeing on wages, occupational health and safety, other working conditions or broader labour market and social issues, or to have a regulatory role related to such issues. Entities with delegated powers to attend to such issues on behalf of the public are eligible in the same way as public authorities.

Q: Is it sufficient that a project contains one public authority? Can it be a ”stand alone partner”?

Yes, a public authority can have an application approved, provided that it has statutory roles related to decent work or tripartite cooperation. Partnership is not mandatory, but generally, a partnership project will however be scored higher during the selection process.

Q: Is a Chamber of Commerce and Industry in a beneficiary state recognised as an eligible applicant?

To qualify as eligible, an organisation needs to document how it represents its members in a formal role in the beneficiary state on decent work/tripartite dialogue issues. It is not enough to be an entity with activities related to such issues. The "statutory roles" and "mandate" of an organisation are of importance in deciding on the eligibility of the applicant.

In case the organisation can document it plays such a formal role in negotiating and signing collective agreements on behalf of their members on these issues in the respective beneficiary state, the Chamber could be an eligible applicant.

Q: Can eligible applicant be a social partner, whose activities are not related to decent work?

No (please see Rules and Procedures, Art. 2.1).

Q: Are private entities (companies) eligible for funding and can they act as partners of the project?

A private company as such is not an eligible partner, but organisations representing employees and employers in one or several companies are eligible. Private companies can be subcontractors in a project.

Q: Can a state funded university be considered an eligible applicant/Project Promoter?

According to Rules and Procedures 2.1.1, organisations of public authorities with a mandate to promote decent work and tripartite dialogue are eligible entities for support. A university, even state funded, is therefore not eligible for support, with the exception that universities experienced in facilitating decent work and tripartite dialogue may be subcontracted to carry out specific tasks or otherwise act as a third party (see article 7 in the template for partnership agreement).

Q: Can an individual with expertise and experience on decent work issues be eligible to apply to the Fund for conducting a research?

No, the applicant has to be a legal entity as to Art. 2.1. in “Rules and Procedures”.

Mandatory documents in the applications
Q: We would like to know whether mandatory documents have to be provided by Project Promoter only or it is also mandatory to provide ones from project partners:

As Project Promoter, you have to provide the forms. “Partner” in this context is if you have one/several Norwegian partner(s) in order to be a “partnership project”. The information on the “Norwegian side” we will pick up through the available electronic information services.

A “partner” in the beneficiary state will be a kind of supplier of services/competence and we don’t need information beyond what is necessary to understand the role of this “partner” in the project and the implications for the project budget. It is the responsibility of the Project Promoter that the other participants in the project meet the standards set in the Programme.

Financial issues and reporting

Q: When are grant disbursements made – upon starting the project or after finishing?

An advance payment of 90% of the grant amount is paid, based on an agreed and signed Project Contract.

Q: In case of reporting travel costs, which standard should apply?

Reimbursement of travel costs and subsistence allowances for staff taking part in the project should be in line with the relevant national legislation and applicable scales (see Article 4.1.3 of Rules and Procedures). Allowances according to travels as set by the EU-institutions does not apply and will not be accepted as eligible costs.

Q: Which entity should provide the co-financing: the Project Promoter or the Project Partner? Is it possible that a third party, participating in the project, provides a part of the co-financing?

Normally the co-financing is ensured by the Project Promoter. In case of a partnership project, the co-financing should be provided by either of the parties. All the parties involved in the project may agree between them on how the share of co-financing would be distributed.

Finding Norwegian Partner(s) 

Q: Our organisation is looking for a Norwegian partner. How can we do that?

In general applicants should start searching through different websites relevant to the scope of activities. You may also wish to contact the Help Desk service. It is however important for applicants to sort out the eligibility issue before starting the search for Norwegian partners.