Questions and Answers

Applicable PRAG version

Q: Which version of PRAG is applicable for implementing the actions supported?

A: PRAG version that applies is the one at the time of publication, i.e. PRAG 2013 version 14/03/2013 – 06/04/2014

Secondary procurement

Q: Is there a minimum amount under which the single tender procedure is not required?

A: No, there is not such a minimum for grant contracts. As provided in section 6.5.11, last bullet on page 132 of PRAG ‘2013: “In awarding any procurement contracts required for the purposes of the action, the beneficiary must comply with the rules set out in Annex IV to the contract.

Q: What tender procedure shall use the grant beneficiary for services up to 60000 EUR – those of the PRAG or own procedures?

A: For services/supplies/works of a value of € 60 000 or less, the procedures established by the Beneficiary may be used, while respecting the rules and principles laid down in articles 1, 2 and 3 of Annex IV – Procurement by grant Beneficiaries in the context of European Union external actions.
(Annex IV to the Grant Contract, p.3-4)

Q: Shall grantees use PRAG template or their own templates?

A: The tender documents must be drafted according to best international practice. If they do not have their own documents, Beneficiaries may voluntarily use the models published in the Practical Guide to EU contract procedures for EU external actions on the EuropeAid website.
(Annex IV to the Grant Contract, p.2)

Q: What shall be the language of the technical specifications submitted by tenderers for supplies and works?

A: The language of the tender documentation, including technical specifications, should follow the language of the contract. The secondary procurement files are subject to further verification by either the CA or the auditors, and the documents should be available in the language of the contract, English. A good compromise is to issue the tender documentation, including technical specifications, in two languages, English and Serbian.

Q: Is it allowed to tender the supply of similar type of goods or works separately for each of the targeted locations, if it is planned the same way in the application form (Annex 1) and the project budget (Annex 3)?

A: Tender procedures for similar types of goods or works should be grouped and tendered together, eventually split into lots (for each location, if justified). The applicable procedure is the one corresponding to the total/overall budget of all the tendered lots, but the award will be done lot-by-lot (resulting in a separate contract). Please note section 1 of the Annex IV – Procurement by grant Beneficiaries in the context of European Union external actions: “Contracts must not be split artificially to circumvent procurement thresholds”.
(Annex IV to the Grant Contract, p.1)

Selection committee

Q: Who is authorised to appoint the Selection Committee members, if the LSG is not involved in the implementation of the action?

A: The authorised person in all such cases is the Commissioner for Refugees of the Republic of Serbia.

VAT-exemption

Q: What is the deadline for applying for VAT exemption of a project expenditure?

A: Any requests for VAT exemption of the project costs should be submitted before executing the respective payment, before goods are delivered and before/during implementation of the service contract.

Exchange rate for reporting

Q: What currency shall use the grant beneficiary in preparing the financial report?

A: Reports shall be submitted in the currency set out in the Special Conditions, and may be drawn from financial statements denominated in other currencies, on the basis of the Beneficiary(ies)’s applicable legislation and applicable accounting standards.

In such case and for the purpose of reporting, conversion into the currency set in the Special Conditions shall be made using the rate of exchange at which the Contracting Authority’s contribution was recorded in the Beneficiary(ies)’s accounts, unless otherwise provided for in the Special Conditions.

Q: What is the exchange rate to use in reporting the project expenditures when there are more than one advance payments?

A: If there is a carry-over balance from a prior pre-financing, the expenditure is first converted into Euro using the exchange rate used when this prior pre-financing was recorded, until exhaustion of this balance. Then, the exchange rate of the following instalment will be used.
(DEVCO Companion: 19.3.2.9. Rules for currency conversion)

Q: If not being registered in Serbia, but implementing an action supported under the For a Better Life Project, what is the exchange rate the grant beneficiary shall use for reporting project costs incurred in RSD?

A: In case the RSD is not the currency used in the Beneficiaries’ accounts, the grant beneficiary shall apply the following provisions of Article 15.9 of the General Conditions (Annex II to the Grant Contract): Costs incurred in other currencies than the one used in the Beneficiary(ies)’s accounts shall be converted using the monthly Inforeuro on the date of payment.

Amending the Grant contract

Q: How to proceed when modifying the timetable of activities?

A: According to Article 9.1 of the General Conditions (Annex II to the Grant Contract), “Any amendment to this Contract, including the annexes thereto, shall be set out in writing.” Hence, the grant beneficiary shall notify the Contracting Authority about any updating/revision of the timetable of the action by using the Contract modification template, downloadable at the Implementation templates page on the Project website.

Financial reporting

Q: Shall the grant beneficiary submit a report on expenditure verification with the interim report?

A: No, because as provided in Article 5.2 of the Special Conditions of the Grant Contract, “The expenditure verification(s) referred to in Art. 15.7 of Annex II will be carried out by an external body authorised by the Contracting Authority.