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C 304/84 EN Official Journal of the European Communities 2. 10.


Joint answer to Written Questions
E-0344/98, E-0345/98, E-0346/98, E-0347/98 and E-0348/98
given by Mrs Bjerregaard on behalf of the Commission
(18 March 1998)

The Parliament has scheduled its discussions on the Commission’s proposal for a Council directive establishing
a framework for Community action in the field of water policy (1) for the March 1998 and April 1998 meetings of
the environment committee. The Commission will address the questions raised by the Honourable Member
during those meetings.

(1) COM(97)47.

(98/C 304/127) WRITTEN QUESTION P-0352/98
by Ernesto Caccavale (UPE) to the Commission
(6 February 1998)

Subject: Nature of eligible expenditure for training activities financed by ESF contributions

Local development agencies, set up as consortia and/or associations of institutions, SMEs, universities, and
professional organizations, are today playing an increasingly important role in promoting or implementing
spatial development operations, not least because they can pool applications and identify objectives and are able
to bring about synergy by making efficient use of resources.

Among their spatial development operations, pride of place has to be given to training activities.

From the legal and operational point of view, the consortia and/or associations in question are different and
separate from their partners and/or members, since they have their own VAT registration numbers, are managed
separately and keep separate accounts for their specific purposes, and have their own departments.

The ‘datasheet No 4’ published in conjunction with Commission Decision 97/322/EC (1) gives ‘Details on the
principle of real cost’. Circular No 130/95, issued by the Italian Ministry of Labour on 25 October 1995, relates to
the concept of ‘delegation of training activities’. In the light of the foregoing, and with a view to avoiding
excessive red tape and maintaining the standard of project activities, will the Commission answer the following
1. Do local development agencies have to be regarded as the most suitable bodies to implement and manage
development operations, including training activities?
2. When an agency intends to implement a training project, should an appropriately qualified partner and/or
member be made responsible for one or more stages of the projected activities − so as to achieve the
desirable and necessary synergy − rather than assigning the task to bodies not belonging to the consortium
and/or association?
3. Given that development agencies intending to carry out a training project must not seek to make a profit, is it
considered acceptable, in the case described in point 2, that partners and/or members should charge market
prices for their services when they have not exceeded the approved budget or the limits laid down?
4. Are development agencies, and no other bodies, consequently entitled to recover not more than the costs
incurred by partners and/or members in rendering the services in question?
5. Is the Commission aiming to support the activities and projects sponsored by local development agencies?

(1) OJ L 146, 5.6.1997, p. 11.

Answer given by Mr Flynn on behalf of the Commission
(10 March 1998)

1. The Commission does not give preference to any particular body, since it is not involved ex ante in the
selection and evaluation procedure. The Commission confines itself to laying down − in a general manner, and
in partnership with the Member State − the criteria and guidelines which the final beneficiaries must observe in
implementing actions that are co-funded by the European Social Fund (ESF).
2. 10. 98 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 304/85

2. When the actions are not directly mounted (partly or totally) by the final beneficiary but are sub-contracted
to a lower level, the public or private body that awards the contract remains the final beneficiary and is therefore
fully accountable for all expenditure associated with the actions. Moreover, the body to which an action has been
subcontracted may under no circumstances subcontract the action in turn (partly or totally).

3. and 4. Under no circumstances may the development bodies mentioned by the Honourable Member or any
other training bodies be profit-making associations. Moreover, only expenditure directly linked to preparing
and implementing a project is eligible for co-funding, and the expenditure incurred must correspond to the
payments made, duly substantiated on the basis of invoices or accounting vouchers of equivalent probative

5. Questions concerning the selection, implementation and monitoring of specific projects are a matter for the
national authorities.

(98/C 304/128) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0358/98
by Herbert Bösch (PSE) to the Commission
(17 February 1998)

Subject: Budget heading A-7001 (agency staff)

In the 1998 budget, under heading A-7001, ECU 12 200 m are earmarked for agency staff. On average agencies
provide relatively poor working conditions and inadequate social protection for their workers.

1. In which areas are agency staff employed?

2. How many people in each area?

3. With which agencies have temporary work contracts been concluded?

4. Who is responsible for the social rights and welfare of these workers?

Answer given by Mr Liikanen on behalf of the Commission
(2 April 1998)

1. Agency staff employed by the Commission (Brussels and Luxembourg) work mainly in the administrative
field: secretaries, multilingual typists and shorthand typists, book-keepers, clerical officers, computer staff,
switchboard operators, data entry operators, conference operators, proof readers. A small number also work in
the health service (nurses, laboratory technicians) or the educational sector (nursery teachers or child
supervisors). The last sector covers technical staff (drivers, messengers, store-keepers and cooks).

2. The Commission employs at all times about 700 agency staff in Brussels and Luxembourg (of which 75%
are multilingual secretarial staff, 20% are involved in administrative duties and 5% in other occupations).

3. Following the latest invitations to tender (No 97/15/IX.C.1, published on 24 July 1997 in respect of the
Brussels departments and No 14/97/IX PIM, published on 8 August 1997, in respect of the Luxembourg
departments), the Commission signed standard-form contracts for the next three years (1998, 1999 and 2000)
with the possibility of renewal, with the following agencies:

Brussels Luxembourg
− Vedior Gregg − Manpower
− Interlabor − Lux-Conseil International
− Unique Intérim − Rowlands
− Adecco