Alun Davies, Deputy Minister for Agriculture, Food, Fisheries and European Programmes
I have already made clear my commitment to transparency and accountability in the management of European funding streams. In order to strengthen the ability of stakeholders and others to understand the impact of Structural Funds, I am now making available additional information and data on the output indicators of EU projects supported by the Convergence and Regional Competitiveness and Employment programmes 2007–2013.
The publication of this data complements information already published on EU projects (e.g. details of lead sponsors, amount of EU funds awarded, project start and end dates, project aims, joint sponsors etc) via the WEFO website’s (www.wefo.wales.gov.uk) searchable database launched early last year.
The database enhancements go beyond publishing basic information specified in European Commission regulations (Article 7 of EC Regulation 1083/2006) and places further emphasis on project delivery and accountability by publishing output forecasts (such as number of jobs and enterprises created, number of participants supported to gain qualifications or helped into work etc), followed by actual achievements on individual project completion.
The enhancements underline the Welsh Government’s commitment to delivery and value for money in the use of public / EU funds, and will provide assurances that EU projects are delivering real benefits to people, businesses and communities. They also demonstrate best practice in the transparent reporting of European Structural Funds investments and achievements.
In addition to project approvals, the website database publishes project proposals at various stages of application process – from early submission of the proposal to the detailed assessment of the project to those held in ‘reserve’ status should funds become available later on in the programming period.
All information on projects can be searched by programme, fund, regional area, sector, organisation name and by project name.
Programme-level achievements will continue to be reported to the All-Wales Programming Monitoring Committee 2007–2013 and published on the WEFO website on an ongoing basis as is the case now.
Taken together and following our recent debate on these issues, I hope that members will recognise the Welsh Government’s on-going commitment to openness, accountability and transparency.
I believe this will help demonstrate our determination to ensure that European funding streams make a real difference to people’s lives.