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Frequently asked questions

1. How many applications for different projects one applicant may submit within a single call for proposals?

There are no limits governing this issue, which means that the same applicant may submit several applications within a single call for proposals.

2. Is it possible to submit an application for the project, which is being already implemented?

No, as it is not possible to refund costs of the project, incurred before the initial date of eligibility of expenditures. At the same time, please note that the initial date of eligibility of expenditures is the date of granting co-financing for the project (i.e. signing a decision on co-financing the project by the Minister of Culture and National Heritage, based on a recommendation made ​​by the Selection Committee), and the final date of eligibility of expenditures expires on 30 April 2016.

If the applicant is applying for funds from the Bilateral Cooperation Fund, expenditures incurred and reimbursed from this Fund shall be eligible from 9 May 2012 to the date of submission of application documents to the Program Operator.

3. Is it acceptable to combine thematic areas within the Program?

Applying to the Program please choose only ONE thematic area out of:

  • cultural and artistic education,
  • cultural heritage, including tangible and intangible cultural heritage, literature, and archives,
  • music and stage arts,
  • fine and visual arts.

If the complexity of activities undertaken in the project makes its unambiguous classification difficult, then choose an area, which is the highest priority for the project and within which most activities will be undertaken.

4. What is the difference between “small” and “large” projects within the Program?

The difference between “small” and “large” projects is the amount of grant value, which is between EUR 50 000 – EUR 150 000 for “small” projects, and over EUR 150 000 up to EUR 1 000 000 for “large” projects.

5. What is the maximum duration of the project?

The Program does not specify the maximum duration of projects, but please note that the eligibility period expires on 30 April 2016, which means that projects must be completed by this time.

6. May the events carried out within the co-financed projects be held in other states than Poland and state/s of Partner/s?

Yes, within the framework of the Program it will be possible to implement projects in all the EEA States (also outside Poland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein) as well as the associated states of the EU.

7. Is it possible to obtain a grant for organization of an international festival?

Yes, within the framework of the Program it is possible to implement projects involving organization of international festivals, since expenditures might be incurred in all the EEA States as well as the associated states of the EU.

8. Is it possible to carry out conservation works within the project?

The Program does not include co-financing of projects involving conservation works. Within the Program, it is possible to implement the “soft” project involving collaboration of experts in the field of modern conservation techniques (including digitalisation of cultural goods3); documentation; protection, conservation and promotion of cultural heritage; combating threats to cultural goods, including prevention of crimes against monuments and cultural goods; national heritage management, in which, e.g. study visits, workshops, seminars and conferences will be held. Investments in digitisation and conservation works regarding movable monuments are not eligible for support within the Program.

9. In which language should the application form be submitted?

The application form consists of two identical versions – Polish and English. Both versions of the application have to be completed, and information in both languages ​​must be consistent with each other (some sections, such as Part V Budget will be automatically generated in the second language version after they are completed in the Polish version).

10. Does every case require the power of attorney of the person signing the application form?

If the person signing the application is the person statutorily authorized to represent the applicant, then there is no need to enclose the power of attorney. In another case, the power of attorney is required.

11. Is it possible to enclose additional attachments to the application?

The application must include all the required attachments specified in the Applicant Guideentitled “How to apply for funds”. It is accepted to submit additional attachments if they are inseparably connected with the subject matter of the project, such as written statements of artists regarding confirmation of their participation in the project.

12. Is it possible to appeal against the assessment of the application?

The applicant may use the appeal procedure against the formal and content-related appraisal. In both cases, the appeal procedure is two-instance. At first, the applicant shall lodge an appeal to the Program Operator. In a case of negative consideration of an appeal by the Program Operator, the applicant may lodge a re-appeal to the National Focal Point. The NFP can sustain the decision of the Program Operator, or submit a request for re-assessment. The decision of the NFP is final and it is not subject to appeal.

There is no possibility of appeal against the decision of the Selection Committee.

13. Can the cooperating institution (i.e. the institution which is not the Partner) provide its own contribution to the project?

Yes, but in this case, the applicant must demonstrate sources from the cooperating institution as its own financial contribution. For this purpose, it is necessary that the cooperating institution transfers sources directly to the applicant.

14. Are the costs incurred by the cooperating institution (which is not the Partner) eligible?

The cooperating institution is not the Partner in the project; therefore the costs it incurs are not eligible within the Program. Please also note that the Polish institution participating in the project shall be only the applicant or the cooperating institution. In accordance with the adopted catalogue of Partners, the Polish institution shall not be considered as the Partner in the project.

15. Which document should be submitted to confirm the possession of the required own contribution to the project?

The following documents shall be submitted as a documents confirming the own contribution into the project: Local government unit budget resolution (or the draft resolution) for the year concerned, including indication of items in which funds for implementation of the project are reserved; Promise of the governing authority (at the stage of applying) and budget resolution or its draft version (at the stage of signing the financial agreement); Document from bank: current account statement or confirmation by the applicant’s/Partner’s bank that his bank account holds a sufficent amount to finance own contribution; facility letter; bank guarantee; Written statement of the director/head of the institution guaranteeing the own contribution to the project (only in case of project Partners from the Donor States). IMPORTANT: The Partner commitment to provide the own financialcontribution to the project shall be included in the letter of intent /partnership agreement.

16. Is the commercial company an entity entitled to apply for co-financing within the Program?

No, commercial companies are not entities entitled to apply for co-financing within the Program.

17. Is there the minimum time of operating of foundations participating in the call for proposals for the Program?

No, the minimum time of operating of entities that may be eligible applicants within the Program has not been specified under the Program. However, please note that the applicant's experience in implementing cultural projects, especially international projects, is taken into consideration during the content-related appraisal.

18. Can the Norwegian institution be a leader in the project?
No, only the Polish applicant (after receiving co-financing – the Beneficiary) can be a leader in the project and this is the entity with whom the Program Operator signs the financial agreement.
19. Is it possible to have the Partner from states other than the Donor States?

It is necessary to have at least one Partner from the Donor States, i.e. Norway, Liechtenstein or Iceland. Only institutions from the Donor States are regarded as Partners.

Institutions from other states, including Poland, can participate in the project as cooperating institutions, but their participation is voluntary. Please note that the Program supports cooperation between Poland and the Donor States, therefore the involvement of the cooperating institution from other state than the Donor States is possible; however, the costs incurred by the cooperating institution under this cooperation shall be classified as non-eligible costs within the Program. Furthermore, artists from different states, whose payroll costs are eligible within the Program, can be invited to participate in projects, if the Partners in the project give their common assent.

20. May the Partner be an international organization registered in Norway?

In accordance with the guidelines of the Program, the Partner participating in the project implementation shall meet the following conditions:

  • originates from the Donor States (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway);
  • its participation in the project is reasonable and at the stage of submitting an application it is accompanied by a letter of intent or a partnership agreement, and at the stage of signing a financial agreement - a partnership agreement;
  • does not draw profits from the participation in the project;
  • belongs to one of the following entities groups:
  • cultural institutions
  • artistic school and universities, incl. university colleges and special field universities
  • independent artistic departments at universities, incl. departments concerning cultural studies, history, cultural heritage and cultural management at universities as well as artistic departments and departments concerning cultural studies, history, cultural heritage and cultural management at university colleges and special field universities
  • archives
  • local government units
  • non-governmental organisations from the field of culture
  • non-profit economic entities from the field of culture.

International institutions which meet the abovementioned requirements for eligible Partners, and are registered in one of the Donor States may act as Partners in projects co-financed within the Program.

21. What are the dates of eligibility within the Program?

The initial date of eligibility of expenditures is the date of granting co-financing for the project (i.e. signing a decision on co-financing the project by the Minister of Culture and National Heritage, based on a recommendation made ​​by the Selection Committee) The detailed framework for eligibility of expenditures for individual projects will be separately specified in the financial agreement signed between the Beneficiary and the Program Operator, provided that the final date of eligibility of expenditures expires on 30 April 2016.

22. What are the dates of eligibility of expenditures within the Bilateral Cooperation Fund at the Program level ?

Expenditures incurred and reimbursed from the Fund shall be eligible from the date of signing the agreement on the Program by the Donor States, i.e. from 9 May 2012 to the date of submission of application documents to the Program Operator.

23. Shall the application form/ Planned project budget include net or gross costs?

The application form/ Planned budget shall include gross costs unless the cost of the VAT is eligible for co-financing within the Program (the cost of the VAT is eligible for co-financing provided that it is actually and definitively incurred by the Beneficiary, and the Beneficiary cannot recover the tax under the national legislation). The issue of eligibility of the VAT is reduced to determining, whether the Beneficiary can deduct the VAT (in whole or in part) or not. In accordance with the Public Finance Act, there are cases where the VAT is deductible, thus being a non-eligible cost. Then the Applicant shall use net amounts in the application, and at the same time include information in the notes on ineligibility of the VAT and the amount of ineligible expenditures (If the VAT can be recovered in part - only the part, which cannot be recovered is eligible within the Program. In such a case, the applicant develops the project budget in gross amounts, while the gross cost is considered to be only the part of the VAT, which is eligible. Moreover, the applicant includes “the ineligible VAT” item in the budget, in which he/she demonstrates the part of the VAT, which is not eligible within individual budget headings).

24. Is the in-kind contribution an eligible cost within the Program?

The in-kind contribution (including work of volunteers) is not an eligible cost under the Program.

25. Is it necessary to prepare the separate budget of the costs incurred by the applicant and the Partner?

The application form and attachments concern the whole project, all actions (undertaken by both the Applicant and the Partner) and the total amount of the incurred eligible costs, without division on the costs incurred by the Applicant and the costs incurred by the Partner. At the same time, please note that division of the costs between the Applicant and the Partner must be demonstrated in the Partnership Agreement (the budget attached to the Partnership Agreement).

26. May recording and releasing an album be included into the eligible costs within the Program?

This kind of expenditure is eligible within the Program, if it is planned at the stage of an application, pursues its objectives, and the possible profit will be assigned to implement the project. Such action should also contribute to spreading and promoting results of the project.

27. May recording a film be included into the eligible costs within the Program? May renting films copies from the Partner being an institution which distributes copies of films be included into the eligible costs?

Funds from the Program shall not be used for film production. In justified cases, it is possible to record a film, if it pursues the objectives of the Program and is justified by the specificity of a given project, such as reporting or promotional material from the project. If the Partner distributing film copies meets the abovementioned requirements for Partners, and does not derive profit from renting film copies, then this project is likely to obtain a grant within the Program.

28. Are the costs associated with awards provided during the project implementation (such as contest prizes) the eligible costs?

The costs of awards are non-eligible.

29. How to resolve the issue of employment of e.g. a Norwegian curator involved in the project? Who should hire such a person: the Polish leader or the Partner? Shall the employment be held under an agreement concluded in accordance with the Polish or Norwegian legislation?

Participants involved in the project may be employed by both the leader and the Partner, but it is suggested that the Norwegian participants are employed by their parent institutions. Resources for remunerations for those who are engaged in actions related to the project may be financed from an obtained grant under the Program.

30. Must people operating the project (the management costs) be billed under the employment agreement, or may be billed under the commission agreement?

People operating the project (the management costs) may be employed within the projects, whether under the employment agreement and other civil law agreements.

31. To handle resources of a grant obtained from the Program, it is required to indicate a separate bank account within the Program. Should the interest collected on the bank account be reimbursed to the Operator’s account?

If the interest comes from the Beneficiary's own resources, the profit generated from them shall not be in the interest of the Operator. If the interest comes from the resources of financing within the Program, they should be reimbursed to the Operator's account in accordance with the financial agreement.

32. Should the Partner have separate bookkeeping accounts, and keep separate accounting records on the same basis as the Beneficiary?

The method of keeping the bookkeeping account depends on the Beneficiary, because it is its responsibility to bill the Partner. The Operator shall sign the financial agreement involving the Polish Beneficiary responsible for proper billing the project.

33. Is it possible to transfer tranches of advance payments to the Partner? Should the possibly accumulated interest be also reimbursed to the Operator’s account?

The Operator does not provide resources (advances) to the Partner. The issue of the possible transfer of advance payments to the Partner by the Beneficiary should be regulated in the Partnership Agreement. However, note that within the framework of the Program, only expenditures actually incurred are subject to billing. The advance payment is not such expenditure; therefore, its billing can only occur during billing the final payment for services or supplies.

34. Shall description of the accounting document (e.g. invoice) include the own contribution, or it is enough to provide the cost financed from the Program?

The current specimen of the description of financial documents will be determined by the Operator and presented in part II of the Beneficiary Guide entitled “How to settle funds”.

35. Is billing on a basis of debit notes accepted between the Partner and the Beneficiary?

Such method of billing between the Partners is recommended by the Operator. Just be aware that the method of billing expenditures between the Partners should be regulated by the Partnership Agreement; the note must be later - for the purposes of billing the Operator - described by the Partner or the Beneficiary, including e.g. expenditure covered by the note in comparison with the project budget; the Beneficiary is responsible for the correctness of billing the Partner.

36. Shall the currency of the debit note be consistent with the currency of the state in which expenditure was incurred?

Yes, the currency of the debit note must be consistent with the currency in which expenditure was incurred. However, please note that the interim/final report represents expenditures incurred in PLN; therefore, the appropriate conversion must be made first.

37. Which exchange rate shall be used to convert expenditures incurred in a currency other than PLN?

To settle expenditure in a currency other than PLN, one should use the exchange rate of: a bank transfer, a receipt from an exchange office, the average rate of the NBP as of a day of such expenditure, etc. Due to the long period of the Program implementation, it is not expected to establish a fixed exchange rate for needs of settling expenditures.

38. Shall billing the working time of an employee employed under an employment agreement (full-time employment) and temporarily seconded to implement the project be carried out on a basis of the time sheet, or is it enough to indicate the time in the document under which an employee is seconded?

If an employee is seconded on a full-time basis, it is enough to change the scope of duties; however, if an employee is seconded on a part-time basis, then the time sheet is necessary.

39. How a local trip by company cars (e.g. an invoice for fuel) of the Partner and by private cars used for business purposes of Partner’s employees shall be accounted? Is a debit note issued by the Partner based on the delegation enough?

Settling local business trips by the Partner must be carried out in accordance with the legislation of the Partner’s state. A debit note issued to the Beneficiary, together with a statement of relevant financial evidence of the Partner is a document confirming the incurred travel costs.

40. In accordance with the guidelines of the Program, the costs shall be compliant with public procurement law to be considered eligible. Does the program allow using the simplified procedure for orders below EUR 14 000? Should the Partner apply the Polish regulations on public procurements?

For orders over EUR 14 000, the full provisions of the Act on PPL shall apply; however, for orders below this amount, the Beneficiary shall apply the Guidelines of the Minister of Regional Development on the award of contracts under the EEA Financial Mechanism 2009-2014, to which the Act of 29 January 2004 on the Public Procurement Law does not apply.

The Partner shall procure in accordance with its legislation, but at every request of the Beneficiary or any other supervisory body it should be able to demonstrate that expenditure was justified, and the principle of competition and transparency was not infringed.

41. May artists outside the Donor States and Poland participate in the project and will their remuneration costs be eligible within the Program?

Yes, the remuneration costs of artists and experts involved in the project implementation may relate to people outside the Donor States and Poland if they are planned in the Planned budget, and are justified by the specificity of the project.

42. Does the Program provide the financial limits for the remuneration costs of artists/experts involved in the project implementation?

There are no limits defined within the Program setting the maximum level of remuneration for artists/experts involved in the project implementation. However, please note that expenditures on artistic/substantive actions within the project, including their reasonableness and necessity, and their estimating at the actual level, shall be subject to the content-related appraisal.

43. Does the Program provide the financial limits for the remuneration costs of people operating the project under the management costs?

There are no limits defined within the Program setting the maximum level of remuneration for people operating the project under the management costs. However, please note that expenditures on the project management, including their estimating at the actual level, and their distribution in time, shall be subject to the content-related appraisal. Furthermore, the amount of the remuneration costs of people operating the project cannot be increased during the project implementation.

44. How shall expenditures within the Program be documented?

Expenditures are considered to have been incurred when the cost has been invoiced, paid, and the subject matter delivered (in case of goods) or performed (in a case of services) and received. The documentation demonstrating incurred expenditures, demonstrating and justifying the correct implementation of the project includes copies of financial documents, e.g. invoices (or other accounting documents of equivalent probative value); debit/account notes with lists of expenditures incurred by project partner; payment confirmations; agreements with contractors; acknowledgement of receipts; payrolls; received works (if applicable – e.g. promotional and informational materials).

In case of project partners whose primary location is in a Donor State, reports by an independent and certified auditor certyfing that the claimed costs are incurred in accordance with the Regulation on the implementation of the EEA FM 2009-2014, the national law and accounting practices of the project partner’s country, shall be seen as sufficient proof of costs incurred by a project Partner.

In case of additional questions, the Program Operator may ask Beneficiary for further explanations/clarifications

45. How shall the indirect costs be billed under the Program?

Indirect costs are all eligible costs that cannot be clearly identified by the Beneficiary and/or the Partner/s of the project as being directly attributed to the project, but which can be identified and justified by its accounting system as being incurred in direct relationship with the eligible costs attributed to the project. They may not include any eligible direct costs. Indirect costs of the project shall represent a fair apportionment of the overall overheads of the Beneficiary or the Partner/s of the project.

The indirect costs will be settled based on the actual indirect costs of the Beneficiary and project Partners, who have an analytical accounting system to identify the abovementioned indirect costs, eligible under the Program.

In case of project partners whose primary location is in a Donor State, reports by an independent and certified auditor certyfing that the claimed costs are incurred in accordance with the Regulation on the implementation of the EEA FM 2009-2014, the national law and accounting practices of the project partner’s country, shall be seen as sufficient proof of costs incurred by a project Partner.

The method of calculating the indirect costs and their maximum amount shall be determined in the project contract. The method of calculation of indirect costs of a project Partner shall be stipuled in the Partnership Agreement concluded between the Beneficiary and the project Partner.

46. May the translation costs be incurred within the project?

The detailed project budget within the Program allows for creation of a budget heading for translations within the project. Translations shall be assigned to category I: Management costs or category II: Costs of project content-related actions. Therefore, depending on the purpose of translations, their cost shall be included in point I.2 of the Planned project budget, i.e. the position of Costs of materials and services indispensable for running the project or in point II.6 Costs of materials and services related to the organisation and service of events within the project.

47. What is the validity period of documents demonstrating the own contribution to the project?

The documentation submitted with the application form must be valid both at the stage of appraisal of the application form and at the stage of signing the Financial Agreement, and the applicant becomes responsible for its correctness and conformity with the facts after signing the Statements in the application form. Local government unit budget resolution or the promise of the governing authority shall remain in force during a given financial year (unless it is amended by the body that issued it). However, the bank statement is valid at the time of its release, so the Program Operator may request the applicant to update the received documentation at any stage of appraisal of the application or preparation of the financial agreement with the applicant.