FPM has specific expertise in the management of European Funds and in ensuring that the EU Funds are properly committed, managed and monitored over a number of programmes including Interreg IIIA, Peace II and the Equal Programme. Objective 1 status, particularly within the accession countries can bring significant resources to deprived regions but it can also lead to considerable pressures and difficulties in setting up the necessary procedures and systems to administer these Funds.
FPM is one of the lead appraisers to the Special European Union Programmes Body (SEUPB) in Ireland, which administers almost €1,000m of European Funds through Interreg IIIA and Peace II. Considerable expertise has been developed in this field and recent assignments would include:
- Economic Appraisals on projects seeking financial assistance carried out in accordance with the 2003 Green Book – assessing strategic fit with local, regional and national policies, assessing the need for the project and if the project meets this need, setting quantifiable objectives, assessing risk, value for money and monitoring procedures;
- Evaluations (both interim and post completion) on projects that received grant assistance, to determine if they met their original objectives in terms of outputs, cost and timescale, explanation of any variations and making recommendations for the future should further funding be made available;
- Forensic Reviews on projects that are not meeting their initial targets – why have the variations occurred, has the project represented value for money, should further funding be made available etc;
- Systems audits on both the agencies administering the funds and on projects that have received funds to determine if they have the appropriate systems and controls in place to satisfy accountability, sustainability, value for money and corporate governance requirements and ensure there is no potential for double funding.
Many lessons have been learnt over the last ten years and subsequently FPM believe that we have the necessary skills and resources to help other countries that have secured European Funds to effectively manage these Funds and ensure that the appropriate systems and controls are in place to satisfy EU requirements whilst achieving maximum benefits from the EU Funds made available.
Furthermore, FPM is a member if PrimeGlobal 'An Association of Independent Accounting Firms'. PrimeGlobal is the third largest association of independent accounting firms in the world, providing a wide range of tools and resources to help member firms furnish superior accounting, auditing and management services to clients around the globe.