Tuesday, 4 October 2011

“The best way to frighten a coordinator

... is to suggest an amendment”. It takes on average about five months from a consortium deciding to request an amendment to signature by the EC. Add to this the timescale for the consortium to agree that an amendment should be requested – at least two months – and you begin to understand the comment made by a coordinator in the survey described earlier. Then add the complication that reporting and amendment cannot take place simultaneously, and amendments cannot be completed if a partner is changing their name or legal address in the EC’s Unique Registration Facility (URF), and you can see how frustrating the process is.

The diagram shows the main amendments requested by coordinators, and here comes another problem. If you wish to add or terminate a partner, it is clear that an amendment is necessary. Likewise if you wish to extend the project duration, or change the work (add or remove tasks). But if you want to transfer some work and budget between partners, is an amendment necessary? According to the grant agreement, the answer is no. According to the amendment guide, the answer is yes if there is substantial change in the distribution of work between beneficiaries. And what is substantial?

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