A European Commission delegation will arrive in Romania on April 28 to reassess the situation of EU funds for human resources, cabinet chief in Labour minister Sorin Ardelean told HotNews.ro/EurActiv.ro on Friday. At the moment, Brussels has blocked Romania's reimbursement requests' analysis. The main deficiency that led to the funds' blockage addresses the SMIS electronic system. The statements have been made during a seminar staged by the Institute for Public Policies.
Sorin Ardelean also explained said that the SMIS technical issues noted by the EC are the incompatibility between existent Operational Programmes and POS DRU, which led errors when uploading data onto the electronic System. More specifically, when the Commission ran its checks last year, data could not be uploaded.
According to Ardelean, the Labour Ministry dent a letter to Brussels this week, containing the measures taken to fix the problems. "There have been checks addressing uploaded data accuracy and this should be recorded by the European Commission", he said.
Ministry's officials have recently notified that last year's Operational Programme for Human Resources Sector Development system audit Report, followed by the Commission's checks, were the grounds for laying off Management Authority manager Cristina Iova.
According to Sorin Ardelean, Management Authority's activity has improved a lot lately, including staff deficiency, and now most vacancies have been occupied. "Now there are only 15-20 vacancies, out of 88", the official added. Most people employed here have been transferred from other ministries.
Increasing the number of the AM POS DRU personnel followed the Government's approving an Emergency ordinance granting priority to hire to the institutions responsible with handling EU funds.
The seminar organised by the IPP featured the launch of the study "European money - opportunity or barrier for impaired people's social inclusion in Romania?". The study analyses whether finance objectives are consistent and if Romania's engagements to the EU are respected when it comes to social inclusion.
The conclusions indicate that Operational Programmes have got a series of background problems, among which: the way in which eligible operations are formulated in certain Operational Programmes, like POR for example, makes most money to continue to be invested in the old residential, segregationist system, which in time led to numerous abuses, while alternative services are practically excluded from getting any money.