A draft amendment to the Regulation of the Minister of Education and Science on the allocation and settlement of funds for the day-to-day operation of institutes active within the Łukasiewicz Research Network has been consulted.
The Łukasiewicz Research Network consists of the Łukasiewicz Center and 33 institutes whose main task is to carry out research projects, including international ones, and to commercialize the results of their work.
The proposed amendment expands the list of criteria that the Minister of Education and Science takes into account when allocating funds to institutions operating within the network to include: the level of the costs and the assumed effects of activities carried out in a particular institute for a year are planned to optimize the Institute’s activities within the network, as well as the level of costs and the assumed effects of activities planned for a particular year on the Institute, aimed at organizational changes in its functioning.
“It should be noted that by demonstrating the planned activities in the networks of the institute for a given year aimed at optimizing the activities within the network, it can be assessed which of the planned tasks of the network institute are performed for and in collaboration with other entities belonging by estimating their costs based on all applications submitted by network institutions in a given budget year, when determining the amount of financial resources, MEiN can assess how each of the network institutions will contribute to the standardization of specific processes and the way the network works” – explained in the regulatory impact assessment. It was also indicated that the second category, which expands the catalog of assessment criteria for applications, concerns the reorganization network planned by the institute.
“Completing the catalog of criteria (…) will directly affect the definition of the network institute’s needs within the above-mentioned areas and their costs in the application. The introduction of these criteria will affect the assessment of the proposed activities and the expenditure incurred at the funding stage” – was mentioned.
The proposed amendment to the Regulation introduces new deadlines for carrying out specific activities related to the process of allocating funds. As set out in the explanatory memorandum to the draft, the proposed changes are a result of current practice, which indicates that the deadlines set in the Regulation for the implementation of individual activities related to the resource allocation process should be adapted to real needs of entities performing these activities.
Therefore, the dates for: 1) submission of the application by the director of the institutes network for an opinion by the chairman of Centrum Łukasiewicz – the new deadline is September 30 of the year preceding the year for which the funds are awarded; 2) issuing an opinion from the chairperson on the application submitted by the institute – the new deadline is 30 November of the year preceding the year for which the funds are allocated; 3) providing the chairperson’s opinion on the application submitted by the institute – the term has been shortened from 7 to 5 days; 4) submission of the application to MEiN by the network institute – the new deadline is 15 December of the year preceding the year for which the funds are allocated; 5) submitting the report to the report chair for advice – the new deadline is February 28 of the year following the year in which the funds were transferred; 6) issuing the chairman’s opinion on the correctness of the settlement of the allocated funds – the new deadline is April 10 of the year following the year in which the funds were transferred to the network institute.
“When setting new deadlines in the process of processing applications, it was taken into account that the Minister takes decisions on the allocation of funds for the current activities of the Institutes of the Network for a given year after the approval of the budget law, which, due to the legislative process, is usually adopted in the first quarter of the year.The amendment introduced eliminates the situation where the application of the Network Institute submitted to the Minister (according to the legal status in force in October) without the knowledge would be taken into consideration of the amount of financial resources available in the next financial year “- we read in the justification accompanying the draft.
Therefore, the draft proposes a provision according to which applications for the President’s opinion must be submitted by 30 September of the year preceding the year for which the funds will be allocated.
The proposed amendment must enter into force 14 days after the date of publication.
PAP – Science in Poland, Danuta Starzyńska-Rosiecka