“ The action taken by the Community under Article 158 of the Treaty shall be designed to beef up the economic and societal coherence of the hypertrophied European Union in order to advance the harmonious, balanced and sustainable development of the Community. It shall be aimed at cut downing the economic, societal and territorial disparities which have arisen peculiarly in states and parts whose development is dawdling behind and in connexion with economic and societal restructuring and the ripening of the population ” .
Therefore the Structural and Cohesion Fundss are aimed at heightening economic cooperation every bit good as sustainable societal development. As of 2012, the European Union ( EU ) consists of 27 member provinces and presently there are 6 candidate states. However, despite 27 states being members of the same brotherhood, there still exist societal and economic disparities. The EU efforts to take these instabilities in order to level the competitory place of all the states through the European Coherence Policy and hence attain economic and societal coherence.
European Coherence Policy 2007-2013
The chief fiscal instruments through which the European Cohesion Policy 2007-2013 operates involve the followers:
Structural Funds which involve two types of financess:
The European Regional Development Fund
The European Regional Development Fund ( ERDF ) aims to set the parts in the European Union in order to convey them to the same economic and societal degree through investings, invention, development and proficient aid.
The European Social Fund
The European Social Fund ( ESF ) aims to advance employment in the states of the EU by assisting the member provinces improve their work force and make more attractive occupations. It aims to accommodate workers by bettering the presence of deprived people, adult females and others in the market, bettering the instruction system and supplying preparation and development to bing and possible workers. To day of the month, the entire budget allocated to the ESF Funds totals a‚¬131 million with a‚¬122 million being EU financess ( Planing and Priorities Coordination Department, 2008 ) .
The Cohesion Fund
The CF complements the Structural Funds. It is aimed at Member States which have a Gross National Income which is less than the norm of the Community and hence the CF purposes to assist them get the better of the lack. Therefore, the Fund enhances the societal and economic integrity of the Member States.
The National Strategic Reference Framework ( NSRF ) ( 2006, p. 60 ) lists the followers as the four chief countries on which Malta shall concentrate through the European Fundss co-financed with National Fundss:
“ Prolonging a turning, knowledge-based, competitory economic system ”
“ Bettering Malta ‘s attraction and the quality of life ”
“ Investing in human capital ”
“ Addressing Gozo ‘s regional peculiarity ”
These shall try to counter the societal challenges every bit good as the economic 1s encountered specifically by Malta.
Operational Programme II
The NSRF aims are the aims on which Malta shall concentrate in 2007-2013 as described in Section 2.2. One of the programmes through which these aims operate is Operational Programme II – Empowering Peoples for More Jobs and a Better Quality of Life ( OPII ) affecting the ESF.
OPII focuses on employment, instruction, preparation and societal inclusion and therefore is chiefly focused on human capital with the purpose of bettering the employability of the work force and the inclusion of those possible workers which might non be that attractive to the employers such as deprived individuals. The ESF Operational Programme 2007-2013 ( 2012, p. 57 ) provinces that OPII is concerned with five Priority Axes which are portrayed in Table 2.1.
Priority Axis 1
Bettering instruction and accomplishments
This is concerned with increasing the engagement in instruction in primary, secondary, vocational or third instruction and farther and hence this will increase and better the accomplishments of the labour force.
Priority Axis 2
Investing in employability and adaptability of the work force
This is concerned with puting in increasing chances for the current labor force to render it flexible to the demands of the current economic system and hence cut down unemployment. This is good to employees traveling from worsening industries to spread outing 1s every bit good as endeavors to re-train and accommodate their work force to stay competitory.
Priority Axis 3
Promoting an equal and inclusive labor market
This is concerned with increasing the employment rates in individuals who are disadvantaged in the labour market such as adult females and other disadvantaged groups where there have been peculiarly low employment rates.
Priority Axis 4
Strengthening of institutional and administrative capacity
This is concerned with bettering the efficiency and effectivity of the populace sector, and profiting the development of effectual partnerships in assorted policy countries.
Priority Axis 5
This is concerned with helping the execution of the Operational Programme and hence, bettering its efficiency and effectivity.
Table 2.1 – Four Precedence Axes
Relevant Implementing Bodies
The procedure inherent in the execution of OPII involves several implementing organic structures viz. :
The Managing Authority
The Planning and Priorities Co-ordination Division is the Pull offing Authority in Malta and is therefore responsible for the ordinance and operation of Operational Programme I and Operational Programme II among other programmes. Borg ( 2010, p. 39 ) establishes that the Managing Authority “ coordinates all facets of the execution of the Structural Funds Programmes with all stakeholders, guaranting the rightness of operations financed by the Fundss.
The Certifying Authority
The European Union Paying Authority Directorate within the Ministry of Finance is the Certifying Authority in Malta. The Certifying Authority certifies the recognition of outgo and reimbursement petitions in connexion with the Precedences in the Operational Programmes prior to directing to the European Commission ( EC ) . As Borg ( 2010, p. 39 ) stated, the Certifying Authority “ receives and histories for financess transferred by the EC and transportations financess to the Public Account at the Central Bank ” .
The Audit Authority
The Internal Audit and Investigations Directorate within the Ministry of Finance is the Audit Authority in Malta. This Authority independently ensures that the disposal of the Operational Programme is run expeditiously and efficaciously. This is done through carry oning audits of the relevant activities.
Body responsible for doing payments to the donees
The Treasury, within the Ministry of Finance, is the organic structure responsible for doing payments to the donees. The exchequer operates in two ways:
When operations are being implemented by cardinal authorities, local authorities and non-governmental administrations, the Treasury will run into the fiscal duties on behalf of the donees
When operations are being implemented by private endeavors, the donees will run into the fiscal duties themselves and the Treasury will reimburse the appropriate sum. This is conditional to the beneficiary showing the relevant certification to the Intermediate organic structure who will so attest to the Treasury.
The Monitoring Committee shall guarantee “ the effectivity and quality of the execution of the Operational Programme ” ( ESF Operational Programme 2007-2013, 2012, p. 89 ) . It reviews and approves the standards through which the operations are selected and besides assesses the betterment made in the purposes of the Operational Programme.
Intermediate organic structures
Malta established several intermediate organic structures to move on behalf of the Managing Authority or the Certifying Authority under their duty. In Malta there are three Intermediate Bodies for the ERDF, two Intermediate Bodies for the ESF and none for the Cohesion Fund. The Employment and Training Corporation ( ETC ) is one such intermediate organic structure through which the ESF operates. Intermediary organic structures are “ public administrations identified by the Member State that carry out some maps on behalf of the Managing Authority ” ( European Social Fund Malta, 2011a ) .
Beneficiaries are the organic structures which finally receive fiscal assistance should they carry through certain standards. Harmonizing to European Social Fund Malta ( 2012, p. 97 ) ;
Public Sector donees include Line Ministries, authorities sections, public governments and public corporations
Other public or public tantamount donees include Local Councils, Socio-Economic Partners, Constituted Bodies and NGO ‘s
Private sector donees are private endeavors transporting out an person undertaking and having public assistance within the context of assistance strategies.
In relation to the above-named donees, the fiscal assistance is conducted in the same mode described antecedently under Section 2.4.4.
Employment and Training Corporation
Intermediate organic structures being one of the implementing organic structures mentioned in Section 2.4, are an of import portion of the application procedure through which donees can obtain reimbursement for financess spent on preparation and development.
The ETC acts as an Intermediate Body ( IB ) for the ESF. The Managing Authority and the Certifying Authority act through the ETC in de-centralising their functions. Through the Corporation, strategies such as the Training Aid Framework ( TAF ) and the Employment Aid Programme ( EAP ) can assist employers to financially prolong their enterprises in preparation and developing their work force. As the IB for the TAF, the ETC besides has extra duties harmonizing to the Training Aid Framework including accepting applications from donees, prosecuting in Grant Agreements with Beneficiaries and advancing the Aid Scheme.
The ETC in Malta is besides the state ‘s public employment corporation. It aims at supplying employment services such as enlisting and preparation, which cater for the demands of both the unemployed and those employers necessitating employees. It besides provides preparation to those individuals who are seeking a new occupation or are seeking to further develop their abilities. Its intent is
“ Enhancing employability by urging policies and implementing enterprises aimed at authorising, helping and developing jobseekers to ease their entry or re-entry into the active employment market, advancing work force development through accomplishments and competence development, and by helping employers in their enlisting and preparation demands. ” ( Employment & A ; Training Corporation, 2012 )
The ETC, being the state ‘s public employment corporation, provides chances for preparation and development to heighten the accomplishments of jobseekers and employees as mentioned in Section 2.5. Administrations can have partial fiscal compensation for financess spent on preparation and development sing employees. Training costs can turn out to be a significant fiscal load on administrations particularly on little, start-up houses. Schemes such as the TAF are strategies which aid employers in supplying preparation to employees.
Training Aid Model
The TAF is a strategy administered by the ETC and co-financed by the ESF under Priority Axis 2 in Table 2.1. Its map is to supply financess to administrations which invest in their forces through preparation and development. Therefore, the TAF ‘s purpose is to:
“ Promote entree to preparation of individuals actively take parting in the Maltese labor market
Increase and/or better the accomplishments of individuals presently in employment
Enable the donees to go more productive and competitory through the development of accomplishments, cognition and competency ” ( Training Aid Framework Leaflet, n.d. )
Therefore, the TAF purposes to ease the load of preparation and development on the company. Companies might keep back on preparation and development due to the fiscal resources required. The TAF encourages outgo on preparation and development whilst bettering the quality of the labour pool.
Application for EU support
The application for EU funding involves several demands and procedures which must be adhered to in order to measure up for reimbursement one time the procedure is finished. This subdivision involves the procedure of using for financess in conformity with the aims outlined in Chapter 1 Section 1.3.
In order to use for funding under the TAF, appliers must first guarantee that the outgo that they are using for is eligible outgo. For outgo to be eligible it has to run into the National eligibility regulations which are in line with European Commission Regulations. These are general regulations which are applicable to all types of financess under the ESF. Therefore, for outgo to be eligible, it has to run into the following six standards as listed by European Social Fund Malta 2007-2013 ( 2011c ) :
The outgo must match with the precedences of the OPII. Costss are acceptable for compensation from the ESF if they are expensed from operations which were approved by the Managing Authority or by an Intermediate Body in the instance of assistance strategies.
Date of when the outgo was incurred
The outgo must hold been incurred between 1st January 2007 and 30th June 2013. Outgo which was non incurred within these boundary day of the months is non eligible.
It must be implemented in Malta, being the eligible state which is profiting from the ESF.
Proof of outgo
Proof must be given sing the outgo. Different Schemes require different cogent evidence of outgo such as grosss, bills and reimbursement petitions. Furthermore, harmonizing to the different Schemes, there must be keeping of paperss for a figure of old ages. In the instance of TAF, paperss must be retained until 2020.
The outgo must organize portion of an operation which was approved by the Grant Agreement or by the Managing Authority while being implemented right. European Social Fund Malta 2007-2013 ( 2011c ) further specifies that “ the rules of non-discrimination, equality of intervention, transparence, common acknowledgment, proportionality and good administration shall use in all procurance ( public and non-public ) and enlisting and choice processs ” .
Type of outgo
The outgo has to be in line with the aims of both the OPII and those of the European Union ( viz. economic growing, fight and occupation creative activity ) . European Social Fund Malta 2007-2013 ( 2011c ) provides several classs of outgo acceptable for funding from the ESF which are besides capable to other conditions such as undertaking direction, preparation costs and pay subsidies.
Furthermore, under the TAF, merely certain types of disbursals related to developing are eligible. Harmonizing to the ETC ( 2011b ) , costs which are applicable for reimbursement include:
“ Trainers ‘ forces costs and/or fees ”
“ Trainers ‘ and trainees ‘ travel disbursals ”
“ Consultancy services in the signifier of counsel and guidance services with respect to the preparation undertaking ”
“ Trainees ‘ forces costs ”
Other disbursals associating to developing might non be eligible for reimbursement such as:
“ Course enrollment fee and/or disposal fees ”
“ Rental of preparation locale ”
“ Refreshments served during preparation programme ”
Therefore, it is non the instance that all disbursals related to developing are reimbursable. An applier has to separate between the eligible and ineligible disbursals to subject an eligible application.
Firms which are prosecuting in profitable activities are non the mark for the sorts of applications for ESF Funding issued by the Planning and Priorities Coordination Department. They are, nevertheless, eligible to use through the ETC as the Intermediate Body for both the TAF and the EAP.
Eligible activities under the TAF include successfully completed approved preparation for which donees will have partial compensation for the costs incurred. The preparation involved for which reimbursement is being applied for will hold been for the intent of Priority Axis 2 in Table 2.1. Harmonizing to the Employment & A ; Training Corporation ( n.d. ) , developing can be
General preparation which improves the employee ‘s makings and that can be utile to other administrations or types of work, or
Specific developing which increases the employee ‘s ability but is merely applicable ( or partly applicable ) to the administration supplying the preparation or the peculiar field of work.
Eligibility of TAF Application
Whilst sing the application, for an application to be valid, harmonizing to the Employment and Training Corporation ( 2011b, p. 8 ) it must fulfill the undermentioned standards listed in Table 2.2:
All inside informations must be filled in together with the relevant required certification
Falls within the definition of an project
An entity has to fall under the definition of an project transporting out activities which are of an economic nature
Eligible economic activities
Activities must fulfill a list of eligible economic activities
Undertaking implemented within/for the direct benefit of the eligible district
The applier ‘s topographic point of concern must be in Malta and the employee must be a regular employee of the project
The preparation aims are in line with the demands of the project
The purposes for which the preparation is being undertaken demand to be for the benefit of the project
Training programme relevant to the demands of the trainee
The programme must hold a description of the accomplishments that will be achieved by the trainee take parting in the programme
Training programme demands to present the desired acquisition results
The applier must supply the planned results from the preparation programme
Trainers need to be qualified and/or experienced in capable affair to be taught
The trainers selected for the programme must be equal in the topic taught
The trainee needs to be employed with the applicant administration
The trainee must be an employee of the administration
Maximum Aid grant allowable in any one twelvemonth
The highest sum of assistance that an project can profit from is a‚¬250,000
Minimum eligible preparation costs per application
The lowest sum of assistance that an applier can use for is a‚¬350,000
Table 2.2 – Eligibility Criteria
Failure to run into with the above guidelines in Table 2.2 will annul the application and the applier will non be eligible to have financess from the EU.
For a beneficiary to profit from EU Funding, it must besides finish an application signifier through an unfastened call for proposals. The latest version of the extended application signifier provided by the Employment and Training Corporation ( 2011c ) involves the undermentioned subdivisions provided in Table 2.3:
Profile of Employer Applying for Training Aid
This subdivision includes inside informations of the employer and the company.
The application signifier comprises of inside informations of the preparation operation itself such as preparation location and preparation type
Estimated Cost of Training Programme
This subdivision involves inside informations sing the costs relevant to the preparation programme being undertaken
General conditions are listed sing the application including promotion, employees and operations
Declarations sing the Data Protection Act and other subsidies must be signed
Checklist of Attachments
Different fond regards need to be handed in by the applier together with this application signifier
Table 2.3 – Application Form
This application procedure proves as a elaborate information battalion sing the preparation being undertaken. Failure to make full in section/s from the application signifier will render an application shut-in.
Completing the application signifier does non propose that the project will have an sum of financess beforehand through which it will pay for the preparation before the preparation event. The donee, being a private project, is obliged to pay for the whole sum of the preparation. Following the completion of the preparation, the donee has to send on relevant certification to the ETC where the reimbursement procedure begins. In order to have reimbursement, there must be cogent evidence of completion of the programme where attending sheets are copied and provided as cogent evidence of the preparation covering the period when the preparation was conducted. Furthermore, cogent evidence of payment besides needs to be made available for trainer/personnel costs, travel costs, consultancy services and trainees ‘ forces costs where different cogent evidence of payment demand to be made available to the TAF. Once the TAF is satisfied that all the relevant conditions are in topographic point, a payment petition is sent to the Treasury.
A beneficiary must be eligible in all the standards mentioned antecedently under Sections 2.6.1, 2.6.3 and 2.6.4. The Evaluation Committee will so measure the application. If the application is successful, an credence missive is issued. Furthermore, there will besides be a demand for a Grant Agreement to take topographic point with the Beneficiary.
When the preparation is concluded, a claim for reimbursement demands to be filed by the beneficiary where information about trainers and trainees are provided. The Evaluation Committee will measure the information given on which the procedure for reimbursement will get down.
Part of the execution procedure involves a confirmation procedure where the payments issued by the Treasury are verified and checked before they are submitted to the European Commission for reimbursement. The confirmation procedure has two degrees:
Project Level which is taken on by Public Beneficiaries or Intermediate Bodies in the instance of assistance strategies such as the TAF and the EAP where a Statement of Expenditure is compiled which is so submitted to the Managing Authority
Priority Level which is taken on by the Managing Authority where cheques are conducted on the Statement of Expenditure at the Project Level. It will so bring forth a Statement of Expenditure which is submitted to the Certifying Authority.
The rating is of import in order to guarantee that there are cheques sing the payments made at different degrees. This happens before the payments are sent to the European Commission by the Certifying Authority.
After the confirmation procedure is finished, the Statement of Expenditure is sent to the Certifying Authority which carries its ain cheques on the certification.
A beneficiary applying for EU financess is besides obliged to supervise the advancement of the execution. A beneficiary is responsible to carry on fiscal monitoring every bit good as physical execution monitoring which must besides be documented. Furthermore, a Monitoring Officer can carry on supervising visits to corroborate that the donees are carry oning activities in conformity with the conditions set.
General rating proceedings are done throughout the procedure harmonizing to the different demands in order to obtain positions on the efficiency and effectivity of the Fundss in order to better them. These ratings can be undertaken by different stakeholders such as the Managing Authority and the European Commission. Beneficiaries of the TAF are obliged to take portion in the rating proceedings.
Conformity with Community Policies
In using for EU support, the donee must besides be in conformity with Community policies. The European Social Fund Malta 2007-2013 ( 2011a, p. 19 ) lists Community Policies which should be adhered to including ordinances for the equal intervention of work forces and adult females, ordinances affecting the environment and sustainable development, regulations associating to State Aid and ordinances refering non-discrimination and transparence.
Credence or Refusal of Applications
Upon the bringing of the application, it will be evaluated for credence or non-acceptance for undertaking execution.
Should the undertaking be successful in its application, an credence missive is sent to the Beneficiary informing him of the credence of the undertaking together with any relevant conditions. Therefore, execution can get down after this missive is received.
Should the undertaking be unsuccessful in its application, a refusal missive is sent to the beneficiary advising him of the refusal of the application together with the grounds of the non-acceptance. Should the applicant decide to, one militias the right to contend the determination of the Evaluation Committee within 15 yearss. European Social Fund Malta 2007-2013 ( n.d. ) states that
“ Applications which do non run into the eligibility standards will non continue to the choice procedure for farther assessment and marking. Undertakings that pass the gateway eligibility trial but do non hit 50 % in the assessment based on the choice standards, are besides rejected. Unsuccessful appliers will be informed in authorship ( through a missive or electronic mail ) bespeaking the standards where the undertaking failed to get at least 50 % of the allocated Markss. The determination to reject an application will be capable to a right of reappraisal within a stipulated time-frame which is besides outlined in the missive. ”
Harmonizing to Gafa ( April 2006 ) , appliers were non given any ground underlying the refusal of their applications but they were merely informed through a missive of non-acceptance. This provides a contrast to the above citation and to what the Employment and Training Corporation ( 2011b ) provinces that “ Non-successful appliers will besides be informed consequently, explicating why their application was non accepted ” .
Grant Agreements and Covenants
In order for appliers to originate a procedure, a Grant Agreement has to take topographic point. This understanding will include the undermentioned inside informations:
Fiscal allotment of the undertaking
This will be signed by the Managing Authority and the Beneficiary.
Where there are assistance strategies which are identified as falling under Article 87 of the EC Treaty, such as strategies specifically for research and invention and for betterment in employment, there must be a compact which is signed by the Managing Authority and the Beneficiary which will include the undermentioned inside informations:
Implementation methodological analysis
Both of the above-named will guarantee that the Beneficiary and the Intermediate Body will carry on the strategy in the right manner in conformity with National Rules.
Troubles and steps taken sing the execution of the 2007-2013 programmes
In Section 2.6, the procedure of application for financess is outlined. Throughout the execution of several Fundss during 2007 and 2013, several troubles arose which hindered the Funds ‘ efficiency and effectivity. Measures were drafted to counter these troubles with relevancy to Chapter 1 Section 1.3.
The Planning and Priorities Coordination Department ( 2009 ) establishes that steps were drafted during 2006 and 2007 for the smooth execution of the 2007-2013 programmes. Measures taken included:
“ Pre-financing agreements for payments ” in order to extenuate against holds originating from hard currency flow jobs
“ Reform of the Structural Fund Database ” to heighten bing maps every bit good as introduce new 1s
“ Re-organisation of the horizontal constructions, presenting in-between beds of senior direction ”
“ Strengthening of capacity in a figure of horizontal administrations ” such as the Managing Authority, the Department of contracts, exchequer, certifying and audit authorization
Despite the above steps, execution of the Programme still met a figure of drawbacks harmonizing to the Planning and Priorities Coordination Department ( 2009 ) :
Delaies in O.K.ing operations
Meetings and letters between Applicants and the Project Selection Committees meant that the blessing procedure for applications took up a important sum of clip of the procedure.
Delaies in the procurance procedure
Upon launching of the programmes, the relevant authorization was overwhelmed with the sum of work in relation to tender dossiers and hence with the centralization of control, there was a backlog of work.
Blessing of be aftering licenses
The long daunting procedure of using for licenses has been lengthening the procedure of using for financess. However, the Government arranged with MEPA in order to accelerate the procedure of using for licenses particularly for donees and horizontal stakeholders.
Delaies originating from the crisis
The economic crisis besides left its affects on the execution with donees being unable to implement the undertakings due to the less than favorable fortunes.
The European Social Fund Malta 2007-2013 ( 2011d ) high spots three chief obstructions met in implementing OPII by and large:
Undertaking Selection Process
The Project Selection Process is a disintegrated procedure with several divisions instead than one centralized procedure. Therefore this involves more work farther lengthening the procedure. Besides, the Committee Members who evaluate the undertakings might non ever be available and hence this clogs the procedure even further. In order to cover with these jobs, alterations were introduced during 2011 in the signifier of:
An addition in the figure of judges
A revamped application signifier with an easier attack to use and to acquire reimbursed
Public Procurement Process
The Public Procurement Process is a drawn-out centralized procedure which is one of the chief factors lending to the constrictions of the whole procedure because of several jobs including postponements due to submitted commands which were non following with the regulations and holds ensuing from entreaties every bit good as the analysis procedure before the launch ( European Social Fund Malta 2007-2013, 2011d ) . Measures to cover with these jobs during 2011 involved the increasing of the credence rate of proposals, supplying enlightening Sessionss to better the better entry of proposals and cut downing the bureaucratism involved in the procedure.
In the payment procedure, holds were experienced because of jobs encountered earlier in other procedures such as the procurance procedure. Other jobs included the big measure of disposal work involved the payment procedure and the long procedure of authenticating the payments by the Managing Authority and the IB as established by the European Social Fund Malta 2007-2013 ( 2011d ) . . To cover with this job, an exercising has been initiated to simplify the processs in the processing and verifying processs.
The European Social Fund Malta 2007-2013 ( 2011d ) gave farther information on the jobs met from the Authority ‘s point of position. These jobs included the incorrect passing in of petitions affecting incorrect computations of costs, deficient certification and mistakes in the certification handed in harmonizing to the European Social Fund Malta 2007-2013 ( 2011d ) . In order to cover with these jobs, simplification processs were put into topographic point where:
Documentation which the IB would already hold in ownership would non necessitate to be resubmitted
If the claim is submitted partially wrong, the right portion is in order to speed up the procedure
Another job relevant to the TAF specifically was the inadequacy of claims. Measures taken to cover with this job included:
Consulting with relevant industry representatives
Implementing a deadline on the delivering of claims both future and past appliers.
The European Social Fund Malta 2007-2013 ( 2011b ) engaged KPMG to carry on an rating which analysed the efficiency of the Operational Programme II from the point of view of several organic structures every bit good as donees which nevertheless excluded the TAF and EAP. However, this proved utile in order to familiarize oneself with the chief jobs built-in in the procedure for other undertakings although many elements such as the application procedure, were different. The rating conducted provinces that some of the chief obstructions found included the deficiency of proficiency in the planning of stamps, the delaies in entreaties and holds in the payments due to donees.
This chapter highlights the different elements involved in the application procedure. It gives a brief overview on the OPII and how it is construed together with the specific strategy relevant to this thesis. Besides, this chapter describes the workings of the different organic structures relevant to the application. Finally, it describes the different phases in the application procedure every bit good as the published troubles and steps taken to turn to them with regard to some of the undertakings.