The European Commission published an assessment of the Horizon 2020 Lump Sum Pilot.
The lump sum pilot was introduced back in 2018 with the aim to simplify cost reporting, as it removes all obligations on actual cost reporting, time sheets, and financial ex-post audits.
The pilot consisted of 16 topics in the Horizon 2020 work programmes of 2018 – 2020 and it covered all main types of grants, and grants of different sizes and complexity. The recently published report presents the pilot in more detail and brings together comprehensive feedback that was collected from the start.
One of the main strengths identified in the report is that the lump sum pilot delivered on its main goals, to simplify administration and shift the focus to the content of projects. At the same time, there is wide agreement that further improvements are needed. The results suggest that lump sum funding can be used for any type of action, including for large multi-beneficiary projects, without increasing burden or decreasing satisfaction of users.
A majority considers it appropriate to link payments to the completion of work packages, but a number of individual comments pointed out possible negative effects of this approach. Another point mentioned in the feedback was that lump sum funding would have an effect on consortium building, with a preference for known and trusted partners.
The full report can be found at the webpage of the European Comission.