They made one primary recommendation ‘We recommend that the Welsh Government‘s review of arrangements for implementation of European Structural Fund programmes post-2013 gives independent, unfettered and imaginative consideration to the future role, responsibilities and structure of WEFO.'
And 15 other recommendations listed below
Recommendation 1 We recommend that the Welsh Government defines its strategic priorities for the next funding round in a clear and accessible format at the earliest available opportunity, with a particular focus on the intended legacy of spend.
Recommendation 2 We recommend that ahead of the next funding round, the Welsh Government establishes that WEFO will be accountable for the co-ordination and oversight of all projects enabled by European Funding in a regional area, with a responsibility to avoid duplication of services and intended long term outcomes.
Recommendation 3 We recommend that the Welsh Government improves the collection and analysis of procurement and contract data to enable a strategic overview to be taken on a local and regional basis of the delivery and intended long-term outcomes of European structural funded projects.
Recommendation 4 We recommend that the role of the PMC should be encompassed in the Welsh Government‘s ongoing review of WEFO‘s application and management processes, to examine whether the PMC is currently functioning to its full potential as a critical friend to WEFO.
Recommendation 5 We recommend that, ahead of the next European Funding Round, the Welsh Government reviews its processes for applicants applying for funding from WEFO, with a view to ensuring that they are both appropriately robust and that any unnecessary bureaucracy is eliminated. We consider that this review should be performed in consultation with appropriate stakeholders.
Recommendation 6 We recommend that in its review of WEFO‘s application and management processes, the Welsh Government should consider how inconsistencies in advice from WEFO can be minimised.
We anticipate this will incorporate examining how staff turnover within WEFO can be minimised, and how more procurement specialists can be developed within- or recruited into- WEFO.
Recommendation 7 We recommend that the Welsh Government undertakes a detailed analysis of the costs and benefits of using procurement in the delivery of structural funds in Wales, quantifying these where possible. We anticipate the Welsh Government would then report on these findings.
Recommendation 8. We recommend that the Welsh Government enables project sponsors to consider a wide spectrum of funding options when determining the most appropriate and efficient way in which to deliver their project, supported with appropriate guidance.
Recommendation 9 We recommend that the Welsh Government provides third sector and private sector project sponsors with direct access to appropriate procurement experts within Value Wales or any other appropriate organisation (and WEFO, at such time as it has procurement specialists). (Page 54)
Recommendation 10 We recommend that the Welsh Government clarifies Wales‘ position, in relation to other regions of Europe, in terms of its success in engaging the private sector in the use of structural funds.
Recommendation 11 We recommend that, ahead of the next European Funding round, WEFO reviews its guidance on monitoring of financial expenditure by project sponsors. We anticipate that this should result in the development of explicit guidance to enable monitoring of projects ‘ financial expenditure that is not excessive, while still being appropriately robust.
Recommendation 12 We recommend that WEFO takes action to enable, in the next funding round, the introduction of a social and economic impact survey for projects enabled by European structural funds; and programme level indicators to measure both projects‘ social and economic impact. (Page 69)
Recommendation 13 We recommend that in the next funding round WEFO publishes and makes publicly available output and outcome data for live projects.
Recommendation 14 We recommend that the Welsh Government takes action to enable appropriate evaluations of projects during their lifetimes.
Recommendation 15 We recommend that the Welsh Government reviews its current guidance on the application of Article 55. We anticipate that this will include consideration of alternative mechanisms for putting European funding into projects, such as tapered grants, with a view to encouraging long-term profit generation where appropriate.
The full report is HERE