13.02.2017 change 13.02.2017

Ministry of Science: We will make long-term planning easier for scientific units

Ministry of Science promises to simplify the regulations, as a result of which scientific units will be able to afford long-term plans instead of - as it happens now - focus on too detailed annual settlements. Deputy Minister of Science Teresa Czerwińska told PAP about the ministry\'s plans.

Deputy Minister of Science and Higher Education Dr. Teresa Czerwińska reminded that in October 2016 an amendment entered into force, the purpose of which was to reduce bureaucracy at universities. But the Ministry of Science plans further steps to simplify the regulations. "Now we are reviewing provisions in order to reduce reporting burden of research units" - said the deputy minister.

She added that her ministry was working on the simplification of procedures for calculating and accounting for the subsidies to maintain the research capacity of research units. Work on the new regulation is already underway, Deputy Minister expects that it will come into force in the second quarter.

"Now, each unit annually applies for funds for the maintenance of research capacity and submits a settlement report. We would like the report to be limited to the necessary items related to the financial settlement of provided funds" - emphasised Czerwińska and added that such a change would be a large relief for research units.

"We want to settle the subsidies in accordance with the Public Finance Act, but at the same time we do not want to generate excessive bureaucracy. In most cases, maintaining research potential means salaries for researchers, building maintenance or regular activity, which should not involve having to report achieved results" - said Czerwińska.

She noted that through changes in the law the ministry also wants to give research units the opportunity to switch to long-term thinking. "Long-term programs already exist, but they are only illusory long-term. Most of these programs have to settle funds on a yearly basis" - explained the deputy minister. According to her, the current legislation forces research units to short-term thinking about spending. "According to our knowledge, research units want to plan long-term. It is impossible to world-level science with such a significant time constraint when it comes to spending" - the deputy minister assessed.

"We should have different procedures for projects with specific scientific tasks, and different for situations only involving the money for maintaining research potential" - added Deputy Minister of Science.

Czerwińska stressed that after these changes her ministry would not have less knowledge about the situation in the scientific units. "We have sufficient resources to supervise the research units\' spending of public funds. We do not need this type of over-reporting" - she concluded.

PAP - Science and Scholarship in Poland, Ludwika Tomala

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