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Terms of Reference for the Independent Evaluation Committee

1.  Purpose

The purpose of this Independent Evaluation Committee (IEC) is to assess and evaluate LEADER 2014–2020 projects and to make recommendations for funding, or otherwise, to Louth Local Community Development Committee (LAG).


The IEC, in addition to evaluating projects across all the LEADER Themes, will help to formulate strategies for consideration by the LAG members in following areas:

  • Rural Tourism
  • Enterprise Development
  • Rural Towns
  • Broadband
  • Basic Services Targeted at Hard to Reach Communities
  • Rural Youth
  • Protection and Sustainable use of Water Resources
  • Protection and Improvement of Local Biodiversity
  • Development of Renewable Energy

2.  Establishment & Tenure 

The Committee is established by the LAG subject to an annual review by the members of LAG. Members serving on the committee may be re-elected; re-election is subject to approval by the LAG members. Rotating LAG members with expertise in LEADER/Rural Development may also be nominated by the LAG members in order to retain this expertise and experience.

3.  Composition & Size   

Members of the IEC must be independent and will not be LAG members. The committee will comprise of up to 15 members, selected or nominated due to their expertise in the above sectors. 6 IEC members are required to constitute a meeting quorum.

Louth Local Community Development Committee staff (supplied by Louth County Council) and Louth Leader Partnership staff are to be ex-officio members.


IEC TOR_V1_Feb17

The Independent Evaluation Committee (IEC) is responsible to the members of the LAG.  It has authority to make recommendations on projects and does not have a policy or decision making function.  


The IEC will operate within the parameters outlined in the Louth Local Development Strategy (Appendix 1) and Rural Development Programme 2014-2020 Operating Rules (Appendix 2).  


The members of the LAG are ultimately responsible for decisions which will be based on committee recommendations.

4.  Authority

5.  Duties & Responsibilities

i.     IEC members should review all projects with regard to the RDP 2014-2020 Operating Rules, Louth Local Development Strategy, financial allocations and LAG Policy.


ii.     IEC members should make recommendation to the LAG members for approval/disapproval using the following criteria:

  • The projects compatibility with the Louth Local Development Strategy;
  • The promoters experience;
  • The financial viability of the project; 
  • The requirement for the project;
  • The innovation of the project; and
  • The project sustainability.

IEC members should also ensure that criteria such as competition, deadweight, displacement, ‘de minimis’ and additionality (i.e. other public funds or sources available) have been assessed in the Project Assessment Report (Appendix 3).


Additional criteria may be required (e.g. for an influx of projects under a sector, a precise rationale or selection criteria is required for determining why projects are selected for recommendation, or refusal).


iii.   The IEC recommendation must include the formal Evaluation Scoring Record and any other relevant documents. A clear and transparent record of the Evaluation Committee’s assessment and recommendations shall be maintained on file, including the criteria used to establish the amount and rate (%) of grant aid offered.

7.  Organisation & Officers

iv.    IEC members shall complete their own Individual online Scoring Record (Appendix 4) and submit at least 24 hours prior to IEC meeting, giving their marks, and should be signed and dated by the member.


v.     The total scores of the IEC will be aggregated on the Combined Score Sheet Matrix (Appendix 5) and the average score recorded.


vi.    The IEC members present at the IEC meeting should then make recommendation based on the Combined Score Sheet Matrix and discussion,  the recommendation should be proposed, seconded and noted in the IEC minutes.


vii.   The scores of IEC members who are not in attendance at a meeting but have submitted an individual scoring record, will 


viii.  The Combined Score Sheet Matrix including the IEC recommendation should be signed and dated by the IEC Chairperson.


iv.    Signed minutes of all IEC meetings must be retained on a dedicated file by the LAG with a signed and dated extract from the meeting placed electronically on the relevant project file.


6.  Conflict of Interest

IEC Members when evaluating a project online must declare any conflict of interest and absent themselves from any deliberations where such a declaration is made.


This declaration must be formally recorded (Appendix 6) and entered into the IEC minutes.

The IEC Chairperson is to be selected by the IEC members.  The Chairperson shall sit for a term of one year and be rotated annually.


The secretarial duties and minute keeping of the IEC will be supplied by Louth Leader Partnership.

IEC members shall be disqualified from the Committee after non-attendance at 3 meetings in a calendar year, unless reasonable explanation is provided.

IEC meetings will take place each month in County Council Offices, Dundalk and the dates for the IEC meetings should be agreed on an annual basis. 


The meeting agenda will be prepared by Louth Leader Partnership.


Louth Leader Partnership Rural Development Manager and/or RDP Project Officer will make a formal presentation to the Evaluation Committee in both a written and oral format.

8.  Disqualification

9.  Procedures