Good progress has been made so far. The figures available demonstrate that the investment proposals submitted to the local programmes have more than covered the budgets available. This is evidence of the keen investment interest on the part of the public, due to the broad publicity given to the programme on the national level by the Ministry of Rural Development and Food, and on the local level by the Local Action Groups. It is also due to the preference shown by investors for this particular programme because of its high level of efficacy.
Management, Monitoring and Auditing
To ensure the efficient management of the programme, on the national level, a Special Management Service for the LEADER + Community Initiative O.P. has been set up at the Ministry for Rural Development and Food. The Service is one of the first in the public sector to be accredited with Hellenic Organisation for Standardisation ΕΝ ISO 9001:2000 certification.
The LEADER+ initiative is monitored by the Monitoring Committee, whose members include representatives of the ministries, management authorities of other Operational Programmes, local and prefectural authority organizations, local action groups, economic and social partners, NGOs and representatives of the European Commission.
Funding of the programme is overseen by the Payment Authority at the Ministry of National Economy, which is also responsible for all the 3rd CSF 2000-2006 programmes and for the Community Initiatives.
Rigorous audits to ensure proper use of the funds, completion of the projects and compliance with legislation are carried out by the LEADER + Management Service, the Payment Authority, the Special Service of the Ministry of Finance/State General Accounting Office, as well as all the appropriate EU departments.