The European Commission, DG VI, has published an amended invitation to tender for the completion of an "ex-post" evaluation of the LEADER I (Liaison between actions and development of the rural economy) Community initiative. The general objective of the evaluation is to assess the impact of structural fund support measures implemented within the context of LEADER I, in view of the orientations defined by the Commission. The evaluation concerns all the Member States and will cover all the overall subsidies awarded, under the terms of this Community initiative, in favour of local action groups (LAG). The specific objectives of the evaluation involve: - Analysing the relevance and conformity of the actions implemented by the LAGs, as well as by the structures responsible at national and regional levels, in view of the orientations and objectives set out by the Commission in its communication of 19 March 1991; - Evaluating the expected impact of these actions, especially on employment; - Evaluating the impact of the actions at local level; - Analysing the procedures implemented with a view to assessing to what extent certain administrative procedures, institutional or legal, have effected the efficiency and impact of the Community structural operation; - Evaluating the suitable use for the funds allocated to this initiative; - Analysing the running and efficiency of the network; - Evaluating, in qualitative and quantitative terms, the added value attributable to Community action. The evaluation should highlight the innovative nature of the approach initiated by LEADER I as compared with other Community Support Framework (CSF) measures relating to the areas concerned. In this respect, it should analyse the following aspects, in particular: - How the grass roots approach advocated by LEADER I optimized local potential, and the degree of association of populations and local economic factors with the design and management of the measures; - Where and in which areas LEADER I has had an innovative character, taking account of its exemplary value for all rural areas and the way in which it has contributed to an optimal integration of sectoral actions; - The multiplier and demonstrative effects of the proposed measures. Within the context of the assessment of LEADER I implementation procedures, the evaluation should analyse the: - Running and efficiency of the form of intervention favoured by LEADER I; - Effectiveness of the facilities set up at Community level, the financial procedures and the allocation of Community funds; - Effectiveness of the approach followed as regards the drawing up and implementation of the business plan and the clarity of the orientations given by the Commission concerning this plan; - Relevance of the choice of areas or territories as well as of the local action groups; - Implementation and degree of success of the most widely spread actions; - Description of the administrative organization at all levels and an analysis of the management difficulties encountered at LAG level; - Reasons for the success/failure of LAGs to achieve the objectives set; - Effectiveness in the use of funds, in particular in terms of cost/benefit, by comparing situations in different groups and different countries; - Impact of the network action both on the LAGs and with regard to the distribution of the results of their action, as well as the added value brought about by the existence of the network. Finally, the evaluation will include an assessment of the financial and physical implementation of the LAGs' actions carried out on the basis of relevant financial and physical indicators. Supplementary documentation concerning this invitation to tender may be obtained from: European Commission DG VI - Agriculture Mr. L. Van Depoele Directorate VI/F-1 - Rural Development 130 rue de la Loi (6/192) B-1049 Brussels Tel. +32-2-2965767; Fax +32-2-2950131 Tenders should be submitted, either by registered post or by hand delivery, to the same address.