Welsh European Funding Online Wins Top European Award

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Paris, August 17, 2010 – WEFO Online is judged IT Outsourcing Project of the Year.

A key IT project completed by the Welsh Assembly Government and Capgemini UK plc has won the top IT award in the European Outsourcing Association (EOA) Awards 2010, beating entries from other parts of the UK, France, Germany and Italy to win the first prize. The award is pan-European recognition for the WEFO Online project which deploys advanced web technology to make it easy for people to apply for the £3.9 billion of structural funding available to Wales from the EU.

The EOA’s IT Outsourcing Project of the Year award was presented to Capgemini senior executive Mieke Van Handenhove by the European Outsourcing Association on 28 June at an international ceremony at the Chateau du Lac in Brussels.

WEFO Online was designed in Wales by a joint team of IT and business transformation specialists from Capgemini and the Welsh European Funding Office (WEFO) which is part of the Welsh Assembly Government. Following go-live in August 2008, the first fully operational year has seen WEFO Online become the first system of its kind to win full audit approval from the European Commission, making Wales the first of 40 regions in the European Community to achieve a fully functioning online system for processing key fund applications.

Damien O’Brien, Director of the Welsh European Funding Office said: ‘Our efficiency in processing applications for European funding, and making accurate and timely payments to project sponsors, is crucial to the successful implementation of the programmes in delivering jobs and growth across the Welsh economy. We are delighted that our success in forging ahead of the rest of Europe with WEFO Online has been recognised in these important and high-profile international awards. I take this opportunity to applaud and thank the WEFO and Capgemini teams whose hard work and commitment have led to this latest success.’

WEFO Online is designed to simplify and streamline grant applications under the European Social Fund and the European Regional Development Fund and to ensure that payments are processed quickly. It enables businesses, public sector bodies, communities and third sector organisations in Wales to make their applications quickly and easily online via the Internet.  It also lets them submit evidence and documentation, complete claims and payment forms, and track progress of their application without the need for unnecessary paperwork or lengthy telephone calls. The system also delivers significant efficiency gains within WEFO in processing applications and payments. WEFO Online has already been central to the approval of 176 projects with a total value of £1.3 billion, with associated claims processing having paid out some £240.8 million under the current European Funding schemes.

Andy McDonough, Business Development Director at Capgemini UK, said: ‘It has been a privilege to work on a project such as WEFO Online that brings important benefits to so many people, communities and organisations across Wales, and we are naturally delighted to have won international recognition for our efforts.’

In addition to its role in the design and deployment of WEFO Online, Capgemini is also supporting the system until 2016 under a long-term outsourcing contract. The award-winning Capgemini applications are hosted on infrastructure supported and maintained by Siemens.

About Capgemini
Capgemini, one of the world’s foremost providers of consulting, technology and outsourcing services, enables its clients to transform and perform through technologies. Capgemini provides its clients with insights and capabilities that boost their freedom to achieve superior results through a unique way of working, the Collaborative Business ExperienceTM. The Group relies on its global delivery model called Rightshore®, which aims to get the right balance of the best talent from multiple locations, working as one team to create and deliver the optimum solution for clients. Present in more than 30 countries, Capgemini reported 2009 global revenues of EUR 8.4 billion and employs 95,000 people worldwide.

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