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ROM Manual for Contractors and Experts > 3. Main actions step-by-step in ROM

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3. Main actions step-by-step in ROM

3.1 Manage the ROM Workplan

As an introduction, please find an overview of the steps for the preparation of the ROM Workplan. Deadlines are not blocking.

ROM Workplan:

Operational Managers (OMs) are the persons in charge of projects and programmes and are identified through the CRIS "GESTOPE" role. If a new OM is in charge of the project, their name should be indicated in CRIS. The change will be reflected in the ROM module on the following day. For projects not represented in CRIS, such as those of the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa, the name of the Operational Manager should be communicated to INTPA SUPPORT SERVICES or NEAR APPLICATION SUPPORT. In case of absence of the OM in charge, the ROM Focal Point (FP) can act as backup.

The starting point for the selection of projects and programmes to be subject to ROM reviews are the External Assistance Management Reports (EAMR) established annually by the EUD and HQ Directorates.

For DG INTPA, the ROM work plan consists of the entire EAMR list of projects with the indication of whether a ROM review is requested or not. For DG NEAR, the ROM work plan consists of a list of project for which a ROM review has been requested.

The portfolio of interventions for ROM review includes four different categories:

  •  A representative sample of EU-funded interventions in their early stages of implementation. The sample is selected by the Commission services according to sampling procedures that are only outlined in Annex 7. For these interventions, ROM reviews support the OM in confirming or updating the intervention logic and logframe matrix (including baselines and targets), in reviewing the monitoring system of the IP, in assessing risks and mitigation measures and fine-tuning the implementation set-up and calendar of activities with a view to improving the performance of the intervention.
  • Interventions flagged as having implementation problems through the Commission’s internal reporting systems (EAMR and MIS). In this case, the ROM review will assist the OM in addressing the main problems, identifying causes and options for solution and making recommendations for follow-up actions.
  • Other interventions for which the Commission services demand a ROM review. Several reasons can justify this demand. For instance, a ROM review can be demanded for interventions which could not be visited by EU OMs or for which the necessary sector expertise at Delegation/HQ level may not be available at a given point in time.
  •  Blending operations for which the Commission identifies the need for a ROM review. More on ROM reviews on blending operations in chapter 5.

Further details on the interventions that each year become part of the ROM portfolio or are excluded from it, are available in the table below:



  • Interventions with at least one orange or red flag for KPI-6 and/or KPI-7;
  • Interventions with green traffic lights, for which the Delegation/HQ Operational Unit requests a ROM review;
  • Interventions in early stages of implementation selected by HQ on a sample basis, irrespective of the traffic light they may already have on the EAMR;
  • Blending operations and Trust Fund interventions selected through an internal consultation process;
  • Interventions in a late stage of implementation (less than 8 months to the end) for which there is a justified request for ROM. These are specific requests and not the result of delays in implementing ROM reviews.

  • Interventions that have just started but were not sampled for ROM review in their early stage of implementation;
  • Interventions that are close to completion (less than 8 months to their end) and for which there is no justified need for ROM;
  • Interventions with an orange or red traffic light, for which a mid-term-review (MTR) has recently taken place or is scheduled to take place shortly (evaluation has precedence);
  • Interventions with an orange or red traffic light, for which a ROM review would be unproductive, since the risks or reasons of underperformance are well known such as in cases of civil war, natural disaster or other circumstances.

What to do if a Delegation or HQ Unit requests an additional ROM review or indicate that a ROM review is no longer required

If the circumstances have changed, OMs and FPs can change their selection of projects to be reviewed, requesting additional ROM missions or indicating that a certain ROM mission is no longer required.

To indicate whether a ROM review should take place or not, they need to change the value in the field "Is a ROM review required for this project?" and click on "Submit". You will be notified of the change.


The EAMR project list is prepared by INTPA.R1 in consultation with the Units / Delegations concerned. If a Unit / Delegation would like to request a ROM review for a project that was not included in the project list (and thus is not available in the ROM module), they should contact INTPA SUPPORT SERVICES or NEAR APPLICATION SUPPORT to request the upload of the project to the ROM module (This is subject to the approval of the ROM Coordination Team of the corresponding DG).

3.1.1 Budget Estimation by Contractors

Out of the list of projects and programmes displayed in the Workplan screen, Contractors estimate the projects that they are able to review with the budget available under their contract. 

To proceed with the budget estimation, select the “Workplan” menu and then the “Manage Workplan” sub-menu.

For ROM reviews that fit into the budget, select “Yes” in the listbox .

For ROM reviews that do not fit into the budget or if this cannot be estimated yet, select “Pending” in the listbox . 

Please note that Blending Operations can be filtered separately in the Workplan by ticking the "Display only ROM Blending reviews" option at the bottom of the page.

The selection is auto-saved every time you make a choice and then move to another line in the dashboard. This means that you can select "Yes/Pending" for a certain number of ROM reviews, leave the ROM module and continue the budget estimation on another day.

Once you have selected "Yes" or "Pending" for at least one ROM review, the message below is displayed on the screen:

Your selection will not visible to Operational Managers, Focal Points, and the ROM Coordination Team unless you click on the SUBMIT button.  

Click on the “SUBMIT” button on the bottom of the screen to share the list of confirmed ROM reviews with the EC services. 

Before clicking on "SUBMIT", please make sure that you have selected a value “Yes"/"Pending” for all ROM requests with a “Is a ROM review required for this project?” set as "Yes". If you skipped one or more lines, the system will display a warning message: 


After you click on "Submit", the status of all the ROM requests for which you have selected "Yes" becomes “Confirmed by Contractor”, while the status of all the ROM requests for which you have selected “Pending” remains “Uploaded”.  

For the ROM requests in status "Confirmed by Contractor", a notification is sent to the Operational Manager (OM) and to the ROM Focal Point, who can start entering additional information to plan the ROM reviews (components to be visited, proposed time for ROM review, general comments, etc.).

You can modify the selection of the value “Yes"/"Pending”  when the ROM review is in status "Uploaded" or "Confirmed by Contractor". If a value is changed, the system displays a general warning and a small red icon next to each changed value.

The selection is finalised and visible to EC services after you click on “SUBMIT”.


3.1.2 Manage Experts

 As Contractor, you can add Experts based on their EU Login or e-mail address, and assign them one or more sector(s) of expertise available on a drop down list in the module. 

  • Select the "Workplan" tab in the upper-hand menu (1), click on the "Experts" section (2) then select the ROM Contracts period from the dropdown menu (3): 

    To add a new Expert, click on the "Add" button on the bottom-right side of the screen. A free field pops up, allowing you to enter the EU Login or email address associated to a EU Login of the required expert:

    Click on the "Select" button. If the EU login of the Expert doesn't exist, he/she will have to create an EU Login to be added in the list.

  •  Select the Category (Medium or Senior), Type (Core or Non-Core) and Sector of the Expert

    The list of sectors are: 

    Lots 1 & 2 (DG INTPA)

    • Education and Culture, Health, Social protection
    • Rural development, Nutrition and Food security
    • Migration
    • Water and Sanitation, Environment and Natural resources
    • Democracy and rule of law, Gender equality, Human rights
    • Civil society, Local authorities
    • Sustainable cities, Transport infrastructure and Digitalisation
    • Energy and Climate change
    • Investment climate, Private sector development, International trade
    • Nuclear safety and security, Conflict prevention
    • Financial intermediaries and financial products
    • Statistics and data measurement

    Lots 3 & 4 (DG NEAR)

    • Democracy and rule of law
    • Fundamental rights (gender equality, minorities etc)
    • Public administration reform including public finance management, macroeconomics, banking
    • Investment climate, private sector development, international trade, innovation and digitalisation
    • Education and culture, health, employment and social protection
    • Agriculture and rural development
    • Migration
    • Border management, conflict prevention and security
    • Water and sanitation, environment and natural resources
    • Energy
    • Climate change
    • Civil society, local authorities
    • Sustainable cities and transport
    • Nuclear safety

3.1.3 Experts selected by Contractor

ROM Contractors can propose dates and Experts for a ROM review once a ROM review is in status "Confirmed by OM".

  1. To filter the ROM reviews in status "Confirmed by OM", you can click on the check-box at the bottom right of the page: 

  2. Click on each CRIS reference that is in status "Confirmed by OM". A screen opens with indications added by OMs/Focal Points on the preferred timeframe for organising the ROM review, and – in case of multi-country projects, on the countries to be visited.

  3. Enter the names of the Experts (selected among the pre-approved ones), identify the Team Leader in the case of multi-country projects, and propose the dates for the mission. You can modify the selection of Experts until the ROM review is in status "Desk phase started" (included). For multi-country projects, the Team Leader can be changed until the ROM review is in status "ROM review approved" (included).

  4. Click on "Submit" in order to validate your choice. The OM in charge of the project and the ROM Focal Point will receive a notification.


Once the start mission date has been selected, the system automatically proposes an end mission date and the planned date for draft report based on ROM Handbook current rules. These dates can be updated manually until the ROM review is in status "ROM review approved" (included). If for some reasons the mission dates changed after that (e.g. cancellation of flights, illness etc.), you will have to enter the actual dates of mission while uploading the draft ROM reporting documents (see section 3.3.3 for further details).

You can already indicate the name of the Quality Control (QC) expert appointed for this specific review. The name of the QC Expert becomes a mandatory field at status  "Desk Phase started", and is required in order to upload the draft report and advance the ROM review to status "Draft report". You can change the selected QC Expert until the ROM review is in status "Final report" (included).

You can add general comments until the ROM review is in status "Desk phase started" (included).

In case of a Consortium conflict of interest, tick the box marked below and click on the “Save” button. The correspondence between the ROM Coordination Team and ROM Contractor(s)/among ROM Contractors to solve the conflict of interest will not be recorded in the ROM module. Once a solution has been found, tick the 'Solve conflict of interests at consortium level' box and write a note on what solution has been found. Information related to Consortium conflict of interest can be modified until the ROM review is in status "Experts confirmed by OM" (included).

Once all information has been entered, click on 'Submit'. The status of the ROM review will become “Experts selected by Contractor”.

3.1.4 Overview of who can perform which actions and when

Please refer to the table below for a summary of all the roles involved in the Workplan workflow, including their respective actions and the resulting ROM statuses:

OMOperational Manager
CTRROM Contractor
ROM  FP ROM Focal point
CooROM Coordination Team
Field in ROM information tab
Who can edit
 When can the field be edited (inclusive statuses)
Change in the workflow
Status after change
Is a ROM review required for this project? 

From Yes to NoOM, ROM FP, AdminUploaded -> ROM review approvedYUploadedYes - to CTR
From No to YesOM, ROM FP, AdminUploadedNUploadedYes - to CTR
Geographic ImplementationOM, ROM FP, AdminConfirmed by Contractor - Desk phase startedYConfirmed by OMYes - to CTR
Components for multi-countryOM, ROM FP, AdminConfirmed by Contractor - Desk phase startedYConfirmed by OMYes - to CTR
Comments for more than 4 componentsOM, ROM FP, AdminConfirmed by Contractor - Desk phase startedN
Yes - to CTR
Additional CRIS references for documentationOM, ROM FP, AdminConfirmed by Contractor - Desk phase startedN
Yes - to CTR
Reason for less/more daysOM, ROM FP, AdminConfirmed by Contractor - Desk phase startedN
Yes - to CTR
Preferred time for ROM reviewOM, ROM FP, AdminConfirmed by Contractor - Desk phase startedN
Yes - to CTR
OM General Comments and security concernsOM, ROM FP, AdminUploaded - Desk phase startedN
Yes - to CTR
Contact for the Implementing PartnerOM, ROM FP, AdminConfirmed by Contractor - Desk phase startedN
Yes - to CTR
Set Review as Blending OperationOM, ROM FP, AdminUploaded – Desk phase startedN
ROM Expert (+ Additional Expert(s) in case of a blending operation review)CTR, AdminConfirmed by OM - Desk phase startedYExperts selected by ContractorYes - to OM
Mission leader (for Multi-country)CTR, AdminConfirmed by OM - Desk phase startedN
Yes - to OM
Field phase start/end dateCTR, AdminConfirmed by OM - Desk phase startedN
Yes - to OM
Planned date for draft reportCTR, AdminConfirmed by OM - Desk phase startedN
Yes - to OM
QC ExpertCTR, AdminConfirmed by OM -  Final reportN

Consortium Conflict of InterestCTR, AdminConfirmed by OM -  Experts confirmed by OM YExperts selected by ContractorYes - to OM, Coo
Contractor General CommentsCTR, AdminConfirmed by OM - Desk phase started N
Yes - to OM
Link to preliminary assessment (blending operations only)CTR, AdminConfirmed by OM – Expert Confirmed by OM

Expert Conflict of Interest & CommentsOM, ROM FP, AdminExperts selected by Contractor - Experts confirmed by OM YConfirmed by OMYes - to OM
Coordinator General CommentsCoo, AdminExperts validated by OM - ROM review approved  N
Yes - to OM


3.2 Access the CRIS Library

Watch the e-learning video for this step.

  1. To access the library of project/programme documents attached in CRIS, click on the corresponding "Library" icon . The Library screen will be displayed.
    The library can also be accessed via the Details menu by selecting the "CRIS library" option.

    Please note that Trust Fund projects are not included in CRIS – therefore the CRIS Library tab is not displayed.

  2. Click on the arrow on the left in order to expand the list of documents attached to each group of the selected decision/contract.

    For ROM reviews at contract level, Ares Invoice documents may also be retrieved from the CRIS Library. The integration of ROM and Ares has been introduced with Release 2.5 and will improve the availability of narrative reports submitted by implementing partners.

  3. You can select a file in the "Available documents" table by ticking the corresponding checkbox. "Select all" and “Select all documents in all subfolders” buttons are also available. All selected files appear in the table below called "Selected files" and the button "Download" is made available, allowing you to download all selected file(s) in a .zip file:



At any moment, you can deselect a file previously selected. To do that, you can deselect a file in the "Available Documents" table, by clicking again on the ticked checkbox, or by clicking the "trash" button in the "Selected files" table. A "Remove selection" button is also available, allowing you to clear the entire set of selected documents.

        4. The system calculates the total size of the zip file to be downloaded.

        There is a maximum size that can be downloaded in each .zip file. If you exceed this limit when selecting a new file, the system will alert you.


         5. Click the "Download" button to create a .zip file with the selected files. The system first asks a confirmation to download the selected document(s):


       6. The system creates a .zip file and asks you to open it or to save it on a disk.


      The structure of the .zip file is the same as the one in the tree view.

       Do not forget to save the .zip file on your computer to extract all documents.

Remark: If you accidentally click the "Cancel" button, you just have to re-click the "Download" button because the system keeps your selection in memory.

3.3 History Tab

The history of the ROM mission is now displayed in a dedicated tab, which shows the list of steps (status) the ROM review went through, along with users and dates.

The history of the ROM mission is available in both ROM Workplan and ROM Missions and can be used by all users except Non-Core Experts.

3.4 ROM Missions - Management of Missions and Reports

When a ROM review is approved by the ROM Coordinator, it becomes visible in the "Missions" section. The diagram below presents the steps for the ROM review missions. Deadlines for comments by EC services are blocking.

3.4.1 Download the ROM templates

Watch the e-learning video for this step.

ROM Experts are requested to use standard templates that are pre-filled with key information and must be downloaded from the ROM module for each specific ROM review.  The set of templates which is to be filled for each ROM review includes the ROM report and the monitoring questions (a commented version of the two templates is available in the ROM Handbook). For multi-country ROM reviews, the ROM Expert(s) will deliver the documents per country as well.

In order to be able to download the templates, the status of the ROM Review must be "ROM review approved" or "Desk phase started". This action can be done maximum 6 weeks before the field phase starts.

To download the French version of the templates, please select the French language from the top menu of the ROM module:

Core Experts cannot download ROM templates for ROM reviews for which they are NOT assigned as Experts. In addition, they cannot download ROM templates for ROM reviews for which they are assigned as QC Experts.Non-Core Experts see all the ROM Reviews for their lot, in read-only mode.

  1. To download the ROM templates, you can access the "Download templates" screen in two different ways: via the dashboard or the "Details" menu. 
    Via the Missions Dashboard, by clicking on the "Download" icon  in the "Action" column:

Via the "Details" menu click on the CRIS reference and select the "Download templates" tab:

2. Click on the "Download ROM templates" button to download the pre-filled ROM templates – ROM Report and Monitoring Questions:

 3. The system downloads the two ROM Templates in a .zip file. Open and extract the two ROM templates from the .zip file or save the .zip file on one disk (for a later extraction).


It is possible to download the templates more than once, provided that the ROM review status is "ROM review approved" or "Desk phase started". If you download the ROM Templates several times, you can only upload the last downloaded versions. If you try to upload an older version, you will get an error message.Templates are available in English or in French, based on your language selection in the top menu.

Once you have downloaded the templates, the status of the ROM Review becomes "Desk phase started" (even if you click on the "Cancel" button). The icon to "upload" the draft reporting documents also appears in the dashboard under "Action to be taken".

3.4.2 Fill-in the ROM Templates

Watch the e-learning video for this step.

Before starting: 

  • There are 2 types of ROM reporting documents to be completed by the ROM Expert: the ROM report and the Monitoring questions. 
  • For multi-country ROM reviews, Experts and Contractors are requested to download and then upload the MQ file for each country visited, in addition to the multi-country MQ.
  • For Trust Fund projects, the EC may request additional reports and MQ files, based on ad hoc needs. Any additional reporting requirement should be approved in advance by the ROM Coordination Team.
  • After downloading the zip file with the ROM templates, extract the file from the zip folder.

Important notes about the ROM Report:

  • You must type some text in all the following fields:
    • Executive Summary
    • Context
    • Description of Target group(s) and final beneficiaries
    • Relevance
    • Coordination, complementarity and EU added value
    • Intervention Logic, Learning & Monitoring
    • Efficiency
    • Effectiveness
    • Sustainability
    • Cross-cutting issues
    • Communication and Visibility
  • At least one conclusion and at least one recommendation must be filled in.
  • There is a maximum number of characters defined (between 500 and 5.000 characters) depending on the section:
    • Context: max. 4000 characters
    • Description of the intervention logic: max. 7000 characters
    • Each finding: max. 12000 characters
    • Each conclusion: max. 3000 characters
    • Each recommendation: max. 2000 characters

Important notes about the Monitoring Questions:

  • You must select a grading (green/orange/red) for all questions. An overview of the individual scores will be then displayed on the first page of the template. (See the ROM Handbook for conditions.)
  • You must indicate the availability of all essential project/programme documents listed, by selecting the value "Yes" or "No" or "N/A".
  • You must fill in the "name" and "category" of at least one person interviewed.

Note that you need to have Adobe reader DC installed in order to fill in and save the templates (the software is free).

  1. Open the ROM Report and Monitoring Questions downloaded.
  2. In the PDF files, do not forget to click on "Enable all features" – otherwise you will not be able to fill them in:

3. You may click on the left-hand icon to hide the option:

Note that ROM Report and Monitoring Questions are pre-filled with the latest project data extracted from CRIS (Key Information, Financial Data and main Dates) and ROM data extracted from the ROM Workplan. For projects not represented in CRIS, CRIS data is substituted by ABAC data.

4. To fill in the templates, you can type text as in a normal text editor (Microsoft Word, etc.) - note that the functionalities are limited in PDF. You can also paste text from a text processor (such as Microsoft Word or Notepad). If the text is too long, a vertical scrollbar appears at the right and you can scroll it to see the full text. The font resizes automatically to fit the text in a single page (a limit to the reduction of the size of the text has been defined). There is a feature that counts the characters left, in order to help you produce reports that fit the maximum characters restrictions.

5. For the internal quality control, you can use the "sticky notes" to comment on the ROM reporting documents, if necessary. Click the place in the file where the sticky notes has to appear and fill in the comments.

6. Use the bookmarks to navigate across sections of the ROM templates.

Please Note

  • Neither of the PDF ROM reporting documents can be uploaded on the ROM module if they are not properly filled in;
  • Using editing software other than Adobe may corrupt PDF files;
  • If the EUD approved a ROM review in two exercises, please pay special attention to download the templates of the exercise in which you are going to include this ROM review. The EUD would need to choose a "NO" reason for ROM request for the other exercise: you can contact INTPA SUPPORT SERVICES or NEAR APPLICATION SUPPORT for assistance.

3.4.3 Upload the draft ROM Reporting Documents


  • After internal quality control, the ROM Contractor (not the Expert) has the responsibility to upload the draft version of the ROM reporting documents and submit it to EC services for comments.
  • ROM Contractors can upload ROM reporting documents only for their lot;
  • Uploading the Reports/Monitoring Questions using web forms is recommended to avoid any PDF compatibility issues. Using the web forms

  1. Access the "Upload ROM Reporting Documents" tab of the corresponding ROM Review by clicking the  icon in the "Action" column in the Missions dashboard;

  2. Click on “Fill in the ROM report Webform” or “Fill in the Monitoring Questions web form”;

  3. Start filling in the various sections of the ROM Report/Monitoring Questions templates; 

  4. Click on the “Save” button to keep your modifications.

    Note that it is possible to fill part of the Report/MQs and come back to it later. The system will show you missing fields in red but will save the file.

  5. Click on the “Close” button to go back to the ‘ROM Reporting documents to upload’ page.

Once saved, a PDF file will be generated by the system. You can view the latest file saved by clicking on the hyperlink, as illustrated below. Using the PDF templates

Watch the e-learning video for this step. 

1. Access the "Upload ROM Reporting Documents" screen via the 'Missions' dashboard by clicking on the "Upload"  icon in the "Action" column.

2. The "Upload ROM Reporting Documents" is displayed and allows you to upload the ROM reporting documents (for Trust Fund projects, you may upload additional ROM reporting documents if this is requested by the Operational Manager in charge and agreed with the ROM Coordination Team):

3. To upload the "ROM Report" .pdf file, click on the "Upload PDF template" button next the "ROM Report" label. A pop-up will open, allowing you to browse for the location of your files:

4. Select the "ROM Report" .pdf file in the dialogue box and click the "Open" button to upload it in the ROM module.

5. The system makes some checks before uploading the file in the ROM module: 

  • It verifies that it is a .pdf file
  • It verifies the template type (that it is a "ROM Report" and not a "Monitoring Questions" file and vice-versa, as the case may be)
  • It verifies that the reference of the "ROM report" to be uploaded is the same as the one shown on the screen.

If it is not the case, the "ROM Report" .pdf file is not uploaded in the ROM module and a warning message is displayed.

6. If all the conditions are fulfilled, the "ROM Report".pdf file is uploaded in the ROM Module.

Remark: as long as the status of the ROM review is "Desk phase started", you can upload successive versions of the ROM Report. Each time you upload a new version of the ROM Report, you will be able to view it by clicking on the file name hyperlink.

7. Perform the same steps as above for the "Monitoring Questions" .pdf file (click on the "Upload PDF template" button and upload the file).

After uploading both documents, you will be able to communicate the actual mission dates (if different from the planned dates). 

8. The "Submit" button will be displayed. Once you click on it, the documents will become available for the Operational Manager and Focal Point for their comments. If you updated the mission dates, the actual dates will replace the planned ones in the "ROM information" tab and in the consolidated ROM report.

9. A confirmation will pop up when you click on "Submit". Once you click on "Yes", the system confirms that the two ROM reporting documents have been submitted. The status of the ROM review becomes "Draft report"

If comments by the Operational Manager / ROM Focal Point have been saved but not submitted, you will receive a specific notification inviting you to check the ROM module for comments before finalising the ROM reporting documents.

3.4.4 Upload the Final ROM Reporting Documents

Watch the e-learning video for this step.

As Contractor, you will be able to upload the final ROM reporting documents as soon as the OM / FP have commented the draft versions, or after 21 days. 

Based on the Operational Managers' comments, the Expert may need to revise the ROM Report or the Monitoring Questions. After internal Quality Control, you will upload final versions.

  1. If the reporting documents have been modified, you have to make modifications in the web form version or re-upload the files by following the steps described in 3.4.3 Upload the draft ROM reporting documents.
  2. If the reporting documents have not been modified, the system will automatically make a copy of the draft version for its submission as final version. You will have to click on "Finalize" to submit.

The ROM report and MQs will then become available again for the OM / FP to comment upon. They will receive an e-mail notification.

Please note: ROM Contractors can view comments on the Draft report regardless of the status of the ROM review.

3.5 Search Functionality

Once in status "ROM review completed", ROM reviews no longer appear in the "Missions" tab, and can be retrieved through the search functionality only. 

Navigate to the 'Search' section on the top menu. Various search criteria are displayed, including:

  • Project / programme information
  • ROM information
  • Words in the text of ROM reports

The search functionality may also be used to retrieve Trust Fund projects separately.

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