Responsible Bodies

 Member States must designate four authorities that are to manage, control and monitor the Operational Programmes [1].
  1. Managing Authority
  2. Monitoring Committee
  3. Certifying Authority
  4. Audit Authority

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The Law

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General information of management and control bodies:

The Managing Authority can be a national, regional or local public authority or body or a private body, the Certifying Authority can be a national, regional or local public authority or body and the Audit Authority can be a national, regional or local public authority or body that must be functionally independent from the Managing and Certifying Authorities[3].

Payments from the European Commission will only be made following the correct designation procedure of the Managing and Certifying Authority that are set out in Article 124 CPR[4].

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Managing Authority

The Managing Authority has overall responsibility for the management of the Operational Programme covering functions of annual reporting, selection of operations, financial management, control and on-the-spot verifications of operations[5] It must establish a computerized system to record and store data on each operation necessary for monitoring, evaluation, financial management, verification and audit, including data on individual participants in operations[6]. Specific rules in the form of a Delegated Act are laid down in relation to the data to be recorded and stored within the monitoring system in line with Article 125(8) CPR[7].  In line with Article 125(9) the Delegated Act includes minimum requirements for the audit trail in respect of account records to be maintained and the supporting documents to be held by the managing authority, certifying authority, intermediate bodies and the beneficiaries of the funds[8].

Search for your Managing Authority here.

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Monitoring Committee

The Member State must set up a committee within three months of the Commission adopting an Operational Programme to monitor the implementation of the programme in agreement with the Managing Authority[9].  The Managing Authority must support the work of the Monitoring Committee, in particular by providing it with the ‘information it requires to carry out its tasks, in particular the progress of the programme toward achieving its objectives, financial data, indicators and milestones’[10].  The Monitoring Committee composition is to be decided by the Member State however it must include representatives of relevant Member State authorities and intermediary bodies as well as the partners referred to in Article 5 CPR[11].  The process of delegation to a monitoring committee must be transparent and each member of the Committee is to have a voting right[12].  Article 110 of the CPR sets out the specific functions of the Monitoring Committee as follows:

  1. The monitoring committee shall examine in particular:

(a) any issues that affect the performance of the operational programme;

(b) progress made in implementation of the evaluation plan and the follow-up given to findings of evaluations;

(c) implementation of the communication strategy;

(d) implementation of major projects;

(e) implementation of joint action plans;

(f) actions to promote equality between men and women, equal opportunities, and non-discrimination, including accessibility for persons with disabilities;

(g) actions to promote sustainable development;

(h) where applicable ex ante conditionalities are not fulfilled at the date of the submission of the Partnership Agreement and operational programme, progress on actions to fulfil the applicable ex ante conditionalities;

(i) financial instruments.

  1. By way of derogation from Article 49(3)[13], the monitoring committee shall examine and approve the following:

(a) the methodology and criteria used for selection of operations;

(b) the annual and final implementation reports;

(c) the evaluation plan for the operational programme and any amendment of the evaluation plan, including where either is part of a common evaluation plan pursuant to Article 114(1)[14];

(d) the communication strategy for the operational programme and any amendment of the strategy;

(e) any proposal by the managing authority for any amendment to the operational programme.

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Certifying Authority

The Certifying Authority is charged with drawing up and submitting payment applications to the Commission, certifying the accounts and expenditure, ensuring a computerized data system of such information and keeping track of recoverable and/or withdrawn amounts from operations[15].

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Audit Authority

The Audit Authority is to ensure that audits are carried out on the proper functioning of the management and control system of the operational programme and to ensure audit work is in line with internationally accepted audit standards[16].  The audit authority is charged with drawing up an audit opinion and a control report that must set out the main findings of audits including deficiencies found in management and control systems and proposed actions to remedy these deficiencies[17] The audit authority must prepare an audit strategy to be updated annually setting out the audit methodology, sampling methods and planning of audits for the current accounting year and two subsequent accounting years.  In line with Article 127(6) CPR the Commission adopted an Implementing Act laying down detailed rules as regards the audit strategy, the audit opinion and the annual control report[18].  In line with Article 127(7) CPR the Commission adopted a Delegated Act that details the scope and content of audits of operations[19]methodology for the selection of the sample of operations[20] and audit of accounts[21].  Further to Article 127(8) the Delegated Act specifies the terms of use concerning data collected during audits carried out by Commission officials or authorised Commission representatives that is to be available to the European Court of Auditors and the European Anti-Fraud Office[22].

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Responsible in the European Commission
  1. European Commission Directorate General Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion (European Social Fund) website.

Responsible Commissioner (2014-2019) Marianne Thyssen.

2. European Commission Directorate General Regional and Urban Policy (European Regional Development Fund) website.

Responsible Commissioner (2014-2019) Corina Cretu.

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More information

Search for your Managing Authority on the DG Regio website.  Each Managing Authority has a website with information on the Operational Programme(s) it is to manage with links and information on the activities and composition of the Monitoring Committee.  The Managing Authority website will also provide information and contacts for the Certifying and Audit Authorities as well as advertising all Calls for Tender, information and relevant contacts for prospective beneficiaries of the funds. 

The Commission provides training to Member States management and control bodies. Presentations and podcasts of this training are available via the DG Regio website. Several Commission initiatives for better use of the ESIF are available to support the Member States management and control bodies in their functions.

The Law

General principles applicable to all management and control systems are set out in Part 2 Article 72 of the Common Provision Regulation (CPR) 1303/2013 and must respect the principles of sound financial management in accordance with Article 30 of the Financial Regulation.

The Financial Regulation: Regulation (EU, EURATOM) 966/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 October 2012 on the financial rules applicable to the general budget of the Union and repealing Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002, OJ L 298, 26.10.2012, p. 1–96

Numbered references

[1] Article 123 Common Provision Regulation (EU) No 1303/2013

[3] Article 124 Common Provision Regulation (EU) No 1303/2013

[4] Article 135 Common Provision Regulation (EU) No 1303/2013

[5] Article 125 Common Provision Regulation (EU) No 1303/2013

[6] Article 125(2)(d) Common Provision Regulation (EU) No 1303/2013

[7] Article 24 Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) No 480/2014 of 3 March 2014 supplementing Regulation (EU) No 1303/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council laying down common provisions on the European Regional Development Fund, the European Social Fund, the Cohesion Fund, the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund and laying down general provisions on the European Regional Development Fund, the European Social Fund, the Cohesion Fund and the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund

[8] Article 25 Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) No 480/2014 of 3 March 2014

[9] Article 47 Common Provision Regulation (EU) No 1303/2013

[10] Article 125(2)(a) Common Provision Regulation (EU) No 1303/2013

[11] Article 48 Common Provision Regulation (EU) No 1303/2013

[12] Article 48(1) Common Provision Regulation (EU) No 1303/2013

[13] Article 49(3) Common Provision Regulation (EU) No 1303/2013 states ‘The monitoring committee shall be consulted and shall, if it considers it to be appropriate, give an opinion on any amendment of the programme proposed by the managing authority’.

[14] Article 114(1) Common Provision Regulation (EU) No 1303/2013 states ‘An evaluation plan shall be drawn up by the managing authority or Member State for one or more operational programmes.  The evaluation plan shall be submitted to the monitoring committee no later than one year after the adoption of the operational programme’.

[15] Article 126 Common Provision Regulation (EU) No 1303/2013

[16] Article 127(1) and (3) Common Provision Regulation (EU) No 1303/2013

[17] Article 127(5) Common Provision Regulation (EU) No 1303/2013

[18] Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2015/207 of 20 January 2015 laying down detailed rules implementing Regulation (EU) No 1303/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards the models for the progress report, submission of the information on a major project, the joint action plan, the implementation reports for the Investment for growth and jobs goal, the management declaration, the audit strategy, the audit opinion and the annual control report and the methodology for carrying out the cost-benefit analysis and pursuant to Regulation (EU) No 1299/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards the model for the implementation reports for the European territorial cooperation goal

[19] Article 27 Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) No 480/2014

[20] Article 28 Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) No 480/2014

[21] Article 29 Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) No 480/2014

[22] Article 26 Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) No 480/2014

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