Guidance notes (EN) 23
Besides the First Level Control at project level (see Guidance Note no.20), projects may be subject to other controls performed by different bodies linked to the Programme.
23.1 Site visits
Site visits are on-the-spot checks conducted by the Secretariat. They answer the obligation laid down in article 60 of Regulation 1080/2006 to verify that "the co-financed products and services are delivered and that the expenditure declared by the beneficiaries for operations has actually been incurred and complies with community and national rules". The Secretariat aims to visit all project Lead Partners at least once during the project’s lifetime for an in-depth meeting at the Lead Partner’s premises. The aims of such visits are:
- to learn from the partnership’s experience (best practice);
- to assist the project in solving specific issues it may face (e.g. compliance with spending target);
- to verify the management and control systems put in place;
- to verify the audit trail and;
- to see some of the project deliverables.
In most cases, a Project Development Officer and a Finance Officer will attend these visits. On the project side, it should be attended by the Project Manager (and/or Project Coordinator), the Project Finance Manager and the partner’s first level Controller. On the day of the meeting, all project documents, in particular those relating to the audit trail, should be made available.
Considering the diverse topics to be addressed, the visit lasts approximately one day.
23.2 Second level control
Second level controls are sample checks organised by the Programme at Member State level. They are carried out on a sample of operations selected by a random statistical sampling method. This will be done every twelve-month from 1st January 2010 onwards. The audits will be performed by an external audit firm under the supervision of the NWE Audit Authority and the NWE Group of Auditors. This Group shall comprise a representative of each Member State participating in the NWE Programme.
23.3 Certifying Authority’s quality controls
The Certifying Authority of the NWE Programme (Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations) might also perform checks, on demand.
23.4 European Commission and Member State Checks
The Commission, in cooperation with the concerned Member State, might perform on-the-spot and sample checks of projects financed by Structural Funds, including the European Regional Development Fund, and on management and control systems with a minimum of one working day’s notice.
- Site visits: Article 60 of Regulation 1083/2006 and Article 13 of Commission Regulation (EC) 1828/2006 Second level control: Article 16 of Commission Regulation (EC) 1828/2006
- Certifying Authority’s quality controls: Article 61 of Council Regulation (EC) 1083/2006
- European Commission and Member State checks: Article 72 of Regulation (EC) 1083/2006
- Regulation 846/2009 amending Regulation 1828/2006