ERDF and ESF Governance
All Member States in receipt of European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) must adhere to European Commission Regulations 1083/2006 (2007-2013 programmes) and 1303/2013 (2014-2020 programmes) setting out the requirements for managing, distributing, monitoring and evaluating the Funds.
The EC regulations (1083/2006 for 2007-2013 programmes and 1303/2013 for 2014-2020 programmes) require Member States to use appropriate governance structures and processes to ensure the funds are managed effectively, and that activity to distribute and invest EU funding is in accordance with EU law.
The Managing Authority (Member State or regional government) has overall responsibility for the efficient and effective implementation of the funds. The Managing Authority in Scotland is the Scottish Government. Its remit includes:
- establishing the programme;
- establishing the operational rules, including scoring frameworks, check lists, guidance and eligibility of activity;
- making calls for and approving Strategic Interventions and Operations from Lead Partners;
- checking eligibility and granting final approval for Operation Applications under each SI;
- monitoring and reporting on progress to the Joint Programme Monitoring Committee (JPMC) and to the European Commission;
- administering the JPMC and other related groups.
Role of the Certifying Authority
The Scottish Certifying Authority is part of the Scottish Government and is responsible for drafting and submitting payment applications to the Commission, drawing up and certifying accounts, and ensuring the expenditure complies with EU and Scottish Government rules.
Role of the Audit Authority
The Audit Authority (AA) independently scrutinises the management and control systems governing the funds, verifying sample project audits , and assessing accounts. The AA role in Scotland is carried out by Scottish Government auditors who report directly to the Commission through the Annual Control Report (ACR).
The AA assesses whether activity complies with regulations and that spending is accounted for.
The Commission sets the strategic direction of the ERDF and ESF programmes before the programmes begin. It has an active interest in the direction and performance of activity and Commission officials are appointed as observers to the JPMC.
It plays an active part on the financial and audit performance of the programmes and has a number of different mechanisms at its disposal to ensure activity is effective including Interruptions and Suspensions.