European Structural and Investment Funds: document retention guidance

Guidance on document retention for beneficiaries of European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIFs) between 2014 and 2020.

Guidance for Lead Partners

1.1. The following guidance details the requirements of European Commission Article 140, EU regulation No 1303/2013.

1.2. Document and record retention periods for Lead Partners, unlike previous programmes, are no longer linked to the Programme closure process, meaning that average retention periods will reduce.

1.3. In most cases, the retention period will be around 3 to 4 years following the end of each operation. However, the Managing Authority should be consulted where Lead Partners are unsure on document retention timescales as extended periods may be required, such as State Aid implications, audits or investigations.

1.4. For all operations, all supporting documents shall be made available for a two year period from 31 December following the submission of the accounts and subsequent audit period in which the final expenditure of the completed operation is included.

1.5. Lead Partners will be advised by the Managing Authority of the commencement of their retention period following payment of their Final Claim for individual operations.

1.6. It remains the responsibility of the Lead Partner to ensure that all Delivery Agents are informed of their requirements in relation to document retention following receipt of confirmation of retention dates from the MA.

1.7. This guidance does not supersede General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR), it is the Lead Partners responsibility to ensure full compliance with GDPR and all relevant Data Protection guidance. Further information on GDPR is available from and the Information Commissioner’s Office.



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