2000 – 2006 Programme Closure Guidance Note 2
Retention of Documents and Audit Trail – for Structural Fund Programmes operating in the 2000 to 2006 Programme Period
Purpose1. To remind grant recipient organisations of document retention and audit trail requirements for 2000-2006 Programme Period activity.
- E.C. Regulation 1260/1999
- E.C. Regulation 1685/2000
- E.C. Regulation 438/2001
- E.C. Regulation 2355/2002 (amending 438/2001)
- E.C. Regulation 448/2004
- E.C. Guidelines on Closure C (2006) 3424 (PE/1410/2006)
- E.C. Interpretative Note CDRR/01/0069/01-EN
- WEFO Guidance Note 02/07, entitled, ‘Retention of Documents – for Structural Fund Programmes operating in the 2000 to 2006 Programme Period’, dated January 2007
Background2. The vast majority of 2000 -2006 Programme Period projects will have closed, both practically and financially. Nevertheless there remains a requirement for all organisations to retain and have available key information in case of audit activity.
3. Audits may be as part of the Programme Closure exercise by the Welsh Government prior to the submission of the required Assurance Report and other documentation to the European Commission (E.C.) or subsequently, in the case of direct audits by the E.C. or the European Court of Auditors (E.C.A.)
Guidance4. The information contained within WEFO’s Guidance Note 02/07, in respect of the following, is still valid :
- E.C. document retention requirements
- the need for robust audit trails
- acceptable forms of data carriers
- certification and verification of electronic documents
6. Experience of EC audits has demonstrated that organisations / participants in structural funds will need to:
- have the required documents available in one agreed location – to ensure appropriate access for auditors in completing their audit procedures
- provide a robust and full financial audit trail – to substantiate the final grant claim submitted to WEFO
“ For a period of three years……………..following the payment by the Commission of the final balance in respect of any assistance, the responsible authorities shall keep available for the Commission all the supporting documents (either the originals or versions certified to be in conformity with the originals on commonly accepted data carriers) regarding expenditure and checks on the assistance concerned.”8. In light of experience gained from the implementation of previous Structural Funds Programmes, WEFO believes that it is premature to put forward a definitive date for destruction of documents relating to 2000- 2006 Programme Period.
9. Hence the advice provided in WEFO Guidance Note 02/07 of January 2007, remains, i.e. « all participants in structural funds are strongly advised not to destroy relevant project documentation until notification from WEFO that it is safe to do so. »
Contact Point : WEFO Helpline