In Interreg Aurora 2021-2027, there are national controllers carrying out the control of the expenditure in the payment application.
The controls are made when the payment application has been submitted by the Lead partner. If you are familiar with earlier program periods, such as for example Interreg Nord 2014-2020 and Interreg Botnia-Atlantica 2014-2020, there is now a simplified system in Interreg Aurora compared to those earlier programmes. None of the partners need to procure an auditor as also Finland has centralized its system for this program period. Unlike Interreg Nord and Botnia-Atlantica, you no longer need to submit expenditure reports separately to national controllers. This is now done by the Lead partner and is a part of the payment application itself. In Interreg Aurora, it is the Lead partner who collects all the documentation from the participating project partners and makes a joint payment application in Min Ansökan.
When the application for payment has been submitted in the system, the Controllers from Sweden and Finland enter the system and review the financial reporting for respective country’s partners. The controls can be desk-based or a so called “on-the-spot control”. The responsible programme officer at the joint secretariat reviews the written joint progress report. The managing authority decides on the payment once the financial report and the progress report are approved.
Once the support is paid to the project, the project can be selected for audit by the audit authority. There are usually around 5-7 projects per program per year that are selected for audit. It is the EU Commission that makes the selection and the audit authority is responsible for completing the audit. For Interreg Aurora, the audit authority is The Swedish National Financial Management Authority. The Second Level Audit is performed by the Audit Authority, assisted by the national representatives of the Group of Auditors regarding audits in Finland. The audit may include both desk and “on-the-spot” audits.
Small-scale projects are granted with the lump sum simplification model where the project receives the payment if the project can deliver the result stated in the decision, for example a report. This also means that small-scale projects do not need to report expenditures and they do not have to be audited.
Note! Think about the rules regarding document retention and archiving. Controls and audits mey occur even after the end of the project.