The participating countries have appointed an Audit Authority of the Interreg Baltic Sea Region Programme as well as institutions responsible for audits on their territories.
The Ministry of Justice, European Affairs and Consumer Protection of Land Schleswig-Holstein carries out the function of the Audit Authority. The Audit Authority¹ is responsible for carrying out:
¹ REGULATION (EU) 2021/1059, Article 48(1)
audits of projects and
audits of accounts.
In these tasks, the Audit Authority is supported by the Group of Auditors. This group comprises representative of each participating country and carries out the duties of the auditors. The MA/JS supports the Audit Authority and the Group of Auditors in carrying out their tasks at the Programme level.
The auditors must be functionally independent from the projects co-financed under the Programme as well as from bodies and persons responsible for management verifications.
M.5.1 Audits of projects
Every year the auditors carry out audits on expenditure that is selected in annual samples. The sample is selected from project partners whose expenditure were co-financed by the Programme and declared to the European Commission. The sample covers expenditure of all partners including the lead partners.
Lead partners and project partners whose expenditure has been selected in the annual sample will facilitate the audit activities. The project partners will be asked to provide documentation and allow access to office premises and locations with installed equipment and investment that has been co-financed from the Programme.
The audit work is documented in audit reports and checklists. The audited lead partners/project partners will receive an audit report with audit results and will have a defined period of time to give comments and clarification to the audit findings in the “contradictory procedure”. The length of this depends on the rules set by the Audit Authority for the Group of Auditors and/or may depend on national rules for auditing. Comments from the audited project partners will be included in the audit reports.
The MA/JS will directly contact the lead partner in the follow-up process as well as in cases of any recovery of funds (see chapter Q.).
Other audits of projects
The European Commission, European Court of Auditors, national Ministries or authorities might also perform checks on declared expenditure and/or project results/outputs.