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First Level Control

    First Level Control (FLC) involves checks, or audits, of a project’s expenditure as it is being implemented. It aims to provide a guarantee for the Managing Authority and the Certifying Authority of an European Territorial Cooperation (ETC) programme, and for the project itself, that the co-financed costs are accounted for and eligible. It involves the following checks which take place before each payment claim is submitted:

    • Verification of the delivery of the products and services as described in the approved application form

    • Verification of the soundness of the declared expenditure

    • Verification of the compliance of such expenditure with Programme, EU, and national rules

    FLC covers 100% of all declared project spend. The FLC system consists of two types of verifications checks:

    1. Desk based administrative checks on expenditure declared in payment claims

    2. On-the-spot checks at the project partner’s office and carried out on a sample basis

    First Level Control in Ireland

    EU Regulation requires that each Member State sets up a designated FLC system responsible for verifying the legality and regularity of the expenditure declared by each beneficiary in its territory. Ireland has a centralised FLC system, which means that the Southern Regional Assembly checks all payment claims of Irish project lead partners, as well as all Irish project partners regardless of the nationality of the project’s lead partner. It verifies and validates expenditure incurred to implement a project and to ensure compliance with the relevant EU, national, regional, institutional and programme rules as well as with the provisions of the subsidy contract and the approved application form.

    The Assembly's FLC team validates expenditure claims for five ETC programmes, the Ireland Wales Programme, Interreg North-West Europe, the Northern Periphery & Arctic Programme, Interreg Europe, and URBACT.

    Lead Partners

    A project’s Lead Partner is accountable to their co-financing programme for all costs incurred by themselves and their project partners. They are responsible for the project’s administration, management, and the internal/ external control systems, as set out in the approved project application form. The project's partnership agreement must also outline the responsibilities of each partner. The Lead Partner’s First Level Controller will certify the composite project payment claim, ensure that each partner’s expenses relate to the activities set out in the application form, and verify that expenses have been validated by the relevant approved Controller.

    Central Regional Approbation Authority: Southern Regional Assembly

    ETC FLC Unit, Southern Regional Assembly, Assembly House, O’Connell Street, Waterford   

    T: +353 51 860 700     E: FLC@southernassembly.ie