IPA Structures and Authorities on National Level
The Government of the Republic of North Macedonia has established the management and control system in accordance with the internal control framework which is described in Annex B of the Framework Agreement for IPA II (FWA IPA II).
The structures and authorities with responsibility for the management, control, supervision, monitoring, evaluation, reporting and internal audit under IPA II Regulation, are as follows:
– National IPA Coordinator,
– National Authorising Officer, Management Structure;
– Operating Structures in the Ministry of Education and Science (MES) and in the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy (MLSP);
– IPA Audit Authority.
National IPA Coordinator
The National IPA Coordinator (NIPAC) has the overall responsibility for the coherence of and co-ordination of the actions or programmes supported by IPA II. The NIPAC has to ensure partnership with the Commission and a close link between the general accession process and the use of the assistance granted under IPA II.
The Deputy Prime Minister responsible for EU Affairs is designated as NIPAC. The Sector for Coordination of EU funds & Other Foreign Assistance within the Secretariat for European Affairs (SEA) is acting as NIPAC Office.
In addition to the functions and responsibilities under Articles 6(2), 16(2), 59 and 75 of the FWA IPA II, where budget implementation tasks are entrusted to the IPA II beneficiary, the NIPAC takes measures to ensure that the objectives set out in the actions or programmes for which budget implementation tasks entrusted are appropriately addressed during the implementation of IPA II assistance.
National Authorising Officer
The National Authorising Officer (NAO) bears the overall responsibility for the financial management of IPA II assistance for ensuring the legality and regularity of expenditure. The NAO is in particular responsible for:
the management of IPA II accounts and financial operations;
the effective functioning of the internal control systems for the implementation of IPA II assistance in accordance with Annex B of the FWA IPA II Management Structure.
The management structure is composed of a National Fund in the Ministry of Finance (MF) and a support office for the NAO. The tasks and responsibilities of the National Fund and the support office are adequately segregated.
The National Fund is accountable to the NAO and is located in a national level ministry of the IPA II beneficiary with central budgetary competence and acts as central treasury entity. It supports the NAO in fulfilling his/her tasks, in particular those of management of IPA II accounts and financial operations referred to under Clause 2(3) of Annex A from FWA IPA II and is in charge of tasks of financial management of IPA II assistance, under the responsibility of the NAO.
The National Fund (NF) is particular in charge of:
– holding and organising the central IPA bank accounts;
– requesting funds and receiving all payments from the Union budget;
– authorising the transfer of such payments to the operating structures or to the recipients;
– returning funds to the Union budget following recovery orders issued by the Commission;
– support NAO in preparing financial reporting to the Commission;
– operating computer based accrual accounting system that provides accurate, complete and reliable information in a timely manner.
Operating structure(s) are established, within the administration of the IPA II beneficiary in order to prepare, implement and manage the IPA II assistance.
The operating structure is responsible for preparation, implementation, information and visibility referred to in Articles 23 and 24 from FWA IPA II, monitoring and reporting of programmes, and evaluation thereof whenever relevant, in accordance with the principle of sound financial management. It is responsible for ensuring the legality and regularity of the expenditure incurred in the implementation of the programmes under its responsibility.
The Operating Structure is a structure responsible for preparation, implementation and management of the IPA II Programme and it is composed of Central Financing and Contracting Department (CFCD) within the Ministry of Finance (MF) as a Contracting Authority (CA) appointed as the Head of Operating Structure (HOS) and IPA Operating Structure within the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy (MLSP) and the Ministry of Education and Science (MES), in which they are consisted from the IPAC and relevant IPA units.
IPA Coordinators (IPAC) is officially appointed civil servant within the Beneficiary Institution (MLSP and MES), who is responsible for programming and monitoring of achievement of relevant results of the Action Programme for education, employment and social policy and ensuring that the technical aspect of the preparation and the implementation of the programme and actions concerned are carried out in an effective and timely manner.
For implementation of his/her tasks, the IPAC in the Ministry of Education and Science (MES) is supported by two IPA units within MES which tasks are defined in the MES Systematization Act of Working Positions:
– Unit for Coordination and Implementation of IPA;
– Unit for Programming, Monitoring and Evaluation of IPA.
For implementation of his/her tasks, the IPAC in the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy (MLSP) is supported by Deputy Head of Department and two IPA units within MLSP which tasks are defined in the MLSP Systematization Act of Working Positions:
– Unit for Coordination and Implementation of EU Financial Instruments;
– Unit for Monitoring and Evaluation of IPA.
IPA Audit Authority
The IPA Audit Authority carries out audits on the management and control systems, on actions, transactions and on the annual accounts in line with internationally accepted auditing standards and in accordance with an audit strategy.