When HQ audits review Actions implemented in consortium, the review will cover the entire consortium and not just the lead Partner.

The audit of the lead partner will usually be a standard HQ audit, i.e. both systems and financial. The audit of consortium members will be restricted to a financial audit.

In order to be prepared for the audit, it is essential to ensure a clear audit train from the final financial report (submitted to ECHO) to the financial reports, accounting entries and underlying transactions of each consortium member. Impossibility to reconcile the figures may result to disallowances.

To avoid this situation, it is recommended that the lead partner retain:

  • the final financial report submitted to ECHO
  • the underlying financial reports received from each consortium member
  • a reconciliation between the final financial report and the underlying financial reports,
  • the lists of transactions contained within each of the underlying financial reports,
  • supporting documentation in respect of transactions incurred by the lead partner
  • in addition, the lead partner may (but is not legally required to) hold copies of the supporting documentation for the transactions included within the consortium members' underlying financial reports.

Each of the consortium members are advised to retain:

  • copies of the underlying report sent to the lead partner (in respect of their own expenditure, not that of the other consortium members);
  • a list of transactions that makeup the amounts contained in the underlying financial reports;
  • supporting documentation in respect of each transaction (which they should be ready to forward to the lead partner in the event of it being requested for audit purposes).

Auditors will not visit the consortium members' offices.

The lead partner will be responsible for providing the auditors will all information required by the auditors. This information can be in electronic format (with a certification from a suitably senior official from the consortium member concerned that the scans are copies of the originals). The auditors may still retain the right to request original documentation should they consider this to be necessary.

References & useful links