ESF Information Memo 15/21 - staff verification checks

This memo provides projects with an update on the future arrangements for conducting ESF Staff verification checks under Priorities 1 and 2 of the NI ESF Programme.

Dear Project Promoter,

European Social Fund Northern Ireland logo containing text "European Union, European Social Fund, Northern Ireland"

Year 3 staff verification checks were carried out by Managing Authority Verification Team (MAVT).  I am pleased to report that the team detected no issues for the majority of staff interviewed. Discrepancies detected are currently being addressed through Project Delivery Branch (PDB). 

This approach to verification will continue for the remainder of the programme. There will be several small changes to the process. Moving forward, checks will be conducted throughout the year from June 2021 onwards.  Staff from MAVT will be in touch with you when your project has been selected for sampling.  Staff interviewed as part of the year 3 OTS checks may be sampled again. 

The selection of our sample is retrospective, based on the names included in the claim form and Annex A for the month selected. If a staff member selected as part of that sample has left your organisation you will be required to obtain agreement from them to pass on their contact details to us. Alternatively they can be asked to contact us directly if they prefer.  Evidence of these endeavours will be required. Failure to comply may result in the salary being deemed ineligible and could result in clawback of funds.

As the staff verification checks conducted via zoom for year 3 worked extremely well it is intended that this approach will remain in place for this verification exercise and any supporting evidence required to verify activity undertaken can be sent directly to the ESF Team mailbox.

Once all interviews have been completed and all supporting evidence submitted feedback will be provided to each project in due course and remedial action taken by PDB if required.

Please make all staff working directly on your ESF funded project aware of this memo and advise them that MAVT staff may be in touch with them throughout the year.  Please remind staff of the importance to retain evidence of activities undertaken on an ongoing basis and the need to fully co-operate and provide any requested documentary evidence necessary.

If you have any questions regarding this process, please contact our team at


Gareth Dillon
Head of ESF Managing Authority

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