All EU funded projects must have a Document Management and Retention Policy.

The policy should include storage instructions, retention dates and provide details of any protocols for management of sensitive data. It should also provide details of the location of documents especially in circumstances where the project lead sponsor is working with joint sponsors and/or where a project has procured services and the records are not being kept by the lead sponsor. Where records are kept electronically they should be available in a form that can be fully retrievable for the retention period set out in guidance. This should form part of the project archive.

Project records should not be archived until after the final payment from WEFO has been received, project closure report signed off by WEFO and any scheduled Financial Control and Monitoring visits are compete. Documents will need to be held locally by Project Teams until the final payment has been received.

Once the final payment has been received all files must be reviewed and the project formally closed by the Project Manager / Team. In line with TCBC Information Management Strategy and External Funding Protocol, all EU project files must be handed over to the EU Policy & External Funding Team for central archiving.

Projects can be audited at any time with only 15 days’ notice up to three years following the final payment of the Structural Fund Programmes (Objective 1, Convergence, European Structural funds) by the European Commission to the managing authority (WEFO). E.g.: The Objective 1 programme 2000-2006 closed on 30 June 2009, but WEFO have only recently provided guidance with regards to final retention dates:

ProgrammeFundDocument Retention Period
West Wales and the Valleys ESF Convergence ESF 3 June 2023
West Wales and the Valleys ERDF Convergence ERDF 24 September 2024

All documentation must be retained until the documentation retention period has lapsed.

Last Modified: 07/01/2022
For more information contact:

European Policy & External Funding

Tel: 01495 742143 / 01495 742142


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