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The audit authority is a national, regional or local public authority or body designated for each Operational Programme and responsible for verifying the effective functioning of the management and control system; it also monitors project compliance with national and European regulations.
The Member State will designate an audit authority for each Operational Programme (along with a managing authority and certifying authority).
The audit authority's tasks include checking whether the management and control systems are working efficiently (system audits). It is also responsible for carrying out controls focusing specifically on declared expenditure (operational audits). Ensuring adequate separation of functions between the main authorities (managing/certifying authorities, intermediate bodies) is an important part of these controls.