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Under the new Cohesion Policy for 2007-13, a paying authority is now known as a certifying authority. However, the responsibilities of these bodies remain much as they were during the 2000-06 programming period.
Each Operational Programme must have a certifying authority, which draws up a certified inventory of expenditure and logs requests for payment. This information is then sent to the European Commission, which in turn pays out funds to Operational Programmes via certifying authorities.
A certifying authority also attests to the accuracy of expenditure in each Operational Programme, and checks that monies are spent in a way that complies with EU and national regulations.
A certifying authority is in charge of accounting and responsible for recovering EU funds that have been misappropriated. Certifying authorities are usually national, regional or local bodies designated by the Member States.