The European Social Fund Agency (ESFA or Agency) is a limited liability public non-profit legal institution. ESFA was established by the Ministry of Social Security and Labour of the Republic of Lithuania and the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Lithuania in August, 2002.
At the very beginning, ESFA was established to administer the pre-accession instrument’s Phare ESS 2001 and Phare ESS 2002 projects, thereafter the Agency became an integral part of the Institutional Structure of Structural Funds in Lithuania. Since its inception, ESFA was appointed to administer:
• The SPD 2004-2006 (The Priority 2 “Human Resource Development” of the Single Programming Document of 2004-2006), during the 2004-2006 programming period;
• The ESF 2007-2013 (The Human Resource Development Action Program of 2007-2013) – for the 2007-2013 programming period;
• The ESF 2014-2020 (Operational Programme for the European Union Funds' Investments in 2014-2020) for the 2014-2020 programming period.
With the accrual of experience and knowledge while administering the Human Resource projects, the ESFA was entrusted with overseeing the following new programmes:
• Community Initiative EQUAL, 2004;
• SOLID funds (European Fund for the Integration of Third Country Nationals, European Refugee Fund), 2007-09;
• European Globalization Adjustment Fund, 2009;
• National Programme of the European Year 2010 for Combating Poverty and Social Exclusion, 2010;
• Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived, 2014;
• Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund, 2014.
With the intrusted programmes delegated to it, the ESFA focuses on ensuring that all funds given by the European Union and the Republic of Lithuania are appropriately used. In addition, the Agency ensures efficient project management to include: project preparation, selection, supervision and quality control of project implementation.
From the beginning, ESFA has proven to be an organisation that is open to innovative ideas and challenges and strives for excellence. Much recognition has been given to us for our success; we were awarded the ISO 9001 Quality certificate in 2006 and the Belgium ESF Quality certificate in 2008. Also in 2008, the Agency successfully launched the total quality management tool – Common Assessment Framework (CAF). Moreover, since 2009, all the Agencys’ activities are certified by ISO 9001:2008. And in 2011, the Agency’s information security management system was certified according to the international standard ISO 27001.
The following functions are administered during programme implementation:
• Launch calls for proposals;
• Inform and consult applicants;
• Evaluate of applications;
• Prepare grant contracts;
• Oversee project implementation: verify reports submitted by project promoters, verify and approve eligibility of expenditures reported in payment requests, carry out on-the-spot checks, verify submitted public procurement documents, and modify grant contracts, manage risks, investigate irregularities;
• Implement Technical assistance projects.