How to prepare?
When a beneficiary in a project is selected for second level control, the individual beneficiary will receive a letter from the relevant second level controller, informing the beneficiary that he/she has been selected for control and stating a date for the on-the-spot check. Meanwhile, the Joint Secretariat will be notified as well and will be asked to provide a complete file on the project/beneficiary in question. This will include all correspondence, periodic reports and payments made to the project.
Theoretically, preparing for a second level control check is easy. All you need to do is to present to the second level controller all of the information which you should have made available to the first level controller. In practice it is, however, a bit more complex. It is sometimes difficult to extract the relevant documents from the IT systems in your own organisation and sometimes it turns out that what you thought was filed actually is not filed.
The first basic question, which will be raised by the auditor, is how you arrived at the figures which have been reported to the Joint Secretariat and it is, therefore, crucial that you are ready to answer that question. Once this is established the next basic question will be whether the expenditure incurred is relevant for the project i.e. is the expenditure eligible. There may be other questions as well but if you are able to answer these two basic questions the amount of difficulty you can encounter is limited.