How long do I need to keep my Interreg IVB files?
Being a Project Advisor in the Secretariat means, among other things, dealing with and answering many different questions from the project community. Some questions are easy to answer, others are trickier - and then there are those that are easy in theory but difficult in practice. The retention period for project files from the IVB programme period belongs in the latter category.
In principle, it is an easy question as the rule is clear: You must keep all files – including project files and accounting evidence - for a period of three years after the formal closure of the Programme.
The problem is, however, when did the IVB Programme officially close?
In the Secretariat, our overall principle is "better safe than sorry" and in line with this we set the date in Fact Sheet 13 as the end of 2023. This was done at a time when the IVB Programme was still operational and no one knew exactly when the programme would be formally closed. Therefore, we chose to operate with a rather generous timeframe.
We recently received confirmation from the European Commission stating that the official closure date of the IVB North Sea Region Programme is 13 March 2018. This means that all IVB North Sea Region project files must be kept until 13 March 2021.
In other words, after that date you are no longer obliged to keep your old IVB files but can deal with them as you see fit.
The reason why we do not just change the date in the Fact Sheet is that the IVB Programme is no longer operational and the Monitoring Committee, who decided on IVB-related content of Fact Sheets, has been dissolved.
Please note: The above information is only valid for projects funded under the Interreg IVB programme - not to be confused with the current (VB) programme period.
Article written by Head of Secretariat Christian Byrith