The overall responsibility for the operational implementation for the European Social Fund and for the financial administration, evaluation and communications is borne by the managing authority.
The certifying authority is responsible for the financial organisation of the programme. Its tasks include certifying the declarations of expenditure, drawing up payment requests towards the EU Commission and the payment of ESF money to the implementing bodies.
The ESF audit authority is responsible for the monitoring of the realisation of the ESF and for the creation of auditing reports which are sent to the European Commission. The audit authority is functionally independent from the managing authority and the certifying authority.
These lead authorities – the managing authority, the certifying authority and the audit authority – are based at the Federal Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs, Health and Consumer Protection. The managing authority and the certifying authority are assigned to the Labour Market Division (Dept. VI/A/9 and VI/A/staff unit for ESF Certification), and the auditing authority is assigned to the Administrative Division (Dept. I/B/10).
For the realisation of the ESF programme, the Managing authority has delegated tasks to a total of 16 intermediate bodies (IBs). The delegation of tasks to intermediate bodies is also reproduced in the operational programme, which lays down which focuses are realised by the individual IBs. The managing authority also implements plans in its own sphere of activity. Federal bodies as well as provincial administrations are involved in the implementation of ESF programmes (see funding agencies).
A monitoring committee has been established which, along with the ESF Managing authority, ensures that the programmes are carried out in an effective and orderly way. Alongside the participating ministries and provinces and the social partners, some non-government organisations and the European Commission are represented in the monitoring committee for the ESF programme.