Bodies Responsible for the ESF

ESF Policy and Operations Unit

The Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation, and Science is the designated authority in Ireland for policy and operational matters related to the ESF. The Department’s ESF Policy and Operations Unit oversees all matters relating to the ESF in Ireland and represents Ireland’s position at a European level in relation to the ESF. Specifically, it is responsible for programme development, the ongoing monitoring and implementation of programmes, and the sound and efficient financial management of all ESF activity in Ireland. 

This work is directed at supporting the Partnership Agreement which sets out how the European Structural and Investment Funds are utilised in Ireland. The Partnership Agreement also outlines Ireland’s development needs and defines national priorities to support its National Reform Programme (NRP) and the achievement of national targets for delivering the Europe 2020 Strategy for smart, sustainable, and inclusive growth.


The ESF Policy and Operations Unit comprises two distinct and independent sub-units:


Audit Authority

The Internal and EU Audit Unit in the Department of Education is the Audit Authority for the Programme for  Employability, Inclusion and Learning 2014-2020.