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COVID-19: Supporting Parliament to understand the government's response to the coronavirus pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting every aspect of people’s lives and placing great demands on governments and public institutions.

The scale of the UK government’s response will have implications for public spending and public service delivery for years to come. It is too early to tell what the full impact will be, but it will be profound.

As the UK’s public spending watchdog, it is our role to support Parliament in holding the government to account. We are carrying out a substantial programme of audit work on the government’s response to COVID-19. Our work will also provide expert insight to help ensure that appropriate lessons are learned for the future.

Gareth Davies, Comptroller & Auditor General


Our programme of work

In light of the wide range and significance of the government’s actions to tackle the COVID-19 crisis, we are carrying out a broad and varied programme of work.

We are looking at government preparedness for the pandemic, the spending on the direct health response and the wider emergency response. We are also looking at the measures aimed at protecting businesses and individuals from the economic impact.

We will prioritise our work on areas where we think there have been particular challenges and where we feel there is most to learn.

Latest publications

Investigation into government funding to charities during the COVID-19 pandemic

This investigation explores government’s funding to charities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Support for children’s education during the early stages of the Covid-19 pandemic

This report examines the Department’s support for children’s education during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Investigation into the Culture Recovery Fund

This investigation examines the £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund announced in July 2020.

Full list of publications →

Latest work in progress

The management of debt owed to HMRC

In 2019-20 HM Revenue and Customs collected £636.7 billion in total tax revenues. The amount of tax overdue for payment at 31 March 2020 was £22.4 billion. On 20 March

Investigation into Greensill Capital

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic the government launched a series of schemes providing financial support to businesses of all sizes. Of these, the Coronavirus Large

Initial learning from the government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic

This report will draw on the breadth of the NAO’s work on the government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic to set out our perspectives on what government can learn

NHS Test and Trace – progress update

The NHS Test and Trace Service provides an essential component of government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Its stated aim is: ‘Helping to break chains of COVI

Full list of work in progress →

COVID-19 cost tracker

An overview of the UK government’s costs in its response to the pandemic.


Blog: Auditing the COVID response

Gareth Davies

Gareth Davies on our COVID-19 programme of work, which will support Parliament in holding the government to account.

How we are working

NAO clock tower

Read more about the way that we are working during the pandemic, including our approach to financial audit.

Contact us

We welcome correspondence that helps us to carry out our statutory audit functions.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, we currently have limited ability to manage postal deliveries. Any responses to hard-copy correspondence will be delayed.

We recommend that you use our online form or contact us by email or telephone.


Previous relevant reports

A collection of our previous work which is relevant to the issues being faced in the pandemic response.

Preparing for emergencies

Responding to economic shocks

Sector overviews