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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

Guide for Audit and Risk Committees on Financial Reporting and Management during COVID-19

This guide helps audit and risk committee members to examine the impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak on their organisations.

Readying the NHS and adult social care in England for COVID-19

This report sets out the facts about government preparing the NHS and adult social care in England for COVID-19.

Overview of the UK government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic

This report provides a summary of the UK government’s response to COVID-19 to date.

Latest work in progress

Local government finance and the pandemic

Our study will examine the evolving financial pressures on local government and the support provided from central government.

The housing of rough sleepers during the COVID-19 pandemic

This report examines the government’s plan for rehousing rough sleepers during the COVID-19 pandemic and in the longer-term.

Protecting and supporting the vulnerable during lockdown

The study will evaluate how effectively government identified and met the needs of vulnerable people.

Full list of work in progress →

COVID-19 cost tracker

The UK government’s costs in its response to the pandemic.

Share your insights

Contact us if you have evidence that could inform our investigations into free school meals vouchers or bounce-back loans.


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