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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 the housing of rough sleepers during the COVID-19 pandemic

This report establishes the facts on how the government has provided accommodation for rough sleepers during COVID-19.

Investigation into preparations for potential COVID-19 vaccines

This report examines government’s progress in securing potential vaccines and determining how they will be deployed to the public.

The government’s approach to test and trace in England – interim report

This interim report provides an overview of test and trace services for addressing COVID-19 in England.

Full list of publications →

Latest work in progress

Managing the backlog in criminal courts

The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated a growing backlog of cases waiting to be tried in the criminal courts system. During the first national lockdown, HM Courts & T

Investigation into the Culture Recovery Fund

This report will set out DCMS’s objectives for the Culture Recovery Fund and its work to distribute the funding.

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

This report will set out DCMS’ objectives for funding to charities during the pandemic and whether it is meeting them.

Preparedness for the COVID-19 pandemic

This study will examine how well prepared the government was for the COVID-19 pandemic.

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