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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 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 will be 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 intend to carry 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.

Recent 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.

More publications →

Work in progress

Bounce Back Loan Scheme

In our previous report Overview of the UK government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic we signalled our intention to report on how government has

Investigation into the free school meals voucher scheme

On 31 March 2020, as part of its response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department for Education launched a voucher scheme to help give the 1.4 million children in Engla

Increasing the number of ventilators available to the NHS in response to COVID-19

In our previous report Overview of the UK government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic we signalled our intention to report on how government has
Infographic: £124.3bn government spendign committed by 15 Mat for its COVID-19 response, as set out in our overview report (excludes committments less than £500m made after 4 May)
Infographic: 500+ announcements made by the UK government by 4 May in its response to the pandemic

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

How we are working

We are mindful of the pressures COVID-19 is placing on government and are carefully considering our work to ensure we do not compromise the emergency response. 

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

Read Gareth Davies’ blog on the wider impact of COVID-19 on our work.