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

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected every aspect of people’s lives and placed 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 have already carried out a substantial programme of audit work on the government’s response to COVID-19 and will continue to do so. 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 have already looked at government preparedness for the pandemic, the spending on the direct health response and the wider emergency response. We also looked at the measures aimed at protecting businesses and individuals from the economic impact.

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

Key publications

The government’s preparedness for the COVID-19 pandemic: lessons for government on risk management

What were the government’s risk analysis, planning, and mitigation strategies before the pandemic.


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

Our initial thoughts on what government can learn from its response to COVID-19.


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

This guide helps committee members examine the impacts of COVID-19 on their organisations.


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

A summary of the government’s response up to May 2020.

Full list of publications →

Latest publications

Managing cross-border travel during the COVID-19 pandemic

This report considers the effectiveness of the UK government’s cross-border travel measures during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Investigation into the management of PPE contracts

This investigation examines DHSC’s performance in managing PPE contracts. It is a factual account of what has happened since November 2020.

Full list of publications →

Latest work in progress

Covid-19 employment support schemes follow up

This report will cover how later phases of the Covid-19 employment support schemes were implemented.

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 what we can learn from the government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.