The National Audit Office (NAO) has today published a guide to help audit and risk committees of government departments and arms-length bodies advise their organisations on financial management and reporting during, and in the period immediately after, the COVID-19 outbreak.  

Audit and risk committees are integral to the financial scrutiny and challenge process. They support boards and the accounting officers of government departments and arms-length bodies on matters of financial accountability, assurance and governance. In addition, they advise organisations, provide expert challenge, and make recommendations on managing risk.

The NAO’s guide provides questions audit and risk committee members can ask to understand and challenge the activities that organisations have undertaken during the COVID-19 outbreak.

The guide can be used by audit and risk committee members working in:

  • Annual Reports;
  • Financial Reporting;
  • Control Environment; and
  • Regularity of expenditure.

Today’s guide is part of a programme of work being undertaken by the NAO to support Parliament in its scrutiny of the UK government’s response to COVID-19.

Notes for editors

  1. The National Audit Office (NAO) scrutinises public spending for Parliament and is independent of government and the civil service. It helps Parliament hold government to account and it use its insights to help people who manage and govern public bodies improve public services. The Comptroller and Auditor General (C&AG), Gareth Davies, is an Officer of the House of Commons and leads the NAO. The NAO audits the financial accounts of departments and other public bodies. It also examines and report on the value for money of how public money has been spent. In 2019, the NAO’s work led to a positive financial impact through reduced costs, improved service delivery, or other benefits to citizens, of £1.1 billion.
  2. Press notices and reports are available from the date of publication on the NAO website. Hard copies can be obtained by using the relevant links on our website.