The COVID-19 pandemic is putting public finances under severe pressure. Improving efficiency could help government to manage this pressure. Our past work has identified several areas where government can achieve efficiencies, as well as the risks of attempting to make savings without careful consideration of the unintended consequences. Drawing on previous NAO work, and experience … Read more
As the UK’s public spending watchdog, it is our role to support Parliament in holding the government to account.
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 will prioritise our work on areas where we think there have been particular challenges and where we feel there is most to learn.
Read more about our work on the government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.
In 2019-20 HM Revenue and Customs collected £636.7 billion in total tax revenues. The amount of tax overdue for payment at 31 March 2020 was £22.4 billion. On 20 March 2020, the government announced measures that deferred future payments of some taxes, in recognition of the financial pressures put on taxpayers as a result of … Read more
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic the government launched a series of schemes providing financial support to businesses of all sizes. Of these, the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS) provided support to the largest businesses—those with a minimum turnover of £45 million. Commercial lenders (for example, banks, building societies and peer to peer … Read more
This report will draw on the breadth of the NAO’s work on the government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic to set out our perspectives on what government can learn from its response to date. By the end of March 2021, the NAO will have published 17 reports on the government’s response to COVID-19. This report … Read more
The NHS Test and Trace Service provides an essential component of government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Its stated aim is: ‘Helping to break chains of COVID-19 transmission, protect the public’s health, and enable people to return towards a more normal way of life’. It seeks to achieve this by finding people with COVID-19, identifying … Read more
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 & Tribunals Service (HMCTS) closed some court buildings, and suspended all jury trials. Since then, courts have reopened, but national guidelines for social distancing mean they are unable to … Read more