Ongoing activities of the EUROSAI Project Group on Auditing the response to the Covid-19 pandemic
The Organization for the European Supreme Audit Institutions (EUROSAI) has established a dedicated Project Group on Auditing the response to the Covid-19 pandemic, in order to comply with the need for the SAIs to observe the exceptional effect of COVID-19 on governments and policies and provide a prompt response to the pandemic crisis. The Corte dei conti is member of the Project Group since its inception.
The Project Group is part of the Emerging Issues and Forward-Thinking Portfolio under the EUROSAI Strategic Plan 2017-2023 and addresses the Responses to COVID 19 Pandemic. It is framed in four stages, including “preparation, response, exit strategy and management of long-term effects” and focuses primarily on healthcare services, extensive emergency response plans and policies for protecting economy.
Accordingly, the Project Group’s activity focuses on four major audit themes: D1 - “Health and social care”, D2 – “Wider Emergency Response”, D3 - “Protecting the Economy” and D4 – “Cross-cutting themes”.
The D1 Workstream participants met on 19 November last to discuss the work plan. The Corte dei conti was represented by Ms. Erika Guerri, Deputy-head of the International Affairs Office. A new meeting is scheduled for 17 December with the aim of sharing best practices on the audits on health measures and services put in place to cope with the pandemic.
The D2 Workstream, "Wider Emergency Response", deals with emergency response plans in a broader sense, including several issues, such as those addressed during a round table on 30 November, focusing on education. The Corte dei conti took part in the latest meeting, where, after a general overview provided by the OECD, the Supreme Audit Institutions exchanged information and comments on the common difficulties in the implementation of distance learning. The Corte dei conti was represented by Mr. Benedetto Brancoli Busdraghi, judge at the Jurisdictional Chamber for Liguria. As per D3 Workstream, focusing on policies for the protection of the economy, the next webinar is scheduled for December 14, where the Supreme Audit Institutions will also host the former Vice-president of the European Commission and currently High-level Independent Evaluator for the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) Mr. Joaquín Almunia. The latter will present his report “Evaluation of financial assistance to Greece by the European Stability Mechanism”, also in a view to allow Supreme Audit Institutions to attain a better evaluation of the financial assistance formerly granted by the ESM ( https://www.esm.europa.eu/financial-assistance/evaluation-efsfesm-programmes).