Our country is facing an unprecedented challenge – managing crisis with many uncertainties and variables. We are also short of time, which means making decisions based on possibly incomplete information. Like the rest of the world, we do not have any experience in preventing and combating such situations. While our experience is the one, usually helping us to make better decisions.
We respect the current national priorities and channelling all possible resources to management of crisis. This includes refraining from our usual practice to initiate and facilitate public discussions on results of the audits we have completed. However, we do continue our work and believe that the lessons learned from this situation will help the public administration to become better. We also believe that the lessons learned will raise awareness among decision-makers, how vulnerable the systems being essential to the general public are, and how important it is to ensure their reliability and robustness.
At the same time, we also call upon officials and employees of public institutions and public enterprises to appreciate the government’s efforts in easing their life and work as much as it is possible in current circumstances, in order to safeguard their health and lives. The ways to appreciate the above is – being responsible and acting in a good faith, avoiding unreasonable and/or exaggerated requests for funding and/or compensations, feeling accountable for the use of ‘emergency’ resources allocated to authorities, and perceive the ‘remote work’ (work from home) as a chance to produce even better results than during the ordinary office work.
The public sector must lead by example now. This means – being exceptionally efficient and doing more than we are usually required to. Life of our citizens depends and will depend on how committed, smart and accountable we are.
Following the decisions made by the parliament and the government regarding the spread of the Covid-19 virus in Latvia, which imposes a series of restrictive measures, the State Audit Office’s (SAO) staff works remotely, where appropriate. Stakeholders, other partners, auditees and visitors are invited to contact the SAO electronically. We offer meetings in teleconference mode, if necessary. The SAO continues to carry out audits as planned. We are about to complete audits in areas of social inclusion policy, electronic communication infrastructure, remuneration of SoEs, remuneration medical personnel and others. We shall inform the parliament, auditees and public about audit findings as prescribed by the law, while reserving rights to provide more elaborate and explanatory information to public and other stakeholders after the situation in the country has stabilised.
Let us each do our job in a good faith and support one another!