SAI’s Latvia response to the COVID-19 pandemic
At the time when the government's priorities are generally downgraded to limiting the spread of COVID-19 pandemic, SAI Latvia is also adjusting its activities to this situation. As a result majority of our on-going audit engagements specifically focuses on the COVID-19 emergency spending. It is important for us to organize our audit work in an agile manner in order to get assurance over regularity, efficiency and effectiveness of the government’s COVID-19 response and inform the public accordingly. Our rapid interventions are of utmost importance in order to share with our decision-makers the ‘lessons learnt’, which would minimize risks of errors and incompliances in cases of potential further outbreak of COVID-19 or other disasters.
The COVID-19 pandemic is a major challenge for everyone and, which is most important, - for functioning of systems crucial for the society. It imposes a huge burden on the government for the decisions made, both in terms of the initiatives limiting the spread of the virus and in terms of allocating emergency appropriations. Therefore we had called on officials for accountability already at the very beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic period.
It is important for the public to get assurance that the above decisions are balanced and made in good faith, despite the fact that the government’s COVID-19 response has to be immediate with a limited time for discussions. The emergency funding must reach the right and originally intended target beneficiaries. The emergency funding must focus exclusively on reducing the impact of the virus. The emergency funding must minimize risks to health and lives of population, to enable each of us to continue our normal daily lives.