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14/07/2020   National Audit Office of Lithuania updated its Activity Plan 2020, which includes the management of risks posed by COVID-19

As every year, in the middle of the year, after assessing the public sector risks monitored regularly, the National Audit Office of Lithuania (NAOL) updated the Activity Plan 2020. It was supplemented by including new audits and reports; also, the planned tasks were supplemented by aspects of assessment of COVID-19 and Government’s decisions as a response to the pandemic.

To help identify potential risks in a timely manner and ensure the proper use of resources, the NAOL will provide an overview of the COVID-19 crisis and emergency management, including the disclosure of the coherence and chronology of the Government’s activities related to COVID-19 (expenditure, planned investments, sources of funding, priority response areas, etc.) and crisis response actions thus assisting to identify the potential implementation problems and key risks. They will allow the Government and legislators to identify problems and take the necessary decisions, while enabling the NAOL to plan audits and assessments that could demonstrate the risk of consequences in the future.

“Crisis situations cannot be foreseen and are particularly difficult to prepare for. In an emergency, the NAOL must not interfere with the work of the key institutions, but there comes a time when it is particularly important to assess the appropriateness of institutions’ actions and their accountability to the public. This could help to improve crisis management actions in the future.  The NAOL is ready to assess the commitments made by the State and identify the risks arising in the public sector areas in the medium and long term,” says Auditor General Mindaugas Macijauskas.

The National Audit Office of Lithuania implementing the functions of the Fiscal Institution will also assess the medium-term general government (GG) debt projections. GG debt dynamics will be projected according to different scenarios, depending on the dynamics of GG balance, GDP, inflation and other indicators. Moreover, taking into account the conditions of exceptional uncertainty surrounding COVID-19, the assessment of the economic development scenario will be updated at least quarterly.

Almost 70% of the planned audits and other assessments in the updated Activity Plan 2020 are marked with COVID-19 label. Audits will be conducted taking into account the emergency resulting from the pandemic. The audit on Cyber Crime is planned to be completed. It draws attention to the fact that quarantine introduced as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak has led to more active digitisation of the society, thus increasing the possibilities for criminal offence in cyberspace. In September it is planned to complete the Assessment of Progress of the Education System. It points to the fact that the introduction of quarantine due to the outbreak of COVID-19 has highlighted problems with the availability of computers and the Internet, preparedness for remote work and distance learning. 

An audit on Long-term Care is planned to be completed next year. Coronavirus hotspots recorded in care and nursing homes show that there are no adequate conditions for providing safe and high-quality care and social services in these establishments. The audit on the Management of International Financial Support will evaluate the international financial support planning system in Lithuania. In response to the economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, the European Commission proposes to establish an economic recovery facility worth EUR 750 billion, while Lithuania could claim additional funds of EUR 6.3 billion. In order to ensure that financial assistance helps to deal with the negative consequences of the pandemic, it is important to properly plan their investment and integrate them into a common framework.

The Activity Plan of the NAOL also includes five new performance audits, with the planned completion in 2021-2022. These are the Management of Generation and Distribution of Electricity Infrastructure, Management of Information Resources of the Centre of Registers, Risk Management and Supervision of Classified Procurement, Management of State Land and Rates Applied by Notaries. 

The National Audit Office of Lithuania thanks all those who have submitted proposals on this year’s Activity Plan. The updated 2020 Activity Plan is available here. The proposals not included in the 2020 update of the Activity Plan will be assessed in the context of the Activity Plan 2021.

 

Responsible for the information Communication Division
Last updated on 27 July 2020

National Audit Office of Lithuania

Pamėnkalnio St 27, LT-01113 Vilnius, Phone: + 370 5 266 6793, + 370 5 266 6752, Email: nao@vkontrole.lt.