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17 February 2021

Covid-19 related expenditures under the audit focus

Punetoria e SIGMA kryesore

In a workshop organised by SIGMA, the Auditor General, Besnik Osmani, talked about the audit on Covid-19 related expenditures in financial and compliance terms.

On Wednesday, the Auditor General of the Republic of Kosovo, Besnik Osmani, and the Director of International Cooperation Department, Qëndresa Mulaj, attended the workshop Audit of Covid-19 related expenditures. The workshop was organised by SIGMA as part of the SAIs of EU candidate and potential candidate countries and the European Court of Auditors.

Representatives of Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs), from the region and beyond, exchanged their experiences and discussed about compliance audits, with a special focus on Covid-19 related expenditures. SAIs of Latvia and North Macedonia made a detailed presentation of their experiences and lessons learned from the audit topic definition process, approach, findings and reporting mechanisms to provide the Parliament, Government and other stakeholders of their countries with assurance on accountability and transparency of expenditures related to Covid-19 pandemic.

In his address to the panel, the Auditor General of Kosovo, Besnik Osmani, shared the NAO’s experience and role in the public financial management and in adapting to the new circumstances as a result of global pandemic.

Osmani said that, regardless the last year’s situation, NAO has managed to publish 132 audit reports, as planned. Whilst, in order to address new needs, NAO has adapted the annual audit plan which includes the audit of Covid-19 related expenditures and the way this situation has been managed.

Moreover, he said that Covid-19 related expenditures are being tested from different perspectives, in both financial and compliance respects, through regular annual audits, special performance audits, and audits of projects for funds allocated for the pandemic management. Performance audits will mainly focus on assessing whether public health institutions have been prepared and capable to properly respond to the needs to manage the Covid-19 pandemic in terms of provision of services, supplies, and logistics. Teams have already started with research work on emergencies management in more generalised terms and protection of economy.

This was the second workshop organised in this form, whilst SIGMA plans to organise other workshops focusing on Covid-19 audit in order to specifically address topics related to the role and responsibility of SAIs in this regard.