Covid-19 has had far-reaching consequences for Scotland's public services and finances, and it will continue to have an impact in the future.
This e-hub brings together the Covid-19 related reports we've produced so far, as well as other resources.
Latest from our blog
Latest Covid-19 reports
Digital innovation used to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic
Before the Covid-19 pandemic, the way we lived and worked, and how organisations operated, delivered public services and interacted with citizens was rapidly changing. Since March 2020, the pace of that change has accelerated. Organisations have had to innovate and collaborate on a scale never seen before. Digital technology has become a lifeline, allowing the continued delivery of public services, often to the most vulnerable in society. Its use has also exposed the risk of digital exclusion – not having the skills or resources to access vital public services, maintain learning, and stay connected with others.
We have sourced case studies from our wider audit work that provide examples of how digital innovation and transformation has been used to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Fiscal events and Covid-19 timeline
The Scottish and UK governments have had to respond quickly to the emerging pandemic.
The Covid-19 pandemic has been the biggest fiscal and policy challenge facing the Scottish Government over the past two decades of devolution. Expected devolved public spending has increased by around 15 per cent since the 2020/21 Scottish budget was first agreed in February 2020 and is subject to significant and continuing revision. Before the pandemic hit, the budget had faced unusual uncertainty with the UK budget being delayed due to the general election, and remains subject to unprecedented uncertainty, volatility and complexity.
Future Covid-19 audit work
Phases 1 to 4 of our audit work
Audit Scotland is committed to helping Parliament and the public understand how public money has been used during this crisis and ensure lessons are learned for the future. The complex and dynamic nature of the Covid-19 crisis means we will need to take a phased approach.
Phase 1 (short term)
- Briefing the Scottish Parliament on emerging audit risks linked to the public sector response to Covid-19.
- Considering what this means for our future work programme and the work of the Parliament’s Public Audit and Post Legislative Scrutiny Committee (PAPLS).
Phase 2 (medium term)
- Developing the work programme to consider the impact of Covid-19 on:
- specific sectors (eg, NHS, further and higher education, justice, local government)
- policy commitments (eg, early learning and childcare expansion, addressing child poverty)
- thematic issues raised by Covid-19 (eg, the impact on Scotland’s public finances, fraud risk management, inequalities).
Phase 3 (longer term)
- Identifying lessons that can be learnt from the public sector’s response.
- Assessing the outcomes achieved from key Scottish Government spending and programmes related to Covid-19.
- Aligning our work programme with the Scottish Government’s work to rebuild Scotland’s economy, remove inequality and advance wellbeing.