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German SAI’s latest statement on the COVID-19 pandemic

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Government, society and citizens have made huge efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19. As a result of our joint efforts, risks to life, health, and the economic and social well-being have been reduced. However, risks have not been fully removed. The first and foremost goal is to take all the necessary steps to protect oneself and others against the coronavirus. The German SAI has also committed to this goal.

In these challenging times, we are set to continue fulfilling our constitutional duties: auditing, reporting and advising government bodies.

We are aware that meeting our audit mandate plays a crucial role also right now. The stimulus package worth billions of euros to fight against the economic and social consequences of the pandemic (see analysis on the first supplementary budget - available only in German - and comments on the second supplementary budget) will have a major impact on the financial situation and the government’s ability to act for many years to come. Against this background, our advisory role towards parliament and the government will remain a key priority.

To tackle these challenges and to protect the health of our staff, Kay Scheller, the President of the German SAI, has taken a variety of steps. Practices, procedures and information technology have quickly been adapted as needed. Since the outbreak of the pandemic, all staff have worked successfully from home. We have had a core team on site to ensure central support services and infrastructures for the entire workforce. In this way, we have been able to maintain business continuity at any time and carry out remote audits even during lockdown. With gradual easing of lockdown restrictions, we have taken up fieldwork while maintaining social distancing and hygiene practices as recommended. In conducting our work, we continually engage with the audited bodies and proceed with due respect and care.

 

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