Governments worldwide have taken unprecedented measures to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic and social impacts. To a lesser degree, they also try to compensate consumers for higher energy and food prices that result from the war in Ukraine. Governments have to balance the need for a quick response with the need to comply with established procedures that ensure efficiency, transparency, and value for money in the use of public resources. Emergency procedures in public procurement, for example, have in many cases been tainted with accounts of misuse of funds and corruption. Economic stimulus packages and other Recover Forward measures provide large amounts of public resources for specific objectives that need to be spent efficiently and effectively to achieve their goals.


Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs) are key to ensuring accountability for the use of public funds in the response to COVID-19, consequences of the war against Ukraine and the subsequent recovery phases. SAIs are established as independent oversight bodies with a mandate to undertake financial, compliance and performance audits to hold governments to account and issue specific recommendations for improvement, thus complementing other accountability institutions and actors (e.g., parliaments, civil society, and the media) and governments’ internal audit, monitoring and evaluation systems.


Thus, they have an important role in fostering sustainable development and the realisation of the 2030 Agenda in the German development cooperation’s partner countries. The 17 SDGs provide an ambitious set of targets for all member states of the United Nations, which are accompanied by a detailed monitoring framework to track their progress.  SAIs can provide advice, assurance and assessment on the preparation, implementation, monitoring and reporting on progress of the SDGs. The International Organisation of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI) has recognised the relevance of the 2030 Agenda for SAIs worldwide since its adoption.