Disasters, both natural and man-made, often occur with little warning and can have significant human, economic and social impact. This has certainly been the case with the global COVID-19 pandemic. The rapid spread of the virus has led to the substantial loss of lives across the globe as well as severe social and economic disruption. This has truly put to the test the status of disaster-preparedness by governments world-wide and the resilience of SAIs in addressing the “Audit expectation gap” during disaster periods.
AFROSAI-E embarked on a research project, to determine the level of resilience of SAIs in sub-Saharan Africa to meet stakeholder expectations during the COVID-19 disaster. The research performed a six-way test on SAI resilience in the following areas: (1) Flexibility in taking decisions, (2) Responsiveness to change, (3) Speed of effecting changes,(4) Active collaboration with external institutions, (5) Visibility to stakeholders, and (6) Disruption of availability of Supplies for SAI to function.
Central to this research has been the ability of SAIs to perform disaster related audits. Disaster related audits may be timed before, during and post a specific disaster. These however vary by nature and may include: Government systems disaster preparedness audits, real time audits during a disaster (Disaster Funds utilisation during the disaster period) and post disaster audits such as true and fairness of disaster fund financial statements.