18th May 2021

Knowledge Type

Data & Statistics Lessons learned report


, National Audit Office

Major Project


Of Interest To

Academia Consultants Contractors Leadership teams Operators Private sector clients Public sector clients

Initial learning from the government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic


NAO Learning from Covid 19 ReportThe COVID-19 pandemic has stress-tested the government’s ability to deal with unforeseen events and potential shocks. Government has often acted at unprecedented speed to respond to a virus which has caused dramatic disruption to people’s lives, public service provision and society as a whole. Government had to continue to deliver essential public services, while reprioritising resources to deliver its response to the COVID-19 pandemic and supporting staff to work from home. In its response, government has had to streamline decision-making, work across departments and public bodies and use a range of delivery structures.

Departments will need to reflect on the lessons learned to ensure that they capitalise on the benefits and opportunities these new ways of working have brought.

Scope of the report

This report draws out learning from the reports that the National Audit Office have published to date, as well as other work they have published that covered the COVID-19 pandemic.

It sets out this learning across six themes:

  • risk management;
  • transparency and public trust;
  • data and evidence;
  • coordination and delivery models;
  • supporting and protecting people; and
  • financial and workforce pressures.