Reprioritisation of Public Reporting Programme in response to COVID-19

Reprioritisation of Public Reporting Programme in response to COVID-19                      


In late 2019 NIAO published its three year public reporting period for the period 2019-2022.  The programme outlines the C&AG’s planned publications for each of the three years. 

In response to COVID 19, considering the pressures on public services and anticipating the need to focus on topic areas impacted by Covid-19 an assessment was undertaken to re-prioritise the Public Reporting Programme.

The C&AG and SMT have agreed a plan which identifies a realistic schedule of priority public reporting work to be progressed at this time.  The details of this schedule are provided below.

Priority One – ensure that all outstanding publications carried forward from the 2019-20 programme are ready for publication.  This includes:

  • Addiction services in Northern Ireland (VFM report)
  • Managing children who offend (impact report)
  • Special educational needs (impact report)
  • Capacity and capability in the NICS (VFM report)
  • Health workforce planning (VFM report)
  • Absenteeism (VFM Central and Local Government)
  • Land web report (VFM report)
  • Renewable energy (VFM report
  • Closing the gap – social deprivation and links to educational attainment (VFM report)
  • Welfare reform – PIP (VFM report)
  • Investment in broadband (emerging issue)
  • Strategic review of the budget process (emerging issue)
  • Raising concerns (good practice report).

All of the reports listed above are either ready for publication or nearing completion.  We are carefully considering the timing of publications given the current situation and sensitivities around some of the topics outlined above.

The next priority is to progress the 2020-21 public reporting programme.  C&AG, in consultation with SMT, has identified priority ‘green’ studies which will be resourced and progressed immediately, ‘amber’ studies which will be considered along with new and emerging potential studies, and ‘red’ studies which will be deferred for now and re-visited at a later date and future programme. 





Priority Two – green studies – all of these studies are currently fully resourced and work on these studies has commenced.

  • Mental health services (VFM report)
  • Planning (VFM report – Central/Local Government)
  • Renewable Heat Incentive (new, further to enquiry)
  • Judicial Reviews (Emerging issue report)
  • NFI 2020
  • Continuous improvement in Policing 2020-21 (general report)
  • School Governance (good practice publication)
  • Asset management (good practice publication)
  • Local Government Annual Report 2021


Priority Three – amber studies – these studies may be progressed, in consideration with other potential topics arising from Covid-19.

  • Procurement (VFM report)
  • Avoidable delay (impact report)
  • Cyber security strategy development (VFM report)
  • Leaving the EU (emerging issue)
  • Engagement (good practice report).


Priority Four – red studies – these studies will be re-visited in the medium to long term at which point C&AG, in consultation with SMT, will determine whether he still considers there to be merit in progressing these studies.

  • Missing children and adults (VFM report)
  • Promoting entrepreneurial culture and supporting start-ups (VFM report)
  • Work of the school inspectorate (VFM report)
  • Responding to an ageing population (VFM report)
  • Welfare reform year 3 (emerging issue)
  • AFBI (impact report)
  • Primary care prescribing (impact report)
  • Performance improvement 2020-21 (Local Government).