Magazine No. 26 - 2021 91 Studies and other articles State Audit Office of the Republic of Latvia BEST PRACTISE OF SAI LATVIA IN RAPID RESPONSE TO THE DEMANDS OF EMERGENCY SITUATIONS In the spring of 2020, when the Government of the Republic of Latvia declared a state of emergency due to the deteriorating epidemiological situation, the State Audit Office of the Republic of Latvia immediately initiated the process for launching audits on the use of the funds allocated to limit the spread of COVID-19 and to mitigate the consequences of the emergency. This began with calls for accountability from the Government on the use of funds and raising the need to assess risks and adhere to good governance principles which on 20 April resulted in amending the audit plan for 2020. When starting the audits of the actions of state institutions with public funds during the national emergency, an analytical overview1 was carried out “Exceptional circumstances caused by COVID-19 and notifications by the competent authorities regarding procurements necessary for containment of the COVID-19 outbreak and deviations from the conformity assessment of goods” on the response of the competent authorities at the global and regional level to the exceptional circumstances caused by COVID-19, which characterizes the scale of the caused crisis and may help in understanding the decisions taken by the Latvian government regarding the organization of purchases of goods necessary to curb the COVID-19 outbreak and deviations from the conformity assessment of goods under emergency conditions. The purpose of the audits was to assess whether the funds have been requested reasonably and spent for the intended purpose, and provide recommendations to the government and responsible state institutions in areas where the implementation of the planned measures would require improvements. Thus, upon integrating audit issues related to the emergency situation, the areas of intervention for the Latvia SAI during 2020 included four main types: i) 'emergency' spending allocated to address COVID-19 (contingency funds and COVID-19 related budget reallocations); ii) expenditure of priority measures (new initiatives by the government); iii) measures to ensure savings in 'regular' expenditure (expenditure not required during the emergency situation and/or not necessary to maintain the functioning of the sector), and iv) audits originally (pre-emergency situation) included in the Annual audit plan of 2020. The State Audit Office immediately initiated the process for launching audits on the use of the funds allocated to limit the spread of COVID-19 1 The analytical overview was carried out and the report was prepared based on Section 3.3 c) of the State Audit Office Law within the framework of the financial audit “On the accuracy of the financial statement 2020 of the Ministry of Defence”.