With the active participation of more than 1,600 people, the fourth session of our Webinar Cycle in times of COVID-19, called “External Control and the Pandemic,” culminated in a discussion about the role of SAIs facing the threat of COVID-19.
Mariela Azofeifa, Press Chief of the Comptroller General of the Republic of Costa Rica; and Jorge Bermúdez, Comptroller General of the Republic of Chile and Executive Secretary of OLACEFS participated in this session.
In her presentation, Mariela Azofeifa especially highlighted the lessons that the region’s SAIs had to learn during the pandemic, exemplifying it through what she called the 4Es during emergencies (efficacy, efficiency, economy, effectiveness). She also referred to the moments of control (previous, concomitant, subsequent, sanctioning) and highlighted the virtuous triangle that SAIs can build through accountability, transparency and access to information (for more details see the blog entry on Lessons of COVID-19 for the SAI of our Region).
Subsequently, Comptroller Bermúdez focused his presentation on the risks of corruption in the current health crisis situation and referred to how the SAIs can exercise their control role. To that end, he exemplified some good practices around the topic. Additionally, he stressed that the incorporation of control elements during the pandemic makes it possible to avoid overpricing, increase the efficiency of public spending and reduce the misuse of resources, which results in more lives being saved. He suggested that this could be done by prioritizing riskier and more impactful areas and intensively using the available technological tools. Finally, to exemplify good practice in the SAI of Chile, he explained the five axes on which the work of the Comptroller’s Office during the pandemic is based: Control, technology, optimization, transparency and communication.
Below is the presentation and video of the webinar:
For more information about the webinars, as well as the actions carried out by the SAIs, and the COVID-19 Blog, you can visit the page: