SAI Russia Seminar on Social Audit: the State Support Measures Monitoring During the COVID-19 Pandemic
The Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation jointly with the international audit community held a seminar on the social security systems preparedness for emergencies as well as on the efficiency of state responses to the COVID-19 pandemic.
During the seminar the SAIs representatives of Azerbaijan, Brazil, Italy, Peru, Poland, Russia, and the United Arab Emirates — with the participation of the regional audit institutions of Brazil (State of Paraná) and Russia (Tver Region) — discussed the measures of state support for the population and regions, shared their experience and results of monitoring the situation related to the spread of COVID-19.
The Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation was represented by Sergey Shtogrin and Svetlana Orlova, auditors and members of the Board. Timur Makhmutov, Director of the Department for International and Regional Cooperation, took on the moderator role.
In his speech, Sergey Shtogrin noted:
“The pandemic has had a strong impact on the economy, which lead to multiple negative consequences: the household income has decreased, unemployment has surged, and the share of low-income citizens has increased. In this regard, the Government of the Russian Federation has taken several measures to support the most socially vulnerable categories of citizens. The Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation has been vested with monitoring the implementation of these measures.”
Sergey Shtogrin also highlighted the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic for the social sphere and the measures that were taken in the Russian Federation in 2020 in order to support citizens. In particular, the auditor noted a significant increase in funding for measures to support employment and aid families with children, as compared to 2019: funding for the Social Support for Citizens state program was increased by 1.9-fold, and for the Promotion of Employment state program, 3.3 times more resources were allocated.
“In terms of supporting the regions, the National Plan provided measures for a significant easing of the budgetary policy. For example, regarding the public budget loans restructuring, their terms and conditions have been changed and their repayment deadlines have been extended up to 2029; the period for granting public budget loans to entities to replenish the budget account balance in the period 2020–2024 has been doubled; entities are exempt from financial responsibility for breaching obligations to achieve the results of the subsidies use,”
— Svetlana Orlova added during her presentation.
The auditor emphasized that the volume of additional financial assistance to the regions in 2020 amounted to 323 billion rubles (about $4.5 billion). Incentive payments and payments for specific terms and working conditions were made to healthcare workers providing assistance to patients with COVID-19, funding was allocated for equipping and upgrading the bed capacity of healthcare facilities as well as for extra financial support for healthcare facilities. Besides, the federal budget provided public budget loans to 53 regions, totaling more than 223 billion rubles (about $3 billion).
Presentations and comments were also made by:
- Mauro Orefice, President, United Chamber for Jurisdiction; Head, International Affairs Office, Corte dei Conti;
- Patricia Suarez Beyodas, Deputy Manager for Control of the Health Sector, Office of the Comptroller General of the Republic of Peru;
- Sumaya Abdulla Al Marzooqi, Head of Institutional Development & International Relations Section, Supreme Audit Institution, United Arab Emirates;
- Marcos Lima de Matos, Auditor, Federal Court of Accounts of Brazil;
- Piotr Miklis, Director of the NIK Regional Branch in Katowice;
- Azeri Mamedov, Lead Consultant, Social Security and Welfare Division, Chamber of Accounts of the Republic of Azerbaijan;
- Tatiana Ipatova, Chairperson, Chamber of Control and Accounts of Tver region;
- Ivan Lelis Bonilla, President, Association of the Brazilian Regional Audit Institutions; Minister, Regional Audit Institution of Paraná.
The speakers discussed the measures taken during the pandemic, shared the experience of the SAIs operation during the crisis, and also presented the results of the implemented audits.
In total, the seminar was attended by more than 130 people: representatives of the Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation, foreign SAIs, and regional audit institutions of the constitutive entities of the Russian Federation.
Participants will resume the discussion of the topic of state support against the backdrop of COVID-19 — in section Auditing Healthcare & Social Security: New Tools for the INTOSAI Community at the INTOSAI International Scientific and Practical Conference to be held on April 21–22, 2021.
Registration is open.