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In his new book Coronadiary: 100 days that changed our lives and three skills government had been told to improve former National Audit Office Director David Finlay reveals that official reports prior to the pandemic had repeatedly told the government to improve their skills in planning, data and risks, skills gaps which contributed to the shortcomings in the government's response to the pandemic.

Drawing on material in reports by the National Audit Office, the Public Accounts Committee, the Institute for Government and others Finlay shows that there were significant government skills gaps in planning, data and risks before the pandemic. His analysis shows that the shortcomings in the government's response to the pandemic can all be attributed to these skill sets. For example, the lack of planning for sufficient initial testing capacity meant the government lacked accurate data on how fast the virus was spreading which resulted in it underestimating the risks to the...

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