DOVER, Del. – State Auditor Kathy McGuiness announced today the release of a special report titled “National COVID-19 Data Quality Audit Template: Compare and Contrast.” This report reviewed auditor’s reports using the COVID-19 Data Quality Audit Template and identified common issue areas that can improve state response efforts during future variants or public health crises.
“The COVID-19 Data Quality Template was developed as part of a bipartisan multistate effort to develop a consistent tool for states to assess their approach to data collection, reporting, and monitoring of coronavirus cases.” McGuiness said. “Many reports found issues affecting mortality data and identifying cause of death. Differences in methodology across the country contributed to decreased public trust in data quality. Increasing communication between states and government entities and sharing best practices is key to restoring public trust and combating this health crisis.”
Under Delaware Code 2909, the State Auditor may produce special reports that examine state agencies’ performance and offer recommendations for greater accuracy and efficiency, as well as data, information, and recommendations the State Auditor deems advisable and necessary.
“4 out of 5 reports noted major challenges due to information systems that were unprepared for the scale of the COVID-19 pandemic. Some lacked clear guidance on what data should be collected, and others had antiquated systems that reduced the efficiency and accuracy of public health data collection efforts.” McGuiness said.
Upon release of the audit template, Ohio Auditor of State Keith Faber stated, “Americans need access to relevant, accurate data that they can trust and understand as they make decisions that impact their families. By adding consistency to the data gathering process and implementing best practices from across the nation, we can help provide clarity and confidence in the COVID-19 statistics that are being shared. Americans must be able to trust the data, so they can trust the resulting policies.”
“I am thankful for the cooperation from Ohio, Louisiana, Iowa, and Washington D.C. and their ongoing work to provide insight for improving public health emergency response efforts. I would also like to thank the many auditor’s offices that are still actively working on reports using the data quality audit template. Working together, we can ensure transparency and efficiency in our response to this global health crisis,” McGuiness said.
The new special report, “COVID-19 Data Quality Audit Template: Compare and Contrast” can be found here.
Learn about the Delaware Auditor’s Office at https://auditor.delaware.gov.
Alaina Sewell, Chief of Staff