Contact tracing in Flanders during the COVID-19 pandemic - Management and follow-up by the Flemish Agency for Care and Health

Dutch speaking chamber on May 30, 2023

Although the Flemish Agency for Care and Health (FACH) was unprepared to organize large-scale contact tracing, it quickly set up such a system to contain the corona pandemic. To this end, it concluded an agreement with a partnership of six call centres and the five national unions of the health insurance companies. An investigation by the Court of Audit showed that all contractual commitments of an operational nature have generally been fulfilled, with the exception of a few reports. To follow up on the implementation, the FACH focused on the results of the contact tracing. However, the operational efficiency of the partnership was insufficiently monitored by the FACH: a uniform control and reporting system was lacking for this purpose and the organization of the data flow needed for better monitoring took a lot of time. Financial supervision by the FACH was limited and only improved in the last implementation months. The Court sees insufficient staff (deployment), the lack of a risk analysis and conflicts of priorities as the main causes of the shortcomings.