COA moves to modernize audit

The Commission on Audit (COA) moves to modernize public auditing practice through shift from paper-based to digital-driven audits. In a recently published PICPA Talks column of the Manila Bulletin, COA Commissioner Roland C. Pondoc reported that COA is implementing an Audit Modernization Program by optimizing the use of science, technology, and innovation to enhance COA’s resilience in times of crises or emergencies such as the pandemic.

Commissioner Pondoc discussed the five major initiatives of COA's Audit Modernization Program:

1) Development of Audit Service Continuity Plan which contains continuity strategies and mechanisms in dealing with the adverse impacts of any disruptive events and aims to safeguard personnel by providing them with tools and skills to capacitate them;

2) Building capacity to perform remote audit through the use of the Electronic Document Portal which is a facility enabling state auditors to request for audit documents from the auditees remotely and the submission of documents in electronic form;

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COA enhances stakeholder relations through Citizen Participatory Audit (CPA) Dialogues

The Commission on Audit (COA), through the Project Management Office (PMO) and in coordination with the COA Regional Offices, is enhancing stakeholder relations through the conduct of the Citizen Participatory Audit (CPA) Dialogues nationwide.

The CPA Dialogue is the first stage in the CPA Framework where COA obtains inputs from its external stakeholders, such as members of the academe, non-government organizations, media, professional organizations and other civil society organizations (CSOs) on what they want COA to prioritize in the next CPA Planning and what CSOs can share if they are to be engaged as COA’s partners in future CPA engagements. Questions from citizens/civil society pertaining to COA’s works are also answered and explained during the dialogue, especially on matters that impact their lives.

At the start of 2023, CPA Dialogues were conducted in the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) in La Trinidad, Benguet on 10 January 2023, and in the Ilocos Region, in San Fernando, La Union on 24 January 2023. In the Visayas islands, the CPA Dialogue was conducted in Region VII in the Province of Bohol on 19 January 2023. The CPA Dialogue for Region VI, Western Visayas, is scheduled to be conducted in March 2023 while another one is scheduled in Region X, Northern Mindanao in May 2023. The first dialogue to jump-start the full institutionalization of CPA program was conducted in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao BARMM in Cotabato City on 10 November 2022.

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ERC awards COA with Certificate of Compliance as qualified end-user for its solar facilities

The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) awarded the Commission on Audit (COA) with a Certificate of Compliance as qualified end-user for its Solar Rooftop Photovoltaic (PV) System installed at the COA Dormitory and the Professional and Institutional Development Sector buildings on 18 January 2023.

COA Chairperson Gamaliel A. Cordoba (center) with Commissioners Roland C. Pondoc and Mario G. Lipana join ERC Commissioner Catherine P. Maceda during the Awarding of Certificate of Compliance for the COA Solar PV System on 16 January 2023 at the CP Boardroom.

The COA Solar Photovoltaic (PV) System was installed in 2017 under a lease arrangement between the Philippine National Oil Corporation – Renewables Corporation (PNOC-RC) and COA signed on 30 May 2016 for a lease term of 15 years. It is one of the initial installations under the net metering scheme of the “Solar Rooftop Program in Government Agencies” launched by the PNOC-RC.

The Commission had the solar panels installed to show support to the renewable energy drive of the government and to utilize alternative sources of electricity at less cost. COA has benefited from savings generated since the installation of the solar facilities.

"I am truly grateful to the PNOC and the ERC for the success of this joint program and hope that more government agencies see the benefits and are encouraged to follow in our footsteps," COA Chairperson Gamaliel A. Cordoba said.

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COA mainstreams Citizen Participatory Audit

The Commission on Audit (COA) is now moving towards institutionalizing the Citizen Participatory Audit (CPA) after five years of pilot audits. COA Commissioner Roland C. Pondoc noted in the recently published PICPA Talks column of the Manila Bulletin, that COA has mainstreamed the CPA technique into regular financial, compliance and performance audits as part of COA’s initiatives in the calendar years (CYs) 2016-2022 Strategic Plan and the CY 2022 Holistic Operational Plan.

COA approved the first Annual CPA Plan (CY 2022) last 19 September 2022. In line with the CPA Plan, COA conducted a CPA dialogue with civil society organizations (CSOs) in Cotabato City for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region for Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) last 10 to 12 November 2022 in which CSO members together with the auditors of BARMM identified possible thrust areas and audit topics for future CPA engagements.

As a reform strategy, the CPA aims to uphold the people’s primordial right to a clean government and the prudent utilization of public resources, founded on the premise that public accountability can prosper only with a vigilant and involved citizenry. The CPA uses constructive engagement approach between citizens and government in monitoring the government’s use of public resources to improve government agencies’ service delivery, protect the rights of people, and promote community welfare. The CPA strategy was made possible through COA’s exclusive authority to establish the methods and techniques for its audits as mandated by the Philippine Constitution.

Since its launch in 2011, CPA audits of the KAMANAVA Flood Control Project implemented by the Department of Public Works and Highways, barangay health stations all over the country, Solid Waste Management Program of Quezon City and Metro Manila, Farm-to-Market Road Projects nationwide, Tourism Road Infrastructure Projects in Surigao Provinces, Disaster Risks Reduction and Management Program of the City of Tuguegarao and the Province of Albay, and Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Program in Cagayan de Oro City, among other CPA engagements, have been conducted.

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