Commissioner Pondoc sheds light on COA’s conduct of fraud audit

The Commission on Audit (COA) takes a proactive stance in the prevention, detection and response to allegations of fraud in all government transactions. COA Commissioner Roland Café Pondoc explained how COA conducts fraud audit in a two-part article published recently in the PICPA Talks column of the Manila Bulletin.

Commissioner Pondoc encouraged the public to report allegations of fraud in all government transactions to COA and likewise gave helpful instructions on how the public can proceed in filing a written information, complaint or request for fraud audit before the Fraud Audit Office at the COA Central Office for agencies located in the National Capital Region or the Office of the COA Regional Directors for agencies located in the regions.

According to Commissioner Pondoc, "Any person who has knowledge that the transaction of, or the project/program/activity implemented by any government agency is tainted with fraud or anomaly, or that public officials or employees have committed or are committing fraud or anomaly in transactions involving disbursement or receipt/collection of public funds or use of government properties and other government transactions, may file for a request for fraud audit."

When fraud audit is warranted, a Special Audit Team is created to investigate the allegations of fraud. Commissioner Pondoc emphasized the difference between regular audit where audit teams perform financial, compliance, and performance audits, with fraud audit whose objectives are to render a timely and quality fraud audit report substantiated by evidence, monitor the effective implementation of the recommendations, and assure the successful prosecution of the civil, administrative and/or criminal aspect against the wrongdoers.

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COA Commissioner Pondoc participates in international leadership masterclass on SAI Independence

Commission on Audit (COA) Commissioner Roland Café Pondoc participated in the Leadership Masterclass on Supreme Audit Institution (SAI) Independence conducted by the International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI) Development Initiative (IDI) together with the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the Cour des Comptes (SAI France) from 11 to 13 October 2023 at the OECD and Cour des Comptes premises in Paris, France.

Leaders of Supreme Audit Institutions participate in the IDI Leadership Masterclass on SAI Independence held at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and the Cour des Comptes in Paris, France. COA Commissioner Roland C. Pondoc is at the second row, third from right.

The masterclass provides leaders of SAIs with “different perspectives on strategies, advocacy tools and potential partners, which will enable them to address risks and threats to their independence.” It aims to raise knowledge and awareness of SAI leaders on the relevance of independence of the SAI and advocate for it in their respective SAIs as well as identify the mains steps for responding to risks and challenges to SAI independence.

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COA Team wins third place in APEC App Challenge

Commission on Audit’s (COA) Gerald M. Mendeja and Jenero C. de Guzman won third place in the final round of the 2023 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) App Challenge held on 19 August 2023 in Seattle, Washington, United States of America (USA).

The team’s entry, “EMERGE” app, revolves around empowering Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) to excel in the global marketplace. It addresses the challenges highlighted in the 2020 APEC Report by providing a comprehensive platform with three main features: an Export Readiness Assessment Tool, a personalized Assessment Report, and a Public Global Directory. The app assists MSMEs in evaluating their readiness for international trade, offering actionable advice for improvement, and showcasing their businesses and products to a global audience, thereby promoting economic opportunities for underrepresented groups.

Messrs. Mendeja and De Guzman, both from the COA Information Technology Office, ventured into the APEC App Challenge on their own initiative, entering an esteemed international coding competition that unites software developers and designers from across the APEC region. Their team was among the five finalists, alongside the USA, People's Republic of China, Malaysia, and Thailand. A total of 35 teams participated in the competition. The finalist teams were invited to attend the APEC App Challenge at Digital Month during APEC's Third Senior Officials Meeting in Seattle, Washington from 17-22 August 2023 to demonstrate and present their newly completed apps to a panel of judges and an audience including APEC policymakers and stakeholders up to the ministerial level, entrepreneurs, and development actors from around the region.

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COA enhances Competency-Based Human Resource System

The Commission on Audit (COA) recognizes the importance of developing a highly competent audit workforce to carry out the Commission's audit mandate efficiently and effectively. In an article published on 04 September 2023 by the Manila Bulletin entitled “COAs Competency-Driven Learning and Development for Auditors” under its PICPA Talks column, COA Commissioner Roland Café Pondoc highlighted the Commission’s strategic direction to develop and implement a Competency-Based Human Resource System (CBHRS).

“As a knowledge institution itself, COA needs to be agile and prepared to take on risks that impinge upon the management of its workforce performance. It thus became vital that learning and development strategies, structures and processes are attuned to the level of dynamism of the environment within which COA operates,” Commissioner Pondoc observed in his article.

"COA's CBHRS, in its complete form, offers a more straightforward solution to COA in harnessing the potential of its biggest asset to achieve the greatest value, it provides the basic competency frame for learning and development," Commissioner Pondoc added.

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