COA at 117, a Vibrant partner in Nation-Building

Published: 5 May 2016

The Commission on Audit (COA) highlights its role as a vibrant partner in nation-building as it marks its 117th anniversary through week-long activities from May 2-6, 2016.

“This year’s theme expresses the Commission’s invaluable role in shaping our Republic in collaboration and cooperation with internal and external partners, the citizenry and all government institutions,” observed Chairperson Michael G. Aguinaldo.

Commissioner Jose A. Fabia noted that “safeguarding public funds and properties for 117 years is an impressive feat” and encouraged COAns to continue to do their best. “Beyond financial and compliance audit is enabling the agencies we work with so they can become better in the work that they do. We are enablers and we guide our auditees so that they can do their jobs effectively, efficiently and economically,” Commissioner Fabia said.

“COA has always been in the forefront in detecting frauds in public finances with the view that audit can be and is indeed a tool for social and economic change,” said Commissioner Isabel D. Agito.

Highlight of the celebrations is the “COA Salutes the Best” program honoring COAns who have performed their duties with utmost excellence and courage and beyond expectations held at the COA Sports and Cultural Complex on May 5, 2016. The Gawad Kahusayan for the best audit performance was awarded to the Audit Teams of the National Capital Region-06, National Museum and the Department of Education Audit Group of the National Government Sector.

Festivities also include sports competitions, a seminar on permaculture, a symposium on Philippine Public Sector Accounting Standards and Philippine Public Sector Standards on Auditing, a briefing on the Barangay Financial Manual and the Sangguniang Kabataan Reform Act of 2015, and various livelihood program seminars conducted by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority.

From its beginnings as the Office of the Insular Auditor of the Philippine Islands created through an unnumbered memorandum signed by then US President William McKinley on May 8, 1899, the Commission on Audit’s evolution reflects the journey of the nation.

The institution was renamed twice under American civil rule, as the Bureau of the Insular Auditor in 1901 and the Bureau of Audits in 1905, both under the Executive branch. Under the 1935 Constitution, it became an independent constitutional body known as the General Auditing Office. Echoing the period in which the nation was preparing for self-governance during the Commonwealth era, the organization was also headed for the first time by a Filipino Auditor- General. The Commission evolved into a three-person collegial body under the 1973 Constitution. While the 1987 Constitution retained this structure, it also gave the Commission greater independence and scope as the sole external auditor of all government agencies and instrumentalities.

Now on its 117th year, the Commission continues to enact reforms for the Commission to create a positive impact in governance; empower and enable agencies; improve delivery of high quality, fair and timely audits; increase stakeholder ownership and understanding; strengthen its capacity and capability; and enhance its support infrastructure.

Congratulations COAns and happy 117th anniversary!