We strongly condemn the killing of Commission on Audit (COA) Auditor Guiaria Bagundang Akmad, the Supervising Auditor of Maguindanao Province, Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. She was gunned down by unidentified assailants in Cotabato City on Friday, 10 January 2020.

We strongly urge the authorities to act swiftly on the case and conduct an impartial investigation so that the perpetrators may be brought to justice. The nature of the work of our auditors exposes them to risks to their safety but this has not and shall not deter us from doing our Constitutional duty. We ask the public to pray for the family of Auditor Akmad, and for the safety of our auditors and for their steadfast courage and integrity.

The Commission on Audit (COA) Regional Office No. V saved the best before the year 2019 ended as COA Commissioner Roland C. Pondoc administered the Oath of Commitment to Integrity on 17 December 2019 at the Legazpi City Convention Center.

It coincided with the year-end Gender and Development (GAD) celebration which also featured a seminar on GAD Sensitivity and Awareness with former COA Assistant Commissioner Lourdes M. Castillo as the resource person.

Commissioner Pondoc stressed the importance of maintaining integrity in the workplace, quoting a few words from Amy Anderson’s article “Success will come and go but Integrity is forever.”

Officials and personnel of COA Regional Office No. V recite the Integrity Pledge administered by COA Commissioner Roland C. Pondoc on 17 December 2019.

Commissioner Pondoc also took the time to answer the queries, issues and concerns of several regional employees through an open forum.

Regional Director Roland A. Rey, for his part, reminded the Bicolano auditors that reciting the Integrity Pledge further affirms the responsibilities and duties of a COAn, not just as a public servant but as a guardian of government funds.

A Seminar on R.A. 6713 or the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees was conducted by the Civil Service Commission on 16 December.

The event concluded with the signing of the pledge form by the regional officials and employees, to be attached to their personnel files. – Marian J. Paje (Training Specialist I, COA Region V)

Commission on Audit (COA) Commissioner Roland C. Pondoc administered the Integrity Pledge to 361 personnel of the COA Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) led by Regional Director Atty. Eden T. Rafanan at the COA-CAR Regional Office Multi-Purpose Building on 10 December 2019.

In line with COA’s Intensified Management Program on Integrity, the Integrity Pledge seeks to strengthen and highlight COA-CAR’s commitment and dedication to public service. This also serves as a reminder that COAns should conduct themselves with the highest degree of honesty and integrity without any sense of entitlement as public servants.

Commissioner Pondoc quoted a Forbes article by Amy Anderson saying that “success will come and go, but integrity is forever. Integrity means doing the right thing at all times and in all circumstances, whether or not anyone is watching. It takes having the courage to do the right thing, no matter what the consequences will be. Building a reputation of integrity takes years, but it takes only a second to lose, so never allow yourself to ever do anything that would damage your integrity.

COA Commissioner Roland C. Pondoc administers the Integrity Pledge to officials and personnel of the COA Cordillera Administrative Region.

As the Commission Proper always reminds COAns: “As public servants, we are held to a higher standard. We must not only work hard and try to do good in our work, but also to exert efforts in order to serve with integrity.

Commissioner Pondoc also discouraged his audience from doing business with untrustworthy groups or individuals while encouraging them to pursue maintaining the culture of integrity within the Commission and among COA Employees. Also discussed during the program were the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standard for Public Officials and Employees, the Revised Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for COA Officials and Employees, the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act and other laws pertaining to good governance.

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Participants and Subject Matter Experts posed for a picture during the Course Design and Development Writeshop in Financial Audit held on 19-27 August 2019 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

As part of the sustainability initiatives of the Long-Term Association of South East Asian Nations Supreme Audit Institutions (ASEANSAI) Programme on International Standards of Supreme Audit Institutions (ISSAIs) Implementation, the ASEANSAI Training Committee chaired by the Commission on Audit, conducted the Course Design and Development Writeshop (CDDW) in Financial Audit for Instructors on 19-27 August 2019 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

The program aims to advance the knowledge of ASEANSAI auditors in financial audit and empower them to align their national standards with the ISSAIs.

Four ASEANSAI-accredited ISSAI Facilitators on Financial Audit from the Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs) of Cambodia, Malaysia and Myanmar, and one financial auditor from SAI Philippines were trained as course designers. With guidance of the Subject Matter Experts from the Swedish National Office and mentors from the ASEANSAI Training Committee, courseware on specific financial audit topics such as Audit Documentation, Audit Evidence, Analytical Procedures, and Reporting was designed and developed.

The courseware consists of six training sessions to link the planning phase to the execution and reporting phases of the financial audit process. Upon approval, the courseware will be used and delivered in the proposed Financial Audit Workshop that will be conducted in April 2020.

Participants of the eLearning course in action during the design writeshop held on 25-26 July, 1-2, 5-9 August 2019 at the Professional and Institutional Development Sector.

To enhance the knowledge and skills of auditors on basic Information Technology (IT) audit, the Commission on Audit (COA) Professional and Institutional Development Sector, through the Professional Development Office, and in collaboration with the Systems and Technical Services Sector, launched the first eLearning Course on IT Audit on 9 September 2019.

The eLearning course on IT Audit, which will run from 9 September to 25 October 2019, is part of the Commission’s initiative to leverage the use of technology for learning. The course introduces concepts in data analysis to enable COA auditors to understand and perform data analysis and provides insight on how to extract, transform, and analyze data using tools like Microsoft Excel and SQL.

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