COA Chairperson Michael G. Aguinaldo receives a certificate of appreciation from the Asian Confederation of Institutes of Internal Auditors (ACIIA) after the plenary session held at the Philippine International Convention Center, Pasay City on 21-22 June 2018. ACIIA was represented by (from left) ACIIA Public Sector Forum for Internal Auditors Chairperson Helen T. de Guzman, Association of Government Internal Auditors President Josie Jane C. Ablir and Institute of Internal Auditors - Philippines Chairman and President Joseph Ian M. Canlas

Commission on Audit (COA) Chairperson Michael G. Aguinaldo stressed the importance of collaboration between supreme audit institutions such as the COA and internal auditors in the public sector at the 1st Asian Confederation of Institutes of Internal Auditors’ (ACIIA) Forum for Internal Auditors in the Public Sector held at the Philippine International Convention Center on 21 June 2018.

The regional forum, with the theme “Meeting Today’s Challenge: The Value of Internal Audit in the Public Sector,” aims to help public sector internal auditors in the Asian region meet the current challenges of internal audit service and to benchmark with peers to achieve greater efficiencies and value added service delivery. The ACIIA Forum was organized by the Institute of Internal Auditors - Philippines (IIA-P) in partnership with the Association of Government Internal Auditors (AGIA), Inc.

Chairperson Aguinaldo said the COA formed a partnership with the IIA-P through a Memorandum of Agreement on 24 October 2017 to support advocacies and initiatives for a stronger internal auditing in the Philippine government.

Chairperson Aguinaldo engaged internal auditors on collaborative efforts to establish competency for internal auditors in the public sector and to develop programs to level-up internal audit to international standards.

“Both the COA and IIA-P will provide opportunities for briefing on internal audit principles and standards, and ensuring congruence in the practice of internal audit in the public sector. There will also be training related to internal audit,” Chairperson Aguinaldo said.

COA issued COA Resolution No. 2016-016 on 30 September 2016 adopting the Philippine Internal Auditing Framework for Public Sector and Philippine Internal Control Framework for Public Sector to help government agencies strengthen accountability and boost effectiveness and efficiency. The Commission also developed the Internal Auditing Standards for the Philippine Public Sector (IASPPS) with Philippine Application Guidelines (PAG) and the Internal Control Standards for the Philippine Public Sector (ICSPPS) which were officially released on 12 April 2018 at the COA Central Office.

“The standards are based on acknowledged benchmarks of international good practices in internal auditing while, at the same time, take into account the current situation of the Philippine Public Sector. It is upon this guidance that the practice of internal auditing and internal control systems adopted by the agencies shall be evaluated,” Chairperson Aguinaldo said.

Chairperson Aguinaldo added, “The aforementioned Standards should help government officers and employees understand and implement the requirements of the standards, and formulate their own internal auditing and internal control procedures that are customized to the specific circumstances and characteristics of their operations.”

Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales was the keynote speaker at the forum which also featured panel discussions on the state of internal auditing in the public sector, discussions on best practices to deter fraud or corruption in the public sector, the art of negotiation of internal auditors, cyber security threats in the public sector, creating an internal audit competency process and use of technology in public sector auditing.

Established in 1999, the ACIIA is a confederation of 17 Institutes of Internal Auditors (IIA) in the Asia-Pacific region comprising IIAs Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Mongolia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Chinese Taiwan, Fiji and Thailand. #