Commission on Audit (COA) Chairperson Michael G. Aguinaldo was honored with the 2021 Distinguished Public Service Award from the Government Financial Management Innovators Circle (GFMIC), Inc. on 18 November 2021 as part of its Annual Membership Conference held on 18-19 November 2021 via Zoom platform.

GFMIC is an organization of government financial management professionals who utilize information and communications technology as a tool for productivity, transparency, and accountability.

GFMIC bestowed the prestigious award to Chairperson Aguinaldo in recognition of his remarkable achievements and notable service in the Commission and contribution to enhancing transparency and accountability in public service. Chairperson Aguinaldo spearheaded the implementation of a comprehensive, dynamic, and innovative seven-year strategic plan improving government audit, adjudication, and investigatory functions, government accounting, administration, and support to operations and engagement of stakeholders.

GFMIC acknowledged the Chairperson's exemplary leadership and expertise in governance and implementation of notable projects, which included the full implementation of the International Public Sector Accounting Standards and applicable Philippine Financial Reporting Standards, with far-reaching effects on the promotion of efficient, effective and transparent government operations. Chairperson Aguinaldo was also recognized by the international audit community, having been elected as the External Auditor of the International Labour Organization, Food and Agriculture Organization, World Health Organization, and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization as well as Chairperson of the International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions Working Group on Public Debt, Governing Board Member of the Asian Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions and Chairperson of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Supreme Audit Institutions Training Committee.

"I am deeply honored with the award. Thank you … and rest assured that the Commission and I will continue our good work moving forward in the ’new normal’ for our country and the Filipino," the Chairperson assured.

Chairperson Aguinaldo was also the keynote speaker at the opening of GFMIC's two-day Annual Membership Conference. With the Conference's theme, “Financial Trends and Transformation in the New Normal,” Chairperson Aguinaldo said that the pandemic opened doors for COA to modernize the public auditing practice by focusing on digital-driven audits. He listed several enabling projects collectively called the Audit Modernization Program which includes building capacities to perform remote audits, use artificial intelligence in assisting auditors analyze data, and setting up of centralized storage for digital documents, among others.

"I commend the GFMIC for your efforts in financial management and enhancing reporting systems which helped government agencies to adapt and tackle the immediate challenges posed by the pandemic," Chairperson Aguinaldo said.

During the Conference's technical sessions, COA Assistant Commissioner Luzvi Pangan Chatto discussed COA’s Digitization: "The Road Towards an Integrated Financial Management Information System" and COA Director Maribeth F. de Jesus lectured on "Auditing of Government Funds during the New Normal." #