The nomination of Commission on Audit (COA) Commissioner Roland Café Pondoc passed the scrutiny of the Committee on Constitutional Commissions and Offices and was confirmed by the Commission on Appointments during its plenary session on 14 March 2018.

New COA Commissioner Roland C. Pondoc (3rd from left) is joined by (from left) Rep. Sandy Ocampo, Rep. Roy M. Loyola, COA Chairperson Michael G. Aguinaldo, Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III, COA Commissioner Jose A. Fabia and Senate Auditor Olympia Balugay.

Commissioner Pondoc was nominated by President Rodrigo R. Duterte to the Commission on 6 February 2018 for a seven-year term expiring 2 February 2025 vice Atty. Isabel B. Dasalla-Agito. His nomination breezed through the confirmation process without any opposition from the Committee members.

Committee Chairperson Senator Cynthia A. Villar’s speech for the confirmation of Commissioner Pondoc’s nomination, delivered by Congressman Rodolfo T. Albano III, said that “it is our solemn duty to confirm all those persons who shall guard the peoples’ fund with vigilance, competence and integrity and that is the reason that the Committee on Constitutional Commissions and Offices is convinced that Atty. Roland Café Pondoc, with his intelligence, experience and passion, is worthy to be appointed as Commissioner of the Commission on Audit.”

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The Commission on Audit (COA) enhanced its Strategic Goals under the 2016-2022 Strategic Plan to highlight its bodies of work in direct relation to the Commission’s mandate.

To emphasize the higher level outcomes that the Commission seeks to pursue, two previous goals: Create Positive Impact and Enable and Empower Agencies, became part of COA’s Strategic Pillars together with Enhancing Independence. These Pillars support all of the strategic goals.

 The six enhanced strategic goals under the 2016-2022 Strategic Plan and their respective Goal Champions are:

A. Improve the Quality and Timeliness of Audits- Assistant Commissioner Rizalina Q. Mutia

B. Enhance the Discharge of Adjudication and Investigatory Functions- Assistant Commissioner Elizabeth S. Zosa

C. Improve government Accountancy Services - Assistant Commissioner Lourdes M. Castillo

D. Strengthen Support to Operations - Assistant Commissioner Luz L. Tolentino

E. Improve General Administration and Support Services - Assistant Commissioner Rufina S. Laquindanum

F. Enhance Engagement and Cooperation with Stakeholders - Assistant Commissioner Carmela S. Perez

“Our strategic plan is not cast in stone. It is a work in progress,” observed COA Chairperson Michael G. Aguinaldo. The Chairperson emphasized the importance of making adjustments and reminded everyone that what translates in the field does not always correlate to what was planned and discussed. He said the Commission’s long-term target is to improve government operations.

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The Commission on Audit (COA) moves to level up its gender mainstreaming efforts as it joins the national celebration of 2018 National Women’s Month spearheaded by the Philippine Commission on Women (PCW) this March with the theme “WE Make Change work for Women.”

After ranking first among government agencies assessed by the PCW for their gender mainstreaming efforts in 2016, the Commission leveled up its Gender and Development (GAD) programs including the continuous improvement in the audit of GAD funds, active participation in GAD-related events such as the 61st Session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women in New York City and the issuance of policies such as the establishment of the Women Help Desk of the COA GAD Focal Point System (GFPS).

The Commission garnered an over-all score of 81.23 which is equivalent to Level 4, meaning the Commission’s GAD efforts reached the Commitment Enhancement and Institutionalization level. COA was the only government agency to have reached Level 4 using the Enhanced Gender Mainstreaming Evaluation Framework.

“To make change work for women, we need to level up our gender mainstreaming efforts to empower women as decision makers and contributors to development as well as implement the Magna Carta of Women at all levels. It takes our combined endeavor and determination to make changes that are truly responsive to the issues that women and men face,” said COA Chairperson Michael G. Aguinaldo.

“We in the COA play a crucial role in this mission by making sure that GAD funds are properly and judiciously spent by government and that GAD programs implemented by government agencies have value to their beneficiaries,” he added.

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The Commission on Audit (COA) held three Citizen Participatory Audit (CPA) Dialogues with civil society organizations (CSOs), state universities and colleges, higher education institutions, development partners, and the Philippine National Volunteer Service Coordinating Agency (PNVSCA).

The CPA Dialogues are conducted for the purpose of fostering an open space for the COA, citizens, and other external stakeholders to share visions and aspirations, goals and objectives; information on risks and areas to be focused on in audit, and knowledge, talents, expertise and resources that they have and can share; to provide information on their respective needs to enable them to better work together as partners; and, to present their concerns and together identify possible ways to address them.

These were held at the SAADO Auditorium on 12 December 2017, at the COA Regional Training Center in San Fernando, Pampanga on 10 January 2018, and at the COA Professional Development Center (PDC) in Quezon City on 18 January 2018.

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The Commission on Audit (COA) extends its warmest congratulations to Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez and the Department of Finance (DOF) for being the first Philippine government agency to formally and publicly adopt an Internal Audit Charter for its Internal Audit Service (IAS) that is compliant with global principles and standards in internal auditing under the Philippine Internal Auditing Framework for the Public Sector adopted in COA Resolution No. 2016-016 dated September 30, 2016.

The crafting of the Department of Finance Internal Audit Service Charter through Department Order 02-2018 is in line with the Philippine Internal Auditing Framework for the Public Sector adopted by COA in compliance with its Constitutional duty to evaluate the adequacy of internal control systems of the audited agencies and to take such measures as are necessary and appropriate to correct the deficiencies (Section 2, Article IX-D, 1987 Constitution).

“The Commission hopes that the creation of DOF's IAS Charter will encourage other Philippine government agencies to start institutionalizing IAS as mandated by Republic Act (RA) 3456 or the Internal Auditing Act of 1962 and amended by RA 4177, and make them compliant with global principles and standards in internal auditing,” COA Chairperson Michael G. Aguinaldo said. “This will enhance the promotion of transparency and good governance to ensure better delivery of public services which will hopefully lead to a better life for every Filipino,” he added.

COA developed the Philippine Internal Auditing and the Philippine Internal Control Frameworks for the Public Sector to provide guidelines essential for the professional practice of internal auditing and for establishing, implementing and maintaining effective internal control in all government agencies. It is upon these guidelines that the internal control systems adopted by the government agencies shall be evaluated pursuant to COA’s Constitutional mandate. #