Commission on Audit, Quezon City – Following a long but successful career of public service in the Commission on Audit (COA), Commissioner Isabel D. Agito retired on 2 February 2018. She was appointed as Commissioner of COA on 15 January 2016 to serve the remaining term of former COA Commissioner Heidi L. Mendoza who was appointed Under-Secretary-General for the United Nations Internal Oversight Services.
Commissioner Isabel D. Agito expresses her appreciation and gratitude to the COA family for 42 years of working together at the tribute ceremony held in honor of her retirement on 31 January 2018.
The Commission on Audit (COA) thrives in a culture of excellence and in order to ensure that its services are at par with the international audit community, the Commission adopted the International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI) Supreme Audit Institution (SAI) Performance Measurement Framework (PMF) to measure the Commission’s performance through COA Resolution No. 2017-023 on 21 December 2017.
The SAI PMF is an international framework for self, peer, or external assessment of a SAI’s performance against the International Standards of Supreme Audit Institutions and other established international good practices. It is applicable to all types of SAIs regardless of organizational model, mandate, national context and development level.
The SAI PMF was adopted by the INTOSAI during the XXII Congress held in December 2016 in Abu Dhabi. However, a key principle of the framework is that the assessment is voluntary, and that it is the Head of the SAI that makes all key decisions about the assessment.
“Adopting this framework is important for us to gauge our performance of our audit and non-audit functions and the strength of our legal mandates and environment. It will also help us identify areas that we need to improve on and accordingly adjust our capacity-building programs,” said COA Chairperson Michael G. Aguinaldo.
“By showing our commitment to adhere to the highest international standards, we are also contributing to better quality public services that will ultimately benefit society,” added the Chairperson.
COA Assistant Commissioner Luz L. Tolentino briefs COA officials and auditors on the new Supreme Audit Institution Performance Measurement Framework (SAI PMF) on 20 December 2017. The SAI PMF is an international framework for self, peer, or external assessment of a Supreme Audit Institution’s performance against established international standards.
The Commission on Audit (COA) recorded P1.54 billion in disallowances that were settled in Calendar Year 2016. This represents more than 200% increase from the P500 million that was settled in 2015.
Around 800 Notices of Disallowances (NDs) amounting to P1.3 billion were settled under the Education and Employment Cluster of the National Government Sector of the Commission.
The Commission has sought to improve the recovery of unsettled liabilities through various programs including the development of an information system to monitor implementation of audit recommendations issued by the audit team through Audit Observation Memorandum, Notice of Suspension (NS), ND and Notice of Charge (NC) as a result of their audit.
“We are focused on ensuring that public funds are expended or utilized according to laws, rules and regulations and preserving resources against wastage and unnecessary, excessive, extravagant and unconscionable expenditures. Despite the fact that the Commission does not really have enforcement powers, efforts are expended to enable the payment and settlement of the amounts disallowed. Increasing our efforts in getting the amounts disallowed paid and settled, and remitted to public coffers, is one way for the Commission to create a greater impact in governance,” observed Chairperson Michael G. Aguinaldo.
“There are many challenges but I am confident that the programs we have started will enhance the effectivity of our very limited enforcement mechanisms,” added Chairperson Aguinaldo.
In 2016, the Commission issued 4,775 NDs amounting to P4.5 billion, NS valued at around P9.10 billion, of which almost half was settled at around P4.06 billion and NC worth P365.22 million.
The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), a specialized agency of the United Nations, appointed the Philippine Commission on Audit (COA) as its External Auditor for the period 1 July 2018 to 30 June 2020.
UNIDO is the specialized agency of the United Nations that promotes industrial development for poverty reduction, inclusive globalization and environmental sustainability.
“We are honored by the trust and confidence that the General Conference of the UNIDO has placed on the audit expertise and integrity of the Commission and its people. We pledge to perform our tasks with the highest degree of professionalism,” COA Chairperson Michael G. Aguinaldo said.
“Rest assured we will work together for the effective performance of UNIDO’s mandate as well as in achieving its strategic priorities of creating shared prosperity, advancing economic competitiveness, safeguarding the environment, and strengthening knowledge and institutions,” he added.
COA’s appointment was approved by the UNIDO General Conference (GC) during its Seventeenth Session held at Vienna, Austria from 27 November to 1 December 2017. The GC is UNIDO’s supreme policymaking organ where all Member States meet once every two years. It determines the guiding principles and policies of the Organization, approves the budget and work programme of UNIDO.
The Seventeenth Session of the GC closed with a renewed focus on the importance of partnerships to meet the goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
The Commission on Audit (COA) was recognized for its exceptional and significant contributions to the progress of the FOI program during the first FOI Awards Ceremony held recently at the Rizal Park Hotel, Manila.
The Presidential Communications Operations Office spearheaded the awards to recognize the significant contributions of government agencies to the development and progress of the FOI program. COA was one of the awardees for agencies outside the executive branch.
“The Commission is committed to ensuring accountability for public resources and promoting transparency through mechanisms that allow us to engage and empower the public by providing them with access to official records involving public interest. We are both honored and inspired to have received recognition for our transparency efforts,” said COA Chairperson Michael G. Aguinaldo.
Aside from COA Circular No. 2013-006 which is the main COA issuance that operationalizes the people's constitutional right to information, other programs that provide the public with access to information are:
• COA Legal Information Archive - serves as the digital repository of COA issuances, resolutions, decisions, and other key legislations and jurisprudence affecting the Commission, accountability for public funds, and auditing and accounting regulations.
• COA website – The Commission’s various official reports as well as Circulars, manuals, accounting and auditing issuances may be directly downloaded without need of written requests.
• Hotline 8888 – COA has acted upon auditing and other related concerns/complaints endorsed to the Commission by the Office of the President as well as by the Civil Service Commission.