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.
The Commission on Audit (COA) and the Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation formed an agreement to increase the efficiency of state audit (control), one of many agreements signed between the Philippines and Russia on the sidelines of the bilateral meeting between President Rodrigo Roa Duterte and Prime Minister Dmitry A. Medvedev on 13 November 2017 during the East Asia Summit hosted by the Philippines.
The Memorandum of Understanding between COA and the Supreme Audit Institution (SAI) of Russia provides for an exchange of experience and organization of joint research projects and activities of mutual interest, professional training and improvement of professional standards of personnel, exchange of information and reference materials including standards and developments in the sphere of external state audit, conduct of joint and parallel control and expert-analytical activities; and other mutually acceptable forms of cooperation.
“This agreement is based on mutual trust and respect and is an extraordinary opportunity for both of us to learn best practices from each other and improve our respective systems. We look forward to the various joint activities,” Chairperson Aguinaldo said.
Both parties agreed to develop the cooperation based on bilateral basis and within the framework of the International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions and other cooperation formats.
The agreement called on both parties to act within the limits of their competence and with full respect for the legislation and international obligations of their respective states.
The Philippine Commission on Women (PCW) in partnership with the Commission on Audit (COA) conducted the 2017 Gender and Development (GAD) Budget Fora for two different sets of audiences on 9 and 10 November 2017 at the COA Sports and Cultural Center Commonwealth Avenue, Quezon City.
The forum reoriented budget officers on the Revised Guidelines on the Preparation of the Annual GAD Plans and Budgets and Accomplishment Reports, clarified issues and concerns encountered by agencies in the preparation and implementation of their annual GAD Plans and Budgets; and presented the guidelines in the audit of GAD Funds and activities.
An estimated 470 representatives from national government agencies, attached agencies, bureaus, state universities and colleges and government-owned-and-controlled corporations participated. Also present were representatives from the Department of Budget Management (DBM) and members of the PCW Gender Resource Pool.
COA Assistant Commissioner Elizabeth S. Zosa expressed her hope that the Forum would provide more opportunities for women’s empowerment and contribute to the reduction and eradication of all forms of violence against women.
“The ultimate goal [of the GAD Budget] is to equalize; and when you equalize, you give more to those who have less,” she stressed.
PCW Deputy Directors Maria Kristine Josefina G. Balmes and Cecile B. Gutierrez likewise emphasized that Gender Mainstreaming of which GAD Planning and Budgeting is included should be implemented not merely for compliance but as a strategy ingrained within the organization’s system to address gender issues relevant to the agency mandate. COA was cited as the first agency to reach level four in PCW’s Gender Mainstreaming and Evaluation Framework Assessment Tool.
COA Director and GAD Focal Point System Secretariat Chairperson Fortunata M. Rubico and COA Professional Development Office Assistant Director Susana S. Medez shared the new audit approach and audit areas based on the Revised Guidelines in the Audit of GAD Funds and activities in government agencies (COA Circular 2014-01).
Commission on Audit (COA) Chairperson Michael G. Aguinaldo, COA Commissioner Jose A. Fabia and Institute of Internal Auditors Philippines, Inc. (IIA-P) Chairperson and President Myrna E. Amahan signed the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) on 24 October 2017 at the COA CP Boardroom.
The Commission on Audit (COA) formed a partnership with the Institute of Internal Auditors Philippines, Inc. (IIA-P), a non-stock, non-profit organization that promotes education and professional development for internal audit professionals, to support advocacies and initiatives for a strong internal auditing in the Philippine government.
COA Chairperson Michael G. Aguinaldo and IIA-P Chairperson and President Myrna E. Amahan signed the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) on 24 October 2017 at the COA CP Boardroom. COA Commissioner Jose A. Fabia witnessed the signing.
The MOA calls for collaborative efforts to establish competency for internal auditors in the public sector and develop programs to level up internal audit to international standards. Both parties will provide opportunities for briefing on internal auditing principles and standards to ensure congruence in the practice of internal audit in the public sector while IIA-P will also provide training related to internal audit.
“Although we are external auditors, part of our role is also to evaluate the strength of internal control systems of government agencies. For this purpose, we have come up with standards by which internal control systems can be evaluated,” Chairperson Aguinaldo said.
‘We appreciate the effort of the Institute because it is important for us to harness stakeholder participation,” he added.
COA issued 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. COA also developed the Handbook on Philippine Internal Auditing Standards for the Public Sector to provide applicable guidelines essential for the professional practice of internal auditing and guidance for establishing, implementing and maintaining effective internal control in all government agencies.