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.
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).