COA-Capitol lapses: 5 of 35 fixed

It could run to millions of pesos, yet the Commission on Audit has revealed in its report that only five (5) out of thirty five (35) financial irregularities or lapses have been fixed or rectified by the provincial government.

In its audit report of the provincial finances ended December 31, 2015, the Commission on Audit bared that the provincial administration implemented five (5) of the thirty-three (33) prior years’ audit recommendations of the Commission on Audit equivalent to 15% compliance, while nineteen (19) or 58% were partially implemented and nine (9) or 27% were not implemented.

COA’s recommendations were designed to ensure that certain lapses in the utilization of the funds appropriated and disbursed by the provincial government were put in order pursuant to existing laws and accounting regulations.

The five recommendations that were fully implemented pertain to the appropriation of intelligence fund that reportedly exceeded the statutory limit, there was no appropriation for intelligence fund in 2015; alleged illegal disbursements of P143 million mobilization fees to the 7 contractors sourced out from the calamity fund, the provincial government has filed a petition for review before the Commission Proper; and the unutilized DAP funds amounting to P6.4 million were returned to the national treasury.

Awaiting further action were some recommendations pertaining to the disallowance of PEI bonus at P40, 000.00 for each Capitol official and employee instead of P5, 000.00 only; use of Special Education Fund to pay for the services of teaching and non-teaching personnel; failure to conduct physical count of supplies and property; unliquidated cash advances amounting to P64.6 million; scholarships granted without an ordinance; failure to collect P 4.4 million in revenues for use of the convention center in 2011 and 2012; failure to execute deeds of donations for vehicles and computers/accessories valued at P27.3 million to other government units and agencies, among others.

However, disallowances involving P 535, 049, 764.32 and suspensions amounting to P 11, 218, 410.46 remained unsettled as of December 31, 2015.

COA acknowledged that several measures and adjustments have been made by the provincial administration to comply with the audit recommendations some of which remained unattended years before the present leadership took office. (By Dems Demecillo)

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