International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board Chair Ian Carruthers talks about the latest developments on the IPSAS at a forum held at the Commission on Audit.


The Chairperson of the International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board (IPSASB) emphasized the importance of involving public interest and a more inclusive process in setting international standards.

IPSASB Chair Ian Carruthers talked about the latest developments on the International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS) at a forum held at the Commission on Audit (COA) recently.

The forum was attended by COA senior officials and auditors as well as Board of Accountancy Chairperson Mr. Joel Tan-Torres and representatives from the Department of Budget and Management and local government units.

Under the auspices of the International Federation of Accountants, IPSASB is the independent international body that sets accrual-based standards used for the preparation of general purpose financial statements by governments and other public sector entities. Through these standards, IPSASB aims to enhance the quality, consistency, and transparency of public sector financial reporting worldwide.

Mr. Carruthers said the board established the Public Interest Committee (PIC) in 2015 to ensure that standard setting follows due process and reflect the public interest. He stressed the need for the process to reflect its impact on various stakeholders and to have an integrated system of accountability. “The success of implementation is getting the information used in decision-making,” he observed.

Mr. Carruthers said the standard setting process had become more inclusive as they get more responses for the exposure drafts, take into account the experiences of various countries as they adopt IPSAS and to encourage more interaction and debate as more countries are planning to adopt the IPSAS.

Over 40 countries have already applied accrual IPSAS and international organizations such as the entire United Nations system and the European Commission are reporting on IPSAS bases. The Philippines, through the COA, also harmonized a number of international standards with the Philippine Public Sector Accounting Standards.

When asked about the challenges that the COA face in adopting the standards, Mr. Carruthers suggested creating a forum and getting the right people around the table to discuss how the guidelines can work in the Philippine setting.

Currently, the IPSASB is working on the IPSAS for revenue and no-exchange expenditure, financial instruments, heritage, infrastructure assets and leases, among others. #

Assistant Commissioner Sabiniano G. Cabatuan together with resource persons from the Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) at a Seminar on Drug Abuse Prevention in the Workplace held at the COA Professional Development Center on October 13, 2016.

Around 80 Commission on Audit (COA) personnel participated in the seminar on drug abuse prevention in the workplace to support the operation plan for the implementation and institutionalization of the National Anti-Drug Plan of Action (NADPA) held at the COA Professional Development Center on October 13, 2016.

Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) officials including Undersecretary Rommel L. Garcia and DDB Secretariat Atty. Philip Josef T. Vera discussed the NADPA as well as various legal and medical aspects of drug abuse. NADPA is the blueprint that describes the strategies and programs to be undertaken by the government in achieving a drug-resistant and eventually a drug-free Philippines.

Provided for under Memorandum Circular No. 89 s. 2015 dated December 17, 2015, the NADPA calls for all government offices shall formulate and adopt their own drug-free workplace programs and conduct authorized drug testing among officials and personnel.

COA Assistant Commissioner Sabiniano G. Cabatuan encouraged COA employees to show support to the program. “It’s about time that we share our efforts in containing the drug problems in our country and we can start right in our own workplace. The lessons gained from our distinguished resource persons can also be shared with our family and friends. This can be our participation in the government’s efforts to solve the drug problem,” Assistant Commissioner Cabatuan explained.

The COA supports the DDB’s efforts in educating the public on the evils of drugs and enlisting their participation in the anti-drug advocacy particularly on preventive education, treatment and rehabilitation.#

COA Chairperson Michael G. Aguinaldo was the inducting officer for the new officials of the Philippine Institute of Certified Public Accountants (PICPA) Pangasinan Chapter during the 65th Induction and Turnover ceremonies held at the CSI Stadia recently.

Commission on Audit (COA) Chairperson Michael G. Aguinaldo encouraged members of the Philippine Institute of Certified Public Accountants (PICPA) Pangasinan Chapter to work together with COA to build a better nation.

Chairperson Aguinaldo was the guest of honor and inducting officer during the 65th Induction and Turnover Ceremonies and 1st General Assembly of PICPA-Pangasinan Chapter with the theme “Level Up!” held recently at the CSI Stadia in Dagupan City.

“We are hoping to help “level up” government agencies’ performance of their mandates and in attaining the goals of the programs and projects that they implement. It also means of course, when we level up, we rise up to people’s and our own expectations. We hope that we will be able to achieve the public’s expectations of our performance and also go beyond our perspectives of what our roles as auditors should be. This is how we believe we can help build the future for the country,” Chairperson Aguinaldo said.

Some of the Commission’s plans and programs that will hopefully help “level up” government agencies’ performance of their mandates include revising, simplifying and modifying audit rules and regulations in order to have a constant and consistent ground of analysis; issuance of the Manual on the Financial Management of Barangays and updating the primer for barangays; and developing a Fraud-Risk Framework for government agencies so that it will be easier to prevent, detect and mitigate fraud risks, among others.

Chairperson Aguinaldo encouraged PICPA members to join in the government’s efforts to realize a more dynamic, thriving and peaceful country. “I hope you have taken your pledge today not only to level up your personal professional skills but also to accept your role and your responsibility in building a better nation. You are present everywhere, from the smallest scale enterprises to the biggest corporations to government agencies. Make yourself count,” he said.

COA Commissioner Jose A. Fabia, Pangasinan Governor Amado I. Espino III, Dagupan Mayor Belen T. Fernandez, PICPA Pangasinan Chapter President Leila Chua-Sy, Outgoing Chapter President Luz F. De Guzman, Past President of ASEAN Federation of Accountants Dean Estelita C. Aguirre, PICPA Vice President for Education Dr. Cesar A. Mansibang, Regional Director of Northern Luzon Atty. Henry Onia, and other COA officials were also present in the said event. # –Angelica Mae S. Villaflor

Chairperson Michael G. Aguinaldo and Commissioner Jose A. Fabia lead the inauguration of the new Provincial Satellite Auditing Office building at San Carlos City, Pangasinan.


Commission on Audit (COA) Chairperson Michael G. Aguinaldo and Commissioner Jose A. Fabia led the inauguration of the Commission’s new Provincial Satellite Auditing Office (PSAO) building at San Carlos City, Pangasinan on July 29, 2016.

The PSAO building in San Carlos City is the first in Region I. COA continues to build satellite offices in the provinces to provide auditors, especially those in far-flung areas, a home and to enhance auditors’ independence in the performance of their duties.

Chairperson Aguinaldo encouraged auditors and regional officials to perform their jobs to the best of their abilities. “The audited agencies need guidance and we should be able to engage with them. We want to be partners in progress,” he said.

“COA is not a frontline agency, we do not provide the service directly to the public but a lot of our audited agencies do. What we need to do is to make sure that they [the agencies] do their jobs correctly and use their resources wisely to achieve their goals that will benefit the people,” he added.

Commissioner Fabia echoed Chair Aguinaldo’s sentiments, noting that audited agencies do their jobs better so that they can also deliver goods and services to their constituents in accordance with their mandate, whether local, national or even corporate. “We have to help them. If they want our guidance we will guide them. That’s our new paradigm – we will be enablers,” he said. .

Assistant Commissioners Divinia M. Alagon of the Local Government Sector and Sabiniano G. Cabatuan of the Administrative Sector, Directors Lynn SF. Sicangco and Danilo M. Lagason and other COA officials were also present in the said event. # - Angel Villaflor

Commission on Audit (COA) Chairperson Michael G. Aguinaldo, Commissioners Jose A. Fabia and Isabel D. Agito with COA’s development partners and stakeholders at the partnership forum last June 24, 2016

The Philippine Commission on Audit (COA) bared its various initiatives under the 2016-2022 COA Strategic Plan to its stakeholders and development partners at a forum held on June 24, 2016 at the COA Professional Development Center Auditorium.

COA Chairperson Michael G. Aguinaldo and Commissioners Jose A. Fabia and Isabel D. Agito led COA officials in presenting the plans and programs under the Strategic Plan as well as in introducing the Commission’s mandate and the professionals that comprise COA to its development partners.

Around 30 representatives from COA’s stakeholders and development partners—the World Bank, United States Agency for International Development Delegation of the European Union in the Philippines, Development Academy of the Philippines, Affiliated Network for Social Accountability in East Asia and the Pacific, French Development Agency, Australian Government-Department of Foreign Affairs and, Asian Development Bank, United Nations Development Programme, Philippine Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, Board of Accountancy, Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism, and Symph—attended the forum.

Chairperson Aguinaldo said that the core of COA’s 2016-2022 Strategic Plan was to revitalize COA’s role as an enabler of government in the delivery of public service.

“We should be more of an enabler. We should be able to make agencies that we audit better, even if it’s just through proper, efficient, and effective use of their resources,” said Chairman Aguinaldo.

The initiatives to enable agencies include: redefining scope of audit; Public Financial Management Reform; update, simplify, and codify rules; educate government officials on rules; provision of a technical assistance facility; strengthen internal control systems of government agencies; preparation of cost and schedule guides; and finding a way to prepare consolidated annual financial statement.

In order to build a better COA, this Commission’s officials had rewritten the Vision and Mission statements as well as identified six goals under the Strategic Plan. These goals are: create positive impact; empower and enable agencies; improve delivery of high quality, fair and timely audits; increase stakeholder ownership and understanding; strengthen capacity and capability; and enhance support infrastructure.

“Our methodologies included group discussions, interviews, and consultations with COA officials, professionals, external stakeholders, and international bodies,” Chairperson Aguinaldo added.

During the forum, Chairperson Aguinaldo also reported the key challenges of the Commission before presenting the goals and initiatives.

Meanwhile, Commissioner Fabia also introduced COA’s development partners. He remarked that through the event, partners would gain a deeper understanding of COA’s mandate in safeguarding funds. He told partners and stakeholders that COA works to ensure that government resources are put to good use and that results of audit are being used as evidence in court in prosecution of graft and corruption cases.

Commissioner Agito, for her part, introduced COA’s professionals to its development partners, observing that COA has a multi-disciplinary workforce of more than 8,000 employees comprising mostly of Certified Public Accountants and other professionals. She observed the dedication of those who opted to stay in COA notwithstanding offers of higher salaries outside