Participants at the Inter-Agency Anti-Graft Coordinating Council (IAAGCC) Cross-Agency Training for IAAGCC Specialists with Commission on Audit (COA) Chairperson Michael G. Aguinaldo.
The Inter-Agency Anti-Graft Coordinating Council (IAAGCC), a voluntary alliance of government agencies aimed at preventing or eliminating graft and corruption in government service through strategic cooperation, conducted a three-day training and workshop for its members held at Tagaytay City from June 1-3, 2016.
The training aimed to improve capacity of IAAGCC members, especially those involved in the investigation and prosecution of graft cases, on fact-finding investigation and preliminary investigation as well as on the Revised Guidelines of Cooperation in the investigation of IAAGCC-certified cases. The training was conducted in cooperation with the United States International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs.
Participants came from IAAGCC member-agencies: the Commission on Audit (COA), the Office of the Ombudsman (OMB), the Civil Service Commission, the Department of Justice, the National Bureau of Investigation, the Department of Budget and Management, the Department of Finance, and the Office of the President.
They were updated on the implementation of anti-corruption laws; the Government Procurement Reform Act; and Republic Act 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act focusing on plunder, malversation, crimes committed by public officers, bribery and Articles 217 & 218 of the Revised Penal Code. Participants were given insights on the role of the COA in the prevention, detection and prosecution of graft and corruption cases with emphasis on the conduct of fraud audit as well as in the documentary requirements in investigating high-profile cases. Also discussed were asset forfeiture and the various ways the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) can assist IAAGCC specialists in their investigations. Participants were also briefed on the IAAGCC Revised Guidelines of Cooperation.
COA Commissioner Isabel D. Agito (center) with Chairperson Michael G. Aguinaldo, Commissioner Jose A. Fabia, Senate President Franklin M. Drilon and the members of the Commission on Appointments (CA) shortly after the CA approved Commissioner Agito’s appointment on May 25, 2016.
May 25, 2016- The Commission on Appointments (CA) has confirmed the ad interim appointment of Commission on Audit (COA) Commissioner Isabel Dasalla-Agito. All CA members agreed when the motion to confirm Commissioner Agito was presented in the plenary.
Commissioner Agito was appointed COA Commissioner by President Benigno S. Aquino III for a term expiring on February 2, 2018. Malacañang announced the appointment on January 15, 2016.
Commissioner Agito is a career official who has been with the COA for more than 39 years. She has audited various national government agencies including the Bureaus of Internal Revenue and Customs, Office of Muslim Affairs and Cultural Communities and the Professional Regulations Commission as well as government corporations such as the Social Security System and the Veterans Memorial Medical Center.
Commissioner Agito was a member of COA’s United Nations (UN) audit pool having been assigned to audit the UN Headquarters in New York in 1989-1991 and in 2000. She supervised the Special Task Force on Flagship Projects. She was named Assistant Commissioner, the highest career rank in COA, in August 2008.
Commissioner Agito obtained her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration- Accounting degree from the University of the East (UE) in 1972 and her Bachelor of Laws degree also from UE in 1993. #
The Philippine Commission on Audit (COA) updated its professional standards framework emphasizing independence of Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs), good practices of transparency and accountability and revisions on financial, compliance and performance audits guidelines.
COA adopted the Revised Framework of Professional Standards through Resolution No. 2016-007 on May 3, 2016. The framework was based on a study of applicable laws using the International Standards of Supreme Audit Institutions (ISSAI) and in harmony with the International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI) Framework of Professional Standards.
Included in the revised framework is ISSAI 10 or The Mexico Declaration on SAI Independence which sets up eight core principles for SAI independence: existence of an appropriate and effective constitutional/statutory/legal framework; independence of SAI heads and members of collegial institutions; sufficiently broad mandate and full discretion in the discharge of SAI functions; unrestricted access to information; rights and obligation to report on work; freedom to decide the content and timing of audit reports and to publish and disseminate them; existence of effective follow-up mechanisms on SAI recommendations; and financial and managerial/administrative autonomy and the availability of appropriate human, material and monetary resources. ISSAI 10 was approved by INTOSAI members at the XIXth Congress held in Mexico in 2007.
The COA Revised Framework of Professional Standards also include ISSAI 11 on Guidelines and Good Practices Related to SAI Independence, ISSAI 12 on the Value and benefits of Supreme Audit- making a difference to the lives of citizens, and ISSAI 21 on Principles of Transparency and Accountability- Principles and Good Practices.
COA also adopted revisions made by the INTOSAI regarding fundamental concepts and principles of the three types of audit- financial, compliance and performance audits.
COA first issued the Framework of Professional Standards through COA Resolution No. 2013-006 on January 29, 2013 to provide an overview of all the standards and guidelines for public sector auditing, assurance engagements and other related services in the Philippines and to harmonize current standards in the Philippines with international standards on auditing. #
The Commission on Audit (COA) highlights its role as a vibrant partner in nation-building as it marks its 117th anniversary through week-long activities from May 2-6, 2016.
“This year’s theme expresses the Commission’s invaluable role in shaping our Republic in collaboration and cooperation with internal and external partners, the citizenry and all government institutions,” observed Chairperson Michael G. Aguinaldo.
Commissioner Jose A. Fabia noted that “safeguarding public funds and properties for 117 years is an impressive feat” and encouraged COAns to continue to do their best. “Beyond financial and compliance audit is enabling the agencies we work with so they can become better in the work that they do. We are enablers and we guide our auditees so that they can do their jobs effectively, efficiently and economically,” Commissioner Fabia said.
“COA has always been in the forefront in detecting frauds in public finances with the view that audit can be and is indeed a tool for social and economic change,” said Commissioner Isabel D. Agito.
Highlight of the celebrations is the “COA Salutes the Best” program honoring COAns who have performed their duties with utmost excellence and courage and beyond expectations held at the COA Sports and Cultural Complex on May 5, 2016. The Gawad Kahusayan for the best audit performance was awarded to the Audit Teams of the National Capital Region-06, National Museum and the Department of Education Audit Group of the National Government Sector.
Festivities also include sports competitions, a seminar on permaculture, a symposium on Philippine Public Sector Accounting Standards and Philippine Public Sector Standards on Auditing, a briefing on the Barangay Financial Manual and the Sangguniang Kabataan Reform Act of 2015, and various livelihood program seminars conducted by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority.
From its beginnings as the Office of the Insular Auditor of the Philippine Islands created through an unnumbered memorandum signed by then US President William McKinley on May 8, 1899, the Commission on Audit’s evolution reflects the journey of the nation.
The institution was renamed twice under American civil rule, as the Bureau of the Insular Auditor in 1901 and the Bureau of Audits in 1905, both under the Executive branch. Under the 1935 Constitution, it became an independent constitutional body known as the General Auditing Office. Echoing the period in which the nation was preparing for self-governance during the Commonwealth era, the organization was also headed for the first time by a Filipino Auditor- General. The Commission evolved into a three-person collegial body under the 1973 Constitution. While the 1987 Constitution retained this structure, it also gave the Commission greater independence and scope as the sole external auditor of all government agencies and instrumentalities.
Now on its 117th year, the Commission continues to enact reforms for the Commission to create a positive impact in governance; empower and enable agencies; improve delivery of high quality, fair and timely audits; increase stakeholder ownership and understanding; strengthen its capacity and capability; and enhance its support infrastructure.
Congratulations COAns and happy 117th anniversary!
COA Assistant Commissioner Lourdes M. Castillo (4th from right) with members of the Philippine Delegation to the 60th Session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women. Also in picture is COA Director Fortunata M. Rubico (third from left).
The Commission on Audit (COA) showcased its pioneering work in the audit of Gender and Development (GAD) funds at the side event entitled “Show Me the Money: How Governments Allocate and Audit Funds to Achieve Gender Equality as a 2030 Sustainable Development Goal” during the 60th Session of the United Nations (UN) Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) held at the UN Headquarters in New York City on March 16, 2016.
The COA, together with the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) as the lead agency and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), gave a holistic presentation on what the Philippine Government is doing to allocate funds for programs and projects geared towards greater women empowerment from planning and budgeting (DBM) to implementation and monitoring (DSWD for sample program) and audit and reporting (COA). The side event was sponsored by the Philippine Delegation to the 60th Session of the UNCSW.
COA Assistant Commissioner Lourdes M. Castillo talked about COA’s accomplishments in the audit of GAD allocated funds and the plan for a results-focused audit approach as the Commission’s commitment to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) on Gender Equality under the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Assistant Commissioner Lourdes M. Castillo gives a presentation entitled “Show Me The Outcomes: Ensuring Accountability on Gender Program Allocations Through Results-Focused Audit Approach” at the 60th Session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women.
“We are humbled by the thought that we are one of the INTOSAI/ASOSAI member countries that has done pioneering work in the audit of gender-allotted funds. Committed to our mission, we will continue to oversee the strict implementation by all government agencies of the gender responsive policies, programs, projects and activities in the country,” Assistant Commissioner Castillo said.
“As the Philippine Government commits to the 2030 Agenda, COA would willingly join the convergence of the various implementing agencies. It has, in fact, started developing its own framework towards results-focused audit approach of GAD-related programs and activities through appropriate utilization of GAD-allotted funds. It will continue to be a leading pillar of transparent and accountable governance and a vibrant partner in nation-building,” she added. (To read the final paper, please click here)