Senior officials of the Royal Audit Authority of Bhutan visited the Philippine Commission on Audit to study auditing from a gender perspective.

The Philippine Commission on Audit (COA) shared its experiences in auditing from a gender perspective with senior officials of the Royal Audit Authority of Bhutan during a study visit in the country from 23 to 27 January 2017.

COA Chairperson Michael G. Aguinaldo with Commissioners Jose A. Fabia and Isabel D. Agito met their Bhutanese counterparts led by Deputy Auditor Generals Prem Mani Pradhan and Chimi Dorji with Assistant Auditor Generals Keldang Namgyel and Dechen Pelden.

Chairperson Aguinaldo thanked the Bhutan audit officials for appreciating the country and wished them to have a fruitful learning and knowledge sharing.

COA Assistant Commissioner Lourdes M. Castillo, head of the Technical Working Group of the COA Gender and Development Focal Point System (GFPS), GFPS Secretariat Director Fortunata M. Rubico and Gender Specialist Lourdes C. Turiano discussed the role and achievements of the COA relating to Gender and Development (GAD) concerns.

COA officials shared the Commission’s pioneering work on the audit of GAD-allocated funds, including the development of its own framework towards results-focused audit approach of GAD-related programs and activities through appropriate utilization of GAD-allotted funds.

The delegates also learned about the Philippines’ GAD policies and issues in a visit to the Philippine Commission on Women (PCW). PCW Executive Director Emmeline L. Versoza gave the delegates an oversight on the mandates and role of the PCW, GAD approaches and strategies in the country, Gender Mainstreaming Evaluation Effort and GAD planning and budgeting process in the Philippines. The delegates also witnessed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between COA and PCW renewing their partnership to intensify the monitoring and auditing of GAD budget.

Delegates also learned how a particular agency implements GAD programs in a visit to the Commission on Higher Education at the end of their week-long study visit to the country.

Deputy Auditor General Chimi Dorji thanked the hosts for the productive study visit and hoped to use what they have learned to improve their audit work relating to GAD concerns. #




Participants at the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Training on Enhancing Performance Audits with Mr. Joseph Christoff and Mr. Jess Ford, former directors at the United States Government Accountability Office (US GAO)

Intent on enhancing performance audit, the Commission on Audit (COA) formed five performance audit teams who will be trained and mentored in performance audit tools and techniques. The team members are entry, mid and senior-level personnel with multi-disciplinary skills who came from the various audit sectors.

The teams will conduct performance audit of selected government programs such as in-city resettlement, disaster risk preparedness, heath services, immunization project for schools and the conditional cash transfer implementation. The teams chose these programs based on criteria including large government expenditures or beneficiaries served, high risk factors, need for immediate results, and significant weaknesses identified in prior financial and compliance audits.

“It is through performance audit that COA can create a more positive impact by helping government managers assess whether their programs have achieved their target goals and objectives,” Chairperson Michael G. Aguinaldo observed.

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Commission on Audit (COA) Chairperson Michael G. Aquinaldo and CODE-NGO Executive Director Sixto Donato C. Macasaet sign the memorandum of agreement for the citizen participatory audit of government’s Yolanda shelter projects

The Commission on Audit (COA) has formed a partnership with the country’s biggest coalition of non-government organizations (NGOs) working for social development to conduct Citizen Participatory Audit (CPA) of selected shelter projects in areas affected by Typhoons Yolanda and Sendong.

To document this partnership, COA Chairperson Michael G. Aguinaldo and the Caucus of Development NGO Networks (CODE-NGO) Executive Director Sixto Donato C. Macasaet signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) on October 25, 2016. The MOA entails how COA and CODE-NGO will work together in conducting a CPA audit of shelter projects implemented by the government in the areas of Palawan, Tacloban, and Iloilo that were affected by Typhoon Yolanda and in Iligan City affected by Typhoon Sendong.

Chairperson Aguinaldo expressed optimism that the cooperation between COA and CODE-NGO will entail greater transparency and citizen participation in governance.

“The big picture here is transparency so that the people can see for themselves the actions taken by government,” Chairperson Aguinaldo said.

Through the CPA, audits are conducted with citizen auditors included in the team to encourage vigilant participation in exacting government accountability. The audit is under the direct supervision and control of the COA.

COA and CODE-NGO will develop the audit design and objectives. Before the audit commences, members from both COA and CODE-NGO will undergo training program on the CPA scheduled on November 14 – 18, 2016.

CODE-NGO has 12 national and regional networks representing 1,600 non-government organizations, people’s organizations and cooperatives. Its advocacies include transparency, anti-corruption and government accountability; people’s participation in governance; asset reform; environment; and social services. #




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.#