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.#




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