International environment audit body features COA’s Citizen Participatory Audit

INTOSAI WGEA published in its website an experience sharing report on COA’s CPA approach.

The International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI) Working Group on Environmental Auditing (WGEA) published an experience sharing report prepared by the Commission on Audit (COA) on its Citizen Participatory Audit (CPA) in the context of environmental auditing.

INTOSAI WGEA commended the COA for its innovative approach to environmental auditing, involving citizens in taking part in the collection and analysis of data, writing reports, drafting inquiries, and generally acting as an integral part of auditing work.

The INTOSAI is the professional organization of SAIs in countries that belong to the United Nations or its specialized agencies and is an internationally recognized leader in public sector auditing. The WGEA’s key goals are to increase the expertise in environmental auditing globally and enhance environmental governance with high-quality contribution and visibility. According to INTOSAI WGEA, "the organization is very proud of the SAI Philippines output as this new innovative approach on environmental auditing involves the participation of citizens in audits and is in line with the Work Package 6 on experience sharing and capacity building of the INTOSAI WGEA Work Plan 2020-2022."

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Outstanding audit performance recognized

The Commission on Audit (COA) recognized COA officials and employees for their outstanding audit performance as well as excellent work ethic and loyalty at the annual Salutes the Best program on 5 May 2022 as one of the highlights of the 123rd COA anniversary celebration.

The audit team composed of Auditors Marilou P. Sumcad, Famela L. Manibog, and Jessy James B. Briones of COA Regional Office No. VI was awarded the Gawad Kahusayan for outstanding performance. The Audit team took the initiative in overseeing the extent of implementation of the DAO No. 2004-24 dated 24 August 2004 which provides for policies and guidelines in the management of foreshore areas under the jurisdiction of Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) – Provincial Environment and Natural Resource Office (PENRO), Capiz and in the enforcement of its provisions for the collection of rental/occupancy fees from the occupants who operate businesses at the coastal areas of Roxas City and three municipalities in the Province of Capiz. The team emphasized the uncollected annual rental fees aggregating to P35.774 million in estimated uncollected rental fees from CY 2013 to CY 2019 and later resulted to total collections amounting to ₽21,709,720.15 for CY 2021 alone which is way above the average annual collections. The breakthrough in the financial operations of PENRO-Capiz has paved the way towards a more aggressive campaign launched by the agency in order to generate sufficient income to sustain future developments of foreshore areas to benefit future generations without being solely dependent upon the support of the national government.

The Gawad Karangalan Level II was conferred on Mr. Gerald M. Mendeja of the Information Technology Office, Administration Sector. Mr. Mendeja spearheaded the development of various information and application systems in support to the operation of the different offices in the Commission, including the COA Project Reporting of Infrastructure Schedule Monitoring System (PRISM) which is an application designed for monitoring, evaluation, and reporting of different government infrastructure projects through different platforms such as web and mobile. PRISM was the entry of the Commission to the Hackathon BPK Competition held by the Audit Board of Indonesia with the theme “Hack for Accountability and Transparency.” Mr. Mendeja led the COA team which won first place at the professional level of the said competition.

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Second woman COA Chairperson assumes office as Commission celebrates National Women’s Month

Newly appointed Commission on Audit (COA) Chairperson Rizalina N. Justol, who is the second woman appointed as COA Chairperson after Ma. Gracia M. Pulido Tan, assumed her first day in office as the Commission opened the celebration of National Women’s Month.

Chairperson Justol was greeted warmly by COA officials and staff led by Commissioners Roland C. Pondoc and Mario G. Lipana. “I am glad to be back at COA, an institution that I have served for ten years as an auditing examiner,” Chairperson Justol remarked. She chose March 1 as the date of her assumption as Chairperson, it being a symbolic date, as it was when she left the Commission in 1996.

Newly appointed Commission on Audit Chairperson Rizalina N. Justol (seated, center) joins Commissioners Roland C. Pondoc and Mario G. Lipana and COA Assistant Commissioners during an informal meeting on her first day in office

Earlier in the day, COA formally joined the nation in celebration of National Women’s Month with the culmination of the 2017-2022 theme: “WE Make Change Work for Women.” The theme highlights women empowerment and women as active change agents and beneficiaries of development.

More than 900 COA officials and staff from the Central and Regional Offices participated in the virtual opening program which included a dialogue with the Commission Proper. The Commission’s celebration of Women’s Month is highlighted by the nationwide conduct of four sessions of training on the audit of Gender and Development (GAD) Funds which will use the new GAD Audit Guide. Developed by the Committee on Audit and Gender Issue Analysis of the COA GAD Focal Point System (GFPS), the GAD Audit Guide provides a step-by-step guide for audit teams in the conduct of audit that contributes to gender equality and promote greater gender-responsiveness in government programs and projects.

“Since the creation and institutionalization of COA’s GAD Focal Point in 2001 to spearhead gender mainstreaming efforts, the Commission had implemented various organization and client-focused initiatives to advance GAD advocacies. I am not surprised that COA has reached Level 4- Commitment, Enhancement and Institutionalization-under the Gender Mainstreaming Evaluation Framework of the Philippine Commission on Women (PCW) and was recognized with the GADtimpala Bronze Award in 2018. With the PCW, I am confident that we will reach the highest level of gender mainstreaming. Rest assured that I will give my wholehearted cooperation and endorsement of all our GAD efforts,” Chairperson Justol said.

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