The Commission on Audit’s (COA) Citizen Participatory Audit (CPA) strategy was selected first place for the Asia Pacific Region by the Open Government Partnership (OGP) for its 2021 OGP Impact Awards. The recognition was announced at the Opening Plenary of the OGP Global Summit held from 15 to 17 December 2021.

The OGP Impact Awards “highlight commitments that have demonstrably improved people’s lives or the quality of democracy” and was launched by the OGP, along with the OGP Local Innovation Awards, as part of its 10th anniversary celebration to recognize the work of open government reformers in improving transparency, accountability, participatory nature, and impact of open government work.

Launched in November 2012, the CPA strategy aims to enhance citizen participation in the public audit process. It is a mechanism of constructive engagement between citizens and government in conducting public audits and capacity building activities, to uphold the people’s primordial right to a clean government and the prudent utilization of public resources. The CPA is founded on the premise that public accountability can prosper only with a vigilant and involved citizenry.

“We would like our people, especially the younger generation, to be involved in the work of governance. Citizens are included in the audit team to make government more effective, transparent, and accountable. After all, democracy is not only for the people, it is also by the people,” said COA Chairperson Michael G. Aguinaldo.

“We pledge to engage more civil society organizations as we vow to continue to cultivate this journey towards a constructive partnership among citizens and government auditors for a more transparent, resilient, accountable and open government because this is the heart of CPA,” he added.

Since 2012, CPA engagements included the multi-billion peso KAMANAVA Flood Control Project which involved 13 flood control structures meant to mitigate flooding in Northern Metro Manila, Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Funds and the Local Government Units’ performance in their response to natural calamities and man-made disasters, Farm-to-Market Roads where compliance with specifications and the selection of locations were validated through a geotagging tool, and the Solid Waste Management Program where the implementation of proper waste segregation and disposal was validated, including the level of satisfaction of residents on the overall cleanliness of their communities. COA has institutionalized the CPA through COA Resolution No. 2018–006 dated 1 February 2018.

Winning first place in the Impact Awards, on the 10th anniversary of the OGP, is doubly meaningful to the COA because the CPA strategy also won the first OGP Bright Spots prize during the OGP Global Summit held in London in 2013.

A video presentation on the CPA was shown by the OGP during the Civic Space Plenary Session on 15 December 2021 at 7am-9m EST.

According to the OGP, the voting process had been competitive with 45 applications for the Impact Awards and 60 for the Local Innovation Awards. Over 8,000 OGP community members voted for the Impact Awards while the Local Innovation Awards garnered votes from around 11,000 OGP members.