COA Working on the Right Balance Between Flexibility and Accountability, Mendoza Assures
Vol. XVIII No. 7 (Nov. 22-28, 2014)
BAGUIO CITY – The Commission on Audit (COA) is working on putting in the right balance between flexibility and accountability in government financial transactions.
This was the assurance made by COA Commissioner Heidi Mendoza during the Department of Budget and Management (DBM)- led North Luzon Good Governance Dialogues here last week.
Mendoza, during the “Talakayan on Access to Justice”, said that as they are serious in assuring that no government funds will be left un-accounted or going into the pocket of corrupt government officials or personnel, they are also doing their best to reach out to the concerns of government entities as far as government accounting and auditing rules are concerned.
For local government units, Mendoza reported that in terms of flexibility, COA is planning to look into the economic enterprise of LGUs so that instead of paying high rentals or services, maybe the LGUs themselves can invest into regular or essential infrastructure or services.
“My next proposal will be the revisiting of the guidelines on LGUs enterprise,” she stressed.
For COA reforms, Mendoza reported that they have the “Unified audit”, wherein only one auditor will consolidate the COA findings of one agency and that they are also working into citizen participatory auditing for transparency and accountability.
She also disclosed that COA is also working for the establishment of a Data Management Center so that even there are movement of auditors the data can be easily retrieved.
Other COA reform plans Mendoza reported are the possibility of using geo-tagging as an audit technique against ghost projects and bloated accomplishments, revisiting of COA cost-estimates and the establishment of prosecution and litigation office.
The Commissioner assured that she is always ready to respond to any complaints against COA auditors.
“If you think that there were “gray areas” in the audit findings and that you are sure that your report are within the guidelines, you are welcome to call my attention, even through a private message on Facebook,”, she said.
Mendoza was joined by National Commission and Indigenous Peoples Commissioner Zenaida Brigida Pawid and Atty. Rafale Hipolito of the Office of the Ombudsman as panelists during the “Talakayan” on Access to Justice./JDP/CCD – PIA CAR