COA slams DOF over unused funds, unauthorized honoraria
MANILA, Philippines – State auditors flagged the Department of Finance for low utilization of funds for the last 3 years.
The Commission on Audit (COA) reported that the agency had unobligated balances amounting to P262.176 million, P435.83 million, and P442.204 for 2015, 2016, and 2017, respectively.
"We recommended that management…evaluate the performance indicators used and request for the appropriate revision... and monitor regularly the progress of accomplishments of planned programs, activities, and projects to promptly identify any problem that may cause delays in the implementation,” COA said.
Auditors also recommended that the budget division and all the offices concerned “to prepare a more realistic budget proposal based on well-studied/planned programs, projects, and activities” and for the procurement office to “observe the procurement schedule in the approved annual procurement plan to maximize use of funds."
The agency also retained some P56.092 of unutilized special purpose funds and collections from sale of bid documents without authority. COA said the DOF should have remitted it to the National Treasury (NTr).
DOF also released additional funds to the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) and the Development Academy of the Philippines (DAP) without liquidation or financial reports for the previous fund transfers. Funds transferred to the DBP remained unliquidated despite a 94.28% utilization as of year-end.
“We recommended that Management require the accountant to ensure that liquidations/financial reports are submitted before making additional fund transfers,” COA said.
Auditors also questioned honoraria amounting to P5.119 million given to the technical working committees involved in ISO certification activities.
COA recommended stopping the payment of honoraria to its employees since the activities mentioned are considered “regular activities” of the agency. Auditors also said that the DOF should ensure all payments made are covered by the appropriations law.
Moreover, the properties acquired by the DOF totaling P127.03 million in 2017 were not adequately covered by insurance with the GSIS Insurance Fund, which is contrary to the property insurance law.
Because of this, COA said “the DOF may not be indemnified or compensated for any damage or loss in the event of fire, earthquake, storm or other fortuitous event.” – Rappler.com