OWWA on ‘excessive gadget purchases': They were free
MANILA, Philippines – Responding to a recently released audit report hitting the agency for "excessive" gadget purchases, the Overseas Workers’ Welfare Administration (OWWA) explained that the "high-end gadgets" issued to some of their personnel were in fact freebies.
In its 2015 audit report, the Commission on Audit (COA) questioned the agency for issuing "expensive models” to some of their personnel, adding that some of them were even able to avail of more than one unit each.
The report also noted that some employees received both an iPhone and an iPad, which the COA considered unnecessary.
The report added that this came about due to "the absence of a management policy pertaining to the limitation on the entitlement of OWWA personnel on the usage of said electronic gadgets.”
In a press release on Monday, July 11, OWWA said the iPhone units were not purchased but were offered free as part of the post-paid plans availed of by the agency.
OWWA explained that availing of these post-paid plans was "more advantageous to the government than separate purchases of individual mobile phones."
The agency also clarified that no official was issued more than one mobile phone and that they’ve already submitted to COA a list of the active units of iPhones and the corresponding users.
OWWA said the iPads were given to the agency's key officials because of the "necessity to check and transmit urgent and important e-mail messages when they are outside the office attending interagency meetings and other official functions." OWWA deals with overseas workers and their problems.
OWWA Administrator Rebecca J. Calzado said the agency has already submitted its explanation to COA. – Rappler.com
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