COA clears past intel spending of Valenzuela, Pasay

Rappler.com
The Commission on Audit lifts the notices of disallowance against Valenzuela City over intel funds spent in 2007 and 2008, and against Pasay City over intel funds spent in 2012

MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Audit (COA) cleared the spending of confidential and intelligence funds (CIF) by two Metro Manila cities in certain years.

The commission lifted notices of disallowance (NDs) issued against Valenzuela City over such funds spent in 2007 and 2008, and against Pasay City over funds spent in 2012. These were contained in COA’s separate decisions on January 28. 

In Valenzuela’s case, the city sought to recall the ND issued in 2015 over supposed excess CIF worth P10.25 million in 2007 and P10.02 million in 2008.

COA’s audit unit for confidential and intel expenses first ruled in March 2014, through a notice of suspension, that Valenzuela’s cash advances lacked required documents. Two NDs were then issued in March 2015, citing an interior department memorandum circular that limits the amount that can be spent for CIF activities.

On appeal, then-Valenzuela City mayor Sherwin Gatchalian and acting city budget officer Pia Aquino argued that the audit left out allocations for peace and order programs, which would put the city’s CIF spending within the 30% limit for such programs.

As for Pasay City, auditors initially disallowed its CIF spending for 2012 for going against accounting rules, because the city spent P22.75 million through reimbursement using cash advances.

However, following a review, the commission ruled that confidential and intel expenses of local government units may be paid out of cash advances “provided that they are covered by the period indicated in the grant.” It also said that Pasay officials fully submitted liquidation reports.

This decision cleared then-Pasay City mayor Antonino Calixto and 4 other city officers.

A notice of disallowance is issued against transactions, either in whole or in part, that were disapproved in an audit. – Rappler.com