Budget Watch

COA orders PS-DBM to return P3 billion in bank account to national treasury

Rappler.com
COA orders PS-DBM to return P3 billion in bank account to national treasury

COA. The Commission on Audit in Commonwealth Avenue, Quezon City, on October 2, 2018.

Rappler

The Commission on Audit says the practice of investing cash in high-yield savings accounts is not part of the mandate of the Procurement Service of the Department of Budget and Management

MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Audit (COA) found that the Procurement Service of the Department of Budget and Management (PS-DBM) has a high-yield savings account holding P3.001 billion.

State auditors said the account at the Development Bank of the Philippines was created more than five years ago and the source of the funds “could not be specifically identified.”

COA ordered PS-DBM to close the account and place the funds in the national treasury.

“It is not in [PS-DBM’s] mandate to make investments and it has no authority to invest in [a high-yield savings account],” the commission said. 

“The practice of investing cash in high-yield savings accounts, therefore, deviates from its mandate of procurement of [common use supplies and equipment] which requires utilization of funds.”

This is not the first time that PS-DBM was called out for maintaining a high-yield savings account. In 2020, COA questioned the office for having a similar account with the Land Bank of the Philippines.

PS-DBM recently reentered the spotlight in relation to the procurement that it facilitated for the Department of Education, which involved P2.4 billion worth of “outdated” laptops.

That is on top of the controversy it faced over anomalous pandemic contracts with the government. (READ: LIST: Everything you need to know about the Pharmally pandemic deals scandal) – Rappler.com

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