COA team cites DICT for failure to submit financial reports on time


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COA team cites DICT for failure to submit financial reports on time
The Department of Information and Communications Technology says it concurs with the audit recommendations, and has hired more people to avoid delays in submitting financial reports

MANILA, Philippines – A Commission on Audit (COA) team has sought sanctions against officials of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) who failed to meet deadlines on submission of the agency’s Financial Statements (FS) in the past three years. 

State auditors said in a letter posted on November 6, Monday, that the DICT has not heeded annual reminders on meeting the timetable on submitting yearend and quarterly FS, as well as supporting account schedules and subsidiary ledgers. 

The deadline for yearend FS is February 14 the following year while quarterly FS are supposed to be turned over to the audit team within 10 days from the end of each quarter.

These documents are needed to facilitate referencing and monitoring and identifying accountabilities.

Auditors said that among the unsubmitted financial reports that should have been part of the FS were the aging of accounts, schedule of income taxes paid, schedule of fund transfer, statement of management responsibility, statement of comparison of budget and actual amounts.

The DICT said it was able to submit the 2022 yearend FS on May 2, 2023 but without the Statement of Management Responsibility.

Electronic copies of the complete yearend FS for 2021 was submitted to the COA only on June 28, 2022 while the complete hardcopy was handed to the audit team only on May 2, 2023.

“The delayed submission of the financial reports and records has been a yearly observation of the AT (audit team). In CYs [Calendar Years] 2020 and 2021, the DICT failed to submit its FS within the prescribed period that necessarily should be supported with complete schedules and SLs (subsidiary ledgers),” the audit team said.

“Failure of officials/employees concerned to comply shall cause the automatic suspension of the payment of their salaries and other emoluments until they have complied. Violation of at least three consecutive times shall subject the offender to administrative disciplinary action,” it added.

Auditors recommended that the DICT Legal Services review the records and recommend to the DICT secretary the appropriate action based on Presidential Decree No. 1445 or the Government Auditing Code of the Philippines, specifically the “suspension of salaries of those officials/employees responsible.”

In its comment on the findings, the DICT said it concurs with the audit recommendations.

It also told the COA that it has tapped additional manpower for its accounting department to avoid delayed submission of financial reports.

The DICT is the “primary policy, planning, coordinating, implementing, and administrative entity of the Executive Branch of the government that will plan, develop, and promote the national ICT development agenda.” 

Among its functions is cybersecurity which includes suppressing cybercrime offenses and cyberattacks on critical infrastructures that affect national security. 

It is also supposed to provide “pro-active government countermeasures against domestic and transnational incidents affecting the Philippine cyberspace” as well as cybersecurity threats to the country. – Rappler.com

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