COA: P1.54B in disallowed expenditures recovered in 2016

By Elizabeth Marcelo

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The COA issues an ND when it finds the public expenditure to be anomalous or in violation of procurement and auditing rules. File photo
MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Audit was able to recover P1.54 billion of misused government funds in 2016, an increase of 200 percent from its record in 2015.
 
In a statement issued Thursday, the COA said that for 2016, a total of P1.54 billion Notices of Disallowance were settled by various government officials and employees, a hefty increase from P500 million NDs settled in 2015.
 
The COA issues an ND when it finds the public expenditure to be anomalous or in violation of procurement and auditing rules.
 
Based on the COA's records, around 800 NDs amounting P1.3 billion were settled under the Education and Employment Cluster of the National Government Sector of the Commission.
 
The COA attributed its improved recovery of liabilities to its upgraded information and monitoring system and various issuances such as Audit Observation Memorandum, Notice of Suspension (NS), ND and Notice of Charge (NC).
 
"We are focused on ensuring that public funds are expended or utilized according to laws, rules and regulations and preserving resources against wastage and unnecessary, excessive, extravagant and unconscionable expenditures," COA chairman Michael Aguinaldo said.
 
"Despite the fact that the commission does not really have enforcement powers, efforts are expended to enable the payment and settlement of the amounts disallowed," he added.
 
In 2016, the COA issued a total of 4,775 NDs amounting to P4.5 billion, NS valued at around P9.10 billion, of which almost half was settled at around P4.06 billion and NC worth P365.22 million.
 
"Increasing our efforts in getting the amounts disallowed paid and settled, and remitted to public coffers, is one way for the Commission to create a greater impact in governance," Aguinaldo said.
 
"There are many challenges but I am confident that the programs we have started will enhance the effectivity of our very limited enforcement mechanisms," he added.

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