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COA uncovers P100-B illegal gov’t transactions in 2013

Michael Punongbayan - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - Government transactions worth P100.83 billion in 2013 were found to be illegal, irregular, excessive and doubtful, a report of the Commission on Audit (COA) showed.

In a nine-page summary of Significant Accomplishments of the Commission on Audit for 2013, state auditors said the P100.83-billion government transactions were covered by 38,110 notices of disallowance (ND), notices of charge (NC) and notices of suspension (NS) in 2013.

NDs are issued for government expenditures or uses of government funds and properties that are deemed “illegal, irregular, unnecessary, excessive, extravagant or unconscionable.”

NCs are issued for transactions with under-appraisal, under-assessment or under-collection by revenue and regulatory agencies or those that dispose of government assets.

An NS, which can mature into an ND, is issued for a transaction that is of “doubtful legality, validity or propriety accompanied by a directive for accountable officials to submit clarifications or additional documentation.”

State auditors said 15,648 NDs for fund releases and expenditures amounting to P26.12 billion were issued, of which only P96 million were settled.

State auditors also noted that 202 NCs were issued for transactions worth P53.38 billion, with national government agencies accounting for P53.17 billion. There were 22,260 NSs covering fund releases in the amount of P21.33 billion in 2013.

The COA released the figures without identifying specific government agencies or offices, which include local government units, government-owned or controlled corporations, state-owned universities and colleges and water districts.

Under audit rules, NDs and NCs “shall be considered as audit decisions” which are enforceable, requiring those who are found liable to return the amount involved.

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