In a 2017 report released recently, state auditors said the agency “could have minimized the incurrence of substantial amount of training expenses totaling P5,404,543.80” if only the same were held within office premises or other government facilities.
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COA frowns on CHR’s costly hotel seminars
Michael Punongbayan (The Philippine Star) - July 9, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Audit (COA) has called the attention of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) over its supposedly expensive seminars and similar training activities held in various hotels last year.

In a 2017 report released recently, state auditors said the agency “could have minimized the incurrence of substantial amount of training expenses totaling P5,404,543.80” if only the same were held within office premises or other government facilities.

The COA report said the CHR could have also saved money on the 20 seminars or workshops it held if it decided to conduct the same on a live-out basis instead of having participants booked in hotels. 

State auditors noted that Section 2 of Presidential Decree 1445 or the Government Auditing Code of the Philippines provides that it is the declared policy of the state that all resources of the government shall be managed, expended or utilized in accordance with law and regulations, and safeguarded against loss or wastage through illegal or improper disposition, with a view of ensuring efficiency, economy and effectiveness in the operations of government. 

“Verification of the Training Expenses account showed that the CHR incurred the amount of P5,404,543.80 for CY (Calendar Year) 2017 in the conduct of trainings/seminars/workshops held in different hotels within and outside Metro Manila attended by personnel both from the Central Office (CO) and the Regional Offices (ROs),” the audit team said.

“Records likewise showed that trainings conducted by the CHR were made on in-house basis. Participants were booked in hotels with package accommodation of rooms for participants, meals for breakfast, morning and afternoon snacks, lunch and dinner, and the function rooms for the trainings conducted,” state auditors said.  

The COA report said the CHR “could have expended minimal amount of training expenses had the agency conducted the trainings within the office premises or utilized available government facilities and on a non-residential (live-out) basis.”

State auditors said the CHR management should explain and in the future conduct trainings/seminars/workshops for the development and productivity of agency personnel in available rooms within the office premises or avail itself of government facilities, which should be on a non-residential basis for Metro Manila-based employees, to save on training expenses.

COMMISSION ON AUDIT COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS
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