DOJ: COA can audit PCSO agents
Evelyn Macairan (The Philippine Star) - January 31, 2016 - 9:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The Commission on Audit (COA) has the right to audit the authorized agent corporations of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) involved in the operation of small town lottery, the Department of Justice (DOJ) recently said.

The four-page DOJ legal opinion, crafted by Undersecretary Zabedin Azis, was in response to the query made by Fourth District Cavite Rep. Elpidio Barzaga Jr., who chairs the House of Representatives committee on games and amusement. 

Barzaga asked the DOJ if these agents can be audited by the COA, considering that they are required under the law to hold money in trust for the PCSO.

“This department is of the view that the (agents) are subject to the audit jurisdiction of the COA pursuant to Section 26 of Presidential Decree 1445, otherwise known as the Government Auditing Code of the Philippines,” Azis said.

He cited as basis Section 2(1) Article IX-D of the 1987 Constitution, which says the COA has the power, authority and duty to examine, audit and settle all accounts pertaining to the revenue and receipts of, and expenditures or use of funds and property, including non-governmental entities receiving subsidy or equity, directly or indirectly, from or through the government to submit to such audit as a condition of subsidy or equity.

There is also Section 26 of PD 1445 that states that the COA’s authority and power also covers the “audit and settlement of the accounts of all persons respecting funds or property received or held by them in an accountable capacity,” Azis said.

He added that the COA’s jurisdiction includes the “non-governmental entities subsidized by the government, those funded by donations through the government, those required to pay levies or government share, and those for which the government has put up a counterpart fund or those partly funded by the government.”

The DOJ said these provisions state that the COA has the authority to audit the accounts of persons on funds received or held by them in accountable capacity and the commission exercises this over non-government entities required to pay government share.

The DOJ said the agent firms are non-government entities required to pay government share and the ticket sales collections for the STL operations are being held them in an accountable capacity.

ACIRC AUDIT AZIS COA DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE ELPIDIO BARZAGA JR. FOURTH DISTRICT CAVITE REP GOVERNMENT GOVERNMENT AUDITING CODE OF THE PHILIPPINES HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES PHILIPPINE CHARITY SWEEPSTAKES OFFICE
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