The Commission on Audit has called the attention of the Negros Occidental provincial government to its lump sum appropriations, unsettled cash advances, and lack of lists of recipients for assistance released in its audit of accounts and operations for 2014, that was released on January 11 and posted on its website yesterday.
The COA said the provincial government charged P132,503,269 in expenditures against lump-sum appropriations without prior authority from the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, contrary to a prior Supreme Court decision.
The provincial government, in response, said is that it will ensure that lump-sum appropriations will be discontinued despite the absence of flexibility, to make room for regularity and transparency. It also committed to resort line budgeting.
The COA also said the assertions of existence, completeness and valuation on P223,033,002 worth of inventories by the provincial government are not adequately supported by a Report of Physical Count of Inventory.
The provincial government in response said it will conduct a twice a year physical count, instead of once a year, and an the inventory of existing items and the unrecorded issuances will be adjusted in the books.
The COA also cited cash advances of various officers and employees of the provincial government that, as of Dec. 31, 2014, amounted to P73,978,613 and have remained unsettled.
The COA recommended that the provincial government strictly impose the liquidation of cash advances granted to its employees and officers.
The audit body also cited P32,779,789 spent for the procurement of food supplies and equipment for distribution in the form of food assistance, support services and donations that were not supported with the list of recipients.
Verification showed that procurements for distribution to various recipients , whether in the form of food assistance that emanated from the Provincial Social Welfare and Development office , support services that were sourced out from the Office of Provincial Agriculture or donations from the Office of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan were not supported with lists of recipients duly verified by the PSWD, the COA said.
The practice has been ongoing for quite some time and prior recommendations were still not complied with, causing possible risk that the items procured were not received by the intended beneficiaries, the COA added .
The provincial government said it will try to submit the supporting documents before the processed and paid disbursement vouchers are transmitted to the COA.
The COA also cited laboratory tests for construction materials for various projects costing P17,337,648 that were conducted by unauthorized personnel.
The Capitol, in response, said that the provincial engineer was still verifying the unusual incident in the materials testing procedures conducted by the Department of Public Works and Highways. It vowed compliance by authenticating the signature of the testing personnel to ensure structural integrity of various projects of the province.*CPG
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