Heidi Mendoza eyes open-door policy in COA

By David Dizon, abs-cbnNEWS.com

Posted at Apr 06 2011 03:29 PM | Updated as of Apr 07 2011 04:18 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Newly-appointed Commission on Audit (COA) commissioner Heidi Mendoza on Wednesday said she will adopt an "open-door" policy in the COA that will allow employees to voice their concerns and give suggestions on how best to clean up the agency.

Speaking to ANC, Mendoza said some COA employees are excited about starting anew and polishing the image of the commission.

"They know how to conduct audits the way it should be done. Many people are excited to start and do it the way its supposed to be done. I'm looking at -- what are the possible openings so they can connect and can express their message and send their reports, I am a bit open to both," she said.

She said she also believes she can do more to change the COA from within, rather than working outside as a critic.

"When you are outside government, nothing is good enough. When you are inside, somebody will be knocking at your door and you will have lots of opportunity to extend yourself. I'm opening my door to anyone. Mas maraming kakatok pag nasa loob ka eh. Kakaunti kakatok pag nasa labas," she said.

Mendoza worked for the COA for over 20 years and was part of fraud audit investigations of government transactions.

She made headlines in February after her explosive testimony before Congress on the alleged misuse of military and United Nations (UN) peacekeeping funds.

Mendoza is regarded as an expert in fraud audit investigations in government transactions. She resigned from the COA in 2005 and worked with the Asian Development Bank before resigning and appearing in the congressional probes into the plea bargain deal between prosecutors and former military comptroller Carlos Garcia.

The COA was previously ranked the 6th most corrupt government agency, according to a Pulse Asia perception survey.

The survey, conducted last February 24 to March 6, showed that Mendoza was considered the most credible of 6 personalities involved in the military corruption scandal.

Bayan Muna party-list lawmaker Teddy Casiño praised Malacañang for appointing Mendoza to the COA.

"The appointment of Ms. Heidi Mendoza as COA commissioner can be the best thing that ever happened to the agency if it is followed by aggressive and concerted actions by COA officials and its rank and file to fulfill the agency's mandate," he said in a statement.

He added: "Her integrity and competence should be made to infect and animate the entire bureaucracy. Otherwise she will just end up as a useless decoration."