MANILA - The House Committee on Revision of Laws on Tuesday deliberated on House Bill 6761, which seeks to provide a prescriptive period within which the Commission on Audit may conduct audits and issue decisions.
During the deliberations, SAGIP Party List Rep. Rodante Marcoleta said the COA seems to act on its discretion without following any time frame. He also said COA should no longer conduct post-audits five to 10 years following the issuance of the notice of disallowance.
“An agency’s success and operational efficiencies are always on the time limits of the goals as well as their completion. There cannot be any better assessment for a job if the set time for which it has to be completed is not met,” he said.
COA Assistant Commissioner Elizabeth Zosa, however, said the agency follows timelines laid out in the 2009 Revised Rules of Procedure as well as Presidential Decree 1445 or the Government Auditing Code of the Philippines.
“We have to admit that these [specified timeframes] are not complied with, not because we don’t want to but because there are constraints on what we can do,” she said.
According to Zosa, the auditing process does not take years to be completed, but the commission, upon auditing, would need a considerable time to reach a final decision.
“We have to work within the framework of our system. Also, we have to balance the rights of individuals with the rights of the state to recover funds which are illegally and irregularly disbursed," she said.
According to Marcoleta, HB 6761 aims to help COA fulfill the promise and noble intentions of the Constitution.
“Actually, we are helping you. This is not against you, because these are the timelines that you yourselves set. Ito pong ginawa naming bill is in support of your self-imposed duty so that you can meet your deadlines,” he said.