Auditors urge DICT to coordinate with DepEd on idle laptops

Adrian Ayalin, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 12 2022 01:56 PM

Commission on Audit building in Quezon City on Feb. 19, 2018. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News/File
Commission on Audit building in Quezon City on Feb. 19, 2018. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News/File

MANILA — State auditors have urged the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) to coordinate with the Department of Education in connection with students and teachers who might be in need of gadgets.

The Commission on Audit made the recommendation after finding out that P92.967 million worth of devices were undistributed under the Cybersafe Learning for Education Project. These include 866 laptops worth P32,200 each and 12,482 tablets at P4,950 each. 

The 2021 audit report on the DICT noted that the devices had no exact actual beneficiaries identified when the procurement was started.

“What is attendant is the information drive that the Department has available ICT devices for distribution,” the audit team said.

The auditors said the distribution of the devices should be fast-tracked to prevent obsolescence and avoid exposing students and teachers to the "fatal risks associated with COVID-19 infection." 

The report also noted that the DICT had yet to submit its report on the monitoring and status of the deployed devices, necessary for the post-evaluation of the CLE program.

As of May 16, 2022, a total of 9,384 laptops and 29,018 tablets were distributed. All 1,001 pocket WIFIs procured were also distributed to beneficiaries.

The DICT management agreed with the recommendation to boost its information drive on the availability of gadgets and to coordinate with the DepEd.

"During the exit conference, management commits to strengthen its information [drive]," the audit report noted.

The DICT also submitted to the audit team in a letter dated June 24, 2022 a list of receiving agencies and organization, as as well as a list of direct beneficiaries.

The audit report can be downloaded from the COA website.

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