MANILA — The Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) failed to submit documentary requirements to the Commission on Audit (COA), which prevented the proper audit of its funds in 2020.
Instead of a full audit report for 2020, ARTA got a management letter because of its incomplete set of books.
“The ARTA’s non-submission of financial reports and other documents prevented timely detection of any deficiency thereof and the corresponding corrective actions to be undertaken,” the audit team said.
The ARTA, headed by Jeremiah Belgica, is an agency under the Office of the President mandated to implement the Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Services Delivery Act of 2018.
COA noted that the ARTA failed to submit financial statements and other documents. ARTA cited as reasons the COVID-19 pandemic and lack of manpower being a newly created agency.
ARTA management also told the audit team that the previous personnel in its finance and administration department resigned without proper turnover of the financial documents, with the incumbent accountant informing that numerous vouchers were with incomplete supporting documents.
“Numerous follow-ups and reminders were made by the audit team for management to submit the required FSs and its supporting documents on or April 30, 2021 and as of reporting date, but proved futile,” the audit team said.
In a statement released by ARTA to the media, the agency said that it has already submitted the required documents in late July.
“The authority is fully committed to cooperate and move with transparency with the COA team. Transparency is in line with our mandate of making government services more efficient,” ARTA said in the statement.