COA wants Maguindanao to reimburse P1.8-B projects

State auditors find transactions related to projects between 2008 and 2009 in Maguindanao “illegal or irregular”

MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Audit (COA) backed its earlier decision by issuing rejection notices against Maguindanao provincial government projects worth 1.824 billion pesos.

In a decision made public on Friday, March 18, the commission itself rejected the petition for review filed by the former provincial treasurer of Maguindanao, Osmeña Bandila, against 49 disallowance notices issued between 2011 and 2012.

State auditors said project-related transactions between 2008 and 2009 were “illegal or irregular”, after a special audit found that 76% – or 1.86 billion pesos – of total project spending 2.437 billion pesos from Maguindanao were released in the form of cash advances to Bandila.

COA Circular No. 97-002 requires that government expenditures be paid by check directly to contractors or suppliers. Bandila, who is also a member of the province’s tenders and rewards committee, said vendors refuse to accept checks.

But COA said Bandila’s actions showed “blind disregard for the law and the rules of this Commission on cash advances”.

The audit team also found that the disbursements “were not documented or the documents submitted were false”, including official receipts bearing the same numbers, while a tax identification card belonged to an employee. of the local government unit.

COA also raised questions about the lack of business licenses of some suppliers. They also found that they had no records of tax returns.

The files would be turned over to the Office of the Ombudsman for further investigation. – Rappler.com

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