The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) accumulated at least 118 million pesos of unliquidated cash advances and undocumented disbursements in 2019, the Audit Commission (COA) said.
In its 2019 annual PDEA audit report, state auditors revealed that the agency had an unliquidated cash advance worth 87 million pesos granted to 26 employees. This is a violation of COA Circular No. 97-002 which requires a responsible officer to liquidate the cash advance for minor operating expenses and field operating expenses within 20 days. following the end of the year, subject to replenishment as often as necessary during the year. , said the COA.
Likewise, the COA said that the non-liquidation by the PDEA of a cash advance worth 87 million pesos was also contrary to Presidential Decree No. 1445 which states that “a cash advance must be declared and liquidated as soon as the objective for which it was granted has been achieved “. and that no further advance of funds shall be granted to any officer or employee unless the advance of funds previously granted to him or her is first paid or proper accounting thereof is made. ”
“The analysis showed that the accumulation of unpaid balances was caused by the delay in liquidation of cash advances, while liquidation reports were delayed by 117 days on average,” COA said.
“The investigation showed that the delays were due to late implementation of activities, incomplete supporting documentation for payments, and unreimbursed / unused balances after completion of the activity,” added auditors from the state.
COA then warned that such an accumulation of cash advances could lead to problems such as:
- government resources likely to be misused;
- difficulty keeping cash in hand and supporting documents;
- cash advances are not liquidated until all activities are completed; and
- difficulty tracking transactions relating to a specific cash advance.
In addition to the unliquidated funding, the COA also reported the PDEA for 31 million pesos of 100 disbursement vouchers that were not supported by official receipts as required by applicable laws, rules and regulations, thus throwing the doubt about the validity, existence, occurrence and regularity of the claims.
“As a general rule, one of the general requirements for all types of disbursement is that the documents are sufficient and relevant to establish the validity of the claims,” stressed the state auditors.
“100 transactions from October to December 31, 2019 in the amount of 31 million pesos were subject to an audit but were not accompanied by official receipts indicating that the payment / receipt was received by the applicants. Failure to provide official receipts for payments raises doubts about the validity, existence, occurrence and regularity of claims apart from non-compliance with laws and regulations, ”added COA.
The COA reiterated its recommendation from the previous year to require the PDEA to take the following actions:
- the chief accountant sending letters of formal notice to all administrative agents with overdue cash advances to immediately settle / liquidate their cash advances given that the objective for which the cash advances were granted had already been achieved ; and
- all administrative agents to liquidate their cash advances according to the prescribed deadlines and study the possibility of assigning one administrative agent per region to maintain the method of cash advances on replenishment instead of different administrative agents for different purposes.
The PDEA accepted these recommendations, the COA said.
Regarding unsupported disbursement supporting documents, COA instructed PDEA to require applicants to submit / issue official receipts for payments received and refrain from processing their next requests without full documentation of previous ones.
PDEA argued that its financial management department has always done its best to obtain official receipts from recipients. However, coordination with beneficiaries usually takes time, as they must first verify payments credited to their respective bank accounts before issuing official receipts over which the PDEA has no control. —KG, GMA News