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COA flags 57 gov’t agencies over P24B unused funds

Republika

No fewer than 57 government agencies were recently flagged by the Commission on Audit for not returning a total of P23.824 billion in unutilized or idle funds and deposits in unauthorized bank accounts.

Among the concerned agencies were the Department of Health (DOH) for P441.24 million under depository accounts and from fees and other receipts and collected revenues); the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) for unauthorized retention of P356.39 million representing its unutilized Scholarship Program Fund; and the Municipal Development Fund Office (under the Department of Finance) for P571.65 million in unremitted administrative fees following the termination of the administration of the Municipal Development Fund.


The MDF was formed for the loaning and borrowing activities of local government units.


In the regulatory body’s 2020 Annual Financial Report on National Government, it said that these unused funds, unauthorized bank deposits and income that the government agencies are not allowed to use, were not returned to the Bureau of Treasury (BTr) or the agencies from whence they came, as of 2020. This was “contrary to applicable laws, rules, regulations and Supreme Court decisions.”


The money remained with the errant agencies for two up to over 10 years, “depriving the government of additional funds for its operation.”


The bulk of the funds amounting to P10.87 billion, was traced back to the Procurement Service of the Department of Budget and Management (PS-DBM). These were advanced payments from its various client government agencies for procurement of common-use supplies and equipment.


This was also separate from P117.70 million in “unidentified deposits” that remained idle in the PS-DBM’s account. How long the money remained in the account is unknown reportedly “due to deficiency in account controls.”

Photo: Rappler


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