COA warned: Accountable officials may face malversation raps-A A +A
Friday, October 11, 2013
CASH advances worth P101 million, granted by the Cebu City Government to some officials, have remained unliquidated since 2006.
This was among the observations made by the Commission on Audit (COA) in its interim audit report covering January to June this year.
COA noted that the cash advances remained unliquidated even after the audit agency issued Circular 2012-004 last Nov. 28, which ordered the immediate liquidation and settlement of outstanding balances on or before Jan. 31 this year.
COA Supervising Auditor Delia Monte de Ramos, in a report to the City Council, said the unliquidated cash advances increased by P29.3 million as of May 31 this year.
This brought the total unliquidated cash advances to P130.3 million.
Article 217 of the Revised Penal Code states that "the failure of a public officer of any funds or property with which he is chargeable, upon demand by a duly authorized officer, shall be prima facie evidence that he has put such missing funds or property to personal use.”
COA Circular 2012-004 provides that failure of an accountable officer to liquidate his or her outstanding cash advance on or before Jan. 31 this year shall constitute cause for the filing of malversation charges or criminal prosecution.
COA can order the suspension of the salaries of erring accountable officers.
The audit report, however, did not identify those with unliquidated cash advances.
In a management comment, Acting City Treasurer Diwa Cuevas said demand letters have been sent to concerned accountable officers, ordering them to settle their obligations.
Monte de Ramos asked Mayor Michael Rama to instruct all accountable officers to immediately settle their outstanding cash advances.
She also recommended the filing of malversation and criminal charges against them.
The COA also noted that during City Hall’s operations from January to June this year, it failed to submit a list of ongoing government projects, programs and activities, as well as monthly reports of collections, checks issued and disbursements.
COA also said that the City recorded three completed infrastructure projects amounting to P3.58 million, which were not supported with details.
During their recent regular session, the City Council referred COA's interim audit report to the committee on budget and finance for appropriate action.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 11, 2013.