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Unliquidated SC cash advances flagged

MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Audit (COA) has found P33.734 million in unliquidated cash advances at the Supreme Court, most of which were granted to the court’s regular disbursing officer.

In its annual audit report, the COA said the amount remained unliquidated as of the end of 2018 and was a direct violation of government auditing rules.

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A staggering 86 percent of the unliquidated cash advances, or P30.061 million, were traced to the officer in charge of the high tribunal’s cash collection and disbursement division, although the report did not name the officer.

Stop salary payment

The state audit body recommended that the court stop paying the employee’s salary unless she liquidated the said advances.

The COA said the aforementioned officer was granted cash advances for disbursement, even when she hadn’t completed nor filed the paperwork for previously granted cash advances.

During its audit in August 2108, the COA tasked the high court to order the employee to file the necessary paperwork immediately, but she failed to do so.

No liquidation report

“The audit team recommended to management to require the disbursing officer to liquidate immediately her cash advances by submitting her liquidation reports to the accounting division as soon as its purpose has been served. However, no liquidation documents or reports have been submitted,” the report said.

Due to the failure of the disbursing officer to liquidate the cash advances, the audit body recommended that the high court stop paying her salary.

It also asked the high court to consider assigning a special disbursement officer to take over her duties.

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“Demand from the accountable officers concerned the immediate liquidation of their outstanding cash advances, particularly from the [regular disbursing officer] with outstanding cash advances of P30.061 million, and cause the withholding of their salaries,” the audit body said.

Written explanation

The COA also told the high court’s chief accountant to submit a written explanation why he did not issue demand letters and hold the salaries of the accountable officers, despite the COA’s earlier instructions.

For its part, the high court’s accounting division said that to facilitate the speedy liquidation, the court decided to bar officials and employees who still had unliquidated cash advances from rendering services during the court’s summer session in Baguio City in April 2019.

The high court also said that the regular disbursing officer in charge of the P30.061 million in cash advances had pledged to liquidate the questioned cash advances.

She had already submitted liquidation reports totaling P14.512 million, the high court added.

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TAGS: COA, Commission On Audit, Supreme Court, unliquidated cash advances
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