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Comelec advances hit P1.6B

MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has some P1.637 billion in unliquidated cash advances as of September 2018, the Commission on Audit (COA) revealed.

In lieu of an annual audit report, the COA published the findings in the form of a management letter because Comelec failed to submit financial statements for the year, making it impossible for the COA to publish an audit report.

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However, the management letter contains the same audit observations that a report would have.

In the same document, the COA said the Comelec had some P893.126 million in dormant trust funds, which it hasn’t reverted back to the national treasury, and P931.115 million in unliquidated fund transfers for 2018.

The COA also said that despite the P1.627 billion in unliquidated cash advances, additional cash advances were granted in violation of COA Circular No. 97-002 and the Government Auditing Code.

According to the audit body, the Comelec has “a highly centralized accounting system” where all accountable officers submit their liquidation reports to the finance services department for processing and eventually to the accounting division for recording in the books of accounts.

Despite this, the Comelec has failed to liquidate the cash advances.

The cash advances were used for numerous functions such as payroll, official local and foreign travels and special purpose or time-bound undertakings.

Due to the delay in the submission of the liquidation reports, there was also a delay in processing and recording of the said liquidations, the COA said.

The COA then told the Comelec to require its accountable officers to liquidate their respective cash advances.

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TAGS: COA, Comelec, Commission On Audit, unliquidated cash expenses
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