Intellectual property office boasts 7 straight years of high audit scores
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Intellectual Property Office (IPOPHL) has taken pride in the Commission on Audit (COA) ‘s high audit scores over the past seven years, saying it is a testament to their commitment to accountability.
In a statement on Thursday, IPOPHL reported that they had received an unqualified opinion on their finances for the fiscal year 2019—the best rating that COA gives to government agencies.
COA performs audits annually to ensure that government agencies and other government-owned and controlled corporations are in order. From this audit report, scores are given to show whether government departments are operating adequately or having financial lapses.
Just a few government departments have earned unqualified opinions, including the Vice-President’s Office, which has obtained all government agencies’ highest audit scores for 2018 and 2019.
“IPOPHL’s continued receipt of COA’s best mark proves our integrity and commitment to uphold transparency and accountability in all our financial activities,” IPOPHL Director General Rowel S. Barba said in a statement.
“It also demonstrates our strategic approach in optimizing public resources while maintaining a healthy financial position,” he added.
IPOPHL is an attached agency of the Department of Trade and Industry, in charge of implementing the government’s policies on intellectual property (IP) — from the protection of IP rights to the patent’s provision to help Filipino inventors.
However, there are still points that COA noted in its IPOPHL audit report, such as the agency’s failure to invest its 2019 budget fully — only using P638.9 million of its P912.1 million funds — for a utilization rate of 70%.
COA said this was due to low expenditure on Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses (MOOE) and Capital Outlay (CO) funds of P151,4 million and P63,72 million, respectively.
The commission also mentioned that some office supplies worth P1.8 million, procured through the Department of Budget and Management’s Procurement Service, were still undelivered as of now.
But such issues were minimal and did not concern possible graft-related incidents.
“It added that its financial position, financial performance, cash flows, changes in net assets or equity, comparison between budget and actual amounts for the year, and notes to financial statements [were following] national accounting standards,” IPOPHL explained.
“The 2019 IA (independent audit) findings mark IPOPHL’s seventh consecutive year of obtaining an ‘unqualified/unmodified opinion’ rating, the best auditing mark which can only be achieved if an entity’s financial statements as a whole are free from ‘material misstatements’ whether due to fraud or error,” it added. [ac]
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