COA chair keen to revise rules on intelligence funds
Commission on Audit (COA) Chair Gamaliel Cordoba told a House committee on Thursday that his agency was keen on amending the rules on the allocation and use of confidential and intelligence funds (CIF).
During deliberations on the COA’s proposed P13-billion budget for next year, Cordoba said he was open to amending a 2015 circular setting the auditing rules for CIFs.
He was responding to a question from Kabataan Rep. Raoul Manuel as to whether state audit teams follow any guidelines on the use of CIFs allocated to some government offices.
Manuel pressed Cordoba whether the COA leadership was open to amending the current guidelines, considering the increasing amount of CIFs being given to government offices, especially the Office of the President (OP) and Office of the Vice President (OVP).
Cordoba said COA would meet with other government agencies in the third quarter of the year to discuss possible amendments to Joint Circular No. 2015-01.
Under the proposed General Appropriations Act for 2024, the OP will be getting P4.5 billion in CIFs, while the OVP, for the second time under Vice President Sara Duterte, will get P500 million in CIFs.
On top of the P4.5-billion CIF for the OP, President Marcos will get another set of confidential funds for the Department of Agriculture, which he heads concurrently as secretary.
Duterte, as the concurrent education secretary, will get P150 million worth of CIFs for the Department of Education.
The government will have an overall allocation of P10 billion in confidential funds, which includes P10 million intended for the COA itself.
Facing the House committee on appropriations, Cordoba explained that the CIF for COA would be used for conducting low-key investigations, looking into complaints against its own own personnel, and providing security for COA officials who are called to serve as witnesses in corruption trials at the Sandiganbayan.