House panel to review Ombudsman's audit report proposal | Inquirer News

House panel to review Ombudsman’s audit report proposal

/ 03:33 PM September 15, 2023


File photo of the Office of the Ombudsman  (INQUIRER/NIÑO JESUS ORBETA)

MANILA, Philippines — Ombudsman Samuel Martires’ proposal to stop the publication of annual audit reports (AAR) so that the public would not prejudge government officials will be studied and discussed by the House committee on appropriations, Ako Bicol party-list Rep. Elizaldy Co said.

Co, who heads the said committee, said in a statement on Friday night that they understand Martires’ concerns, as the impact of Commission on Audit (COA) reports on government officials who may not be guilty of any wrongdoing should likewise be considered.


“The Committee on Appropriations is open to studying the suggestion of the Honorable Ombudsman Samuel Martires regarding the removal from the general provision of the General Appropriations Act the provision on publishing the Annual Audit Report and will carefully evaluate the impact and implications of such action,” Co said.


“I understand the concern about preventing premature judgments and confusion among the public when reading audit reports. The impact of such publications on government officials’ reputations is an important consideration,” he added.

Martires, during the committee’s deliberation of the Office of the Ombudsman’s proposed 2024 budget last Monday, proposed to stop the publication of the Audit Observation Memorandum as there are instances where officials only forgot to submit receipts but were accused of being corrupt.

The Ombudsman asked Congress to remove provisions in the General Appropriations Bill that require the publication of the AOM. 

Eventually, on Wednesday, Martires clarified that he was referring to COA’s AAR, and not the AOM.

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TAGS: Audit, House of Representatives, Ombudsman, Samuel Martires

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