by Allan Yves Briones
The Commission on Audit (COA) cited the provincial government of Camarines Norte over its failure to observe economy measures in several areas, including the Palarong Bicol 2018 and its annual fuel consumption.
According to the 2018 annual audit report, the provincial government spent P5.66 million for meals served during the quartering of athletes, coaches, trainers and staff during the sports fest – despite a significant portion failing to register attendance.
“Savings of P1.003 million…could have been realized by the Province had it limited its expenses to what is necessary and had adequate control measures been provided to safeguard agency resources,” COA stated in the report.
Section 4 of COA Circular No. 2012-003 defines unnecessary expenditures are those which are not essential or can be dispensed with without loss or damage to property.
During the post-audit, state auditors found that Camarines Norte officials served 635 meals per day, yet attendance went as low as 482. In addition, on every first day of the quartering, a number of participants did not attend which persisted throughout the event.
State auditors also found that excess gas and fuel withdrawals were prominent in local transactions – which reportedly meant that the provincial government has not minimized wasteful use of state resources, nor adhered to the requirement of submitting supporting documents.
The Provincial Budget Officer, as stated in the report, explained that there is a “tolerable allowance for adjustment” with regards to local expenditures.
However, COA urged that the provincial government take steps to ensure “prudence” in the utilization of government funds and adherence to laws, rules and regulations to avoid “inefficient and uneconomical” expenditures. #