THE Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process appears to have submitted bogus attendance records for its conferences, meetings and forums in 2014, a Commission on Audit report says, noting that the signatures that appeared on the documents to support its expenses were “doubtful.”
“In a number of attendance sheets, different names were printed, but the handwriting and strokes were similar,” said the report that was posted on the CoA website.
The state auditors also noted that several attendance sheets that included the same name had different signatures.
“We reviewed on a sampling basis the attendance sheets and accomplishment reports for the meal expenses incurred by the International Monitoring Team and Government of the Philippines-Coordinating Committee on the Cessation of Hostilities and observed inconsistencies in the handwriting of different signatories,” CoA said.
“This was also true with Ars, where ARs from the same establishments showed different signatures although the names indicated were the same,” the CoA said.
Moreover, a review on a sampling of the attendance sheets for the 2014 meal expenses also showed discrepancies.
The commission warned that errant personnel would face charges, and urged the OPAPP to conduct an investigation.
Under CoA Circular 2012-001 issued on June 14, 2012, claims against government funds should be supported by complete, sufficient and relevant documents to establish the validity of the claim.
CoA also questioned OPAPP’s use of P45.33 million worth of car rental services in 2014 without the necessary authorization and with dubious supporting documents.
Based on an annual audit report, CoA said OPAPP leased 294 vehicles, 89 of which were rented on a monthly basis, while 205 were rented on a “per activity” arrangement.
These were in addition to 56 vehicles owned by the agency, the CoA found.
The OPAPP’s financial plan and schedule of expenses under its own 2014 budget showed only P7.97 million appropriated for rent of motor vehicles, but this limit was not observed as actual spending on car rentals showed an excess of 469 percent, the auditor said.
To cover the shortfall, state auditors said OPAPP channeled funds from other programs without the prior approval of the Department of Budget and Management.
“We verified compliance of OPAPP to the above requirements and found that 89 motor vehicles rented on a monthly basis for calendar year 2014 were not covered by an authority from the DBM. The necessity of renting 294 motor vehicles cannot be adequately established since the purposes or activities were not always indicated in the supporting documents,” the CoA said.