Aging of Kasanggayahan Festival cash advance contrary to COA rules

Marginal Note
By Felix ‘Boy’ Espineda, Jr.

This part of the year, Sorsogon Province will celebrate its foundation anniversary dubbed as Kasanggayahan 2017 were music, talents, shows, pageantry, celebrity hops, street dance, agro fair plus commercialization and whatever product the province may offer overshadowed the inability to settle cash advances of special disbursing officers drawn from previous years. This should be corrected.

Three special disbursing officer were named in the 2016 Commission on Audit Annual Audit Report, they are Asphasia Joni Jao to settle her 2013 cash advance of 251,090.00 pesos, employed at the office of the governor at that time, Christina Racelis, a senior tourism officer draws 638,200.00 pesos back in 2015 and Dolly Lagata October of 2016 cash advance of 1,403,000.500 pesos. Its total is 2,292,730,00.

The cash advances were utilized to fund the various maintenance and other operating expenses during the period of the festival.

Among them, only Lagata settled her CA months after the lapse of the period mandated to settle contrary to COA rules.

The same formula will be replicated this year, SDO’s will draw cash advances, but the money will be turn-over to the event money man leaving the drawee at the mercy to settle. Receipts are lost, unaccounted expenses may ballooned, such transfer of funds to other person is against existing auditing and accounting regulations.

The COA report said “aging of cash advance or the prolonged liquidation of cash advance was due to the arrangement wherein cash was not actually utilized by the SDO but instead, were transferred to other persons who actually disbursed the fund” a violation of COA Circular 97-002. COA said, “because of this, SDO failed to monitor disbursement and prompt settlement by the person actually disbursing the cash”.

Though demand letter were sent to concerned disbursing officer by the accounting office, however, prompt settlement were ignored. To avoid taking cash advance and granting it to SDO’s during the festival, the auditor in-charge of the province account suggested that the budgetary cost of the event should be included in the annual procurement plan so as the materials needed should have undergone the legal procurement process, promoting transparency thus ensuring that the most economical price beneficial to the government was obtained.

The core of the observation of COA is a civil interpretation that there were expenses incurred hosting the festival year in and out that maybe overpriced, that if this comes forth, someone or a group earn a decent overpriced and commission out of the procured materials and supplies. It may also implied if to digest further that some of the procurement made were undertaken under the level of legal procurement.

This observation is one among the recommendation of the auditor which was not complied by management.

I made it a point to discuss this because of the failure and the habitual exercise of drawing cash advances not only during special activities but also on the liquidation of regular disbursing officers which are not isolated case. Let the lesson ring a bell to those who have the final control in granting cash advance out of the three million pesos approved CY2017 annual budget of the province.

How much will be drawn as cash advance is for our guess?

Posted by on October 17, 2017. Filed under Headlines,Opinion. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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