The Commission on Audit has called the attention of the Gigmoto municipal government for allowing the payment of P805,845.00 in travel expenses to job order personnel.
“Stop the practice of allowing these job orders to attend conferences, trainings and other travel related tasks,” the government watchdog said in its annual audit of 2021 transactions of the LGU.
It further recommended that in cases where job order personnel are directed for a task that required travel, travel expenses shall be charged to the person authorizing the travel, or allow them to claim only the actual fare from their station to a particular place and vice versa.
The audit of the transactions disclosed that the amount had been paid for travel expenses, per diems and incidental expenses to personnel hired through job order contracts.
Verifications revealed that the same persons were not included in the plantilla of the LGU and as such cannot be considered as government personnel because the “employer-employee” relationship does not exist.
“Hence, (the) disbursements are considered illegal and unlawful,” the COA emphasized, citing a 2013 decision of the Commission that since services of a job order personnel are not considered as government service, a job order employee should not be paid the allowances and travelling expenses prescribed by Executive Order No. 248 as the same is applicable only to government personnel.
In another finding, the team noted several deficiencies in the acquisition of food items intended for the implementation of the Supplementary Feeding Program (SFP) of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
While the LGU was able to utilize the P873,000 funding to cater to 485 children for the twice-a-day feeding from August to November 2021, a review of the transactions showed that the acquisition of the food items did not pass the Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) for the proper procurement method.
Instead, the funds were released to barangay Day Care Workers through payroll in four tranches, with the food items directly purchased from suppliers.
The COA recommended that in succeeding SFP implementations, the LGU may segregate the non-perishable and perishable items, with the non-perishable items acquired thru public bidding and the rest through special purpose cash advances following budget, accounting and auditing rules and DSWD Administrative Order No. 4, Series of 2016.
The team also discovered that in acquisitions of goods and services made through alternative method of procurement, the Approved Budget for the Contract (ABC) was not disclosed in the Request for Quotations (RFQ).
As a result, the report stated, the losing bidders’ price quotations were higher than the ABC, contrary to the provisions of the Revised IRR of RA 9184 and casting doubt on the veracity of the procurement,
The quotations for shopping and Small Value Procurement (SVP) did not indicate the ABC, with the price quote of the losing suppliers higher than the ABC while the price quote of the winning supplier was equal to the ABC.
At the treasurer’s office, the audit showed that not all collections were turned over by collecting officers to the Assistant Municipal Treasurer.
“There is a practice of retaining in the custody of the collector portion of collections or all collections for the day and were remitted/reported only at the discretion of the collector,” the report stated.
There were collections remitted after 1 day and up to 18 days from the time it was collected, it added, with some of the remittances made earlier than the collection date.
The team noted that that the dates of some Official Receipts were filled out twice to appear as visible, ORs were not issued in chronological order as to dates, some ORs were not dated and the amount remitted in some of the Report of Collections and Deposits had erasures.
It also found that there were instances when remitted collections were not deposited once a week or as soon as it reaches P10,000 to the government depository bank, with the assistant treasurer retaining in her custody a significant amount of her collections which were deposited in the succeeding weeks.
This practice is not only contrary to law, rules and regulations but also exposes it to possible risk of loss or misappropriation and also the possible use of the cash in accommodating IOUs, the COA said.
Among the other significant findings of the audit were: failure to fully implement the Integrated Community Food Production Project, a 2016 Bottom-Up Budgeting (BUB) project with a funding of P2.7 million; outstanding liabilities totaling P48,326.31 despite the completion of the PRDP projects; and delay in the implementation of 20% Development Fund projects.