State auditors have told the National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB) to refund personnel cash incentive totaling P1.82 million after they found it “irregular, unauthorized, null and void.”
In a 2013 audit report, the Commission on Audit (COA) said the NSCB granted 125 personnel P1,819,434.45 Employees’ Welfare, Development and Performance Incentive (EWDPI) for 2013.
Based on the report, P1,666,490.95 or 92 percent of the incentive was charged to Personal Services savings while P152,943.50 or 8 percent was charged to Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses (MOOE) savings.
“The grant of personnel cash incentive named EWDPI amounting to P1,819,434.45 is irregular, unauthorized, null and void because it is contrary to Senate and House of Representatives Joint Resolution 04, s. 2009 and General Provision 73 of Republic Act (RA) 10352, the General Appropriations Act for FY 2013,” COA said.
It added that the same and similar incentives named Cost Economy Measure Awards (CEMA) totaling over P28.3 million were granted in 2010 to 2012 and the grant was reported in the 2012 Annual Audit Report, for which a notice of disallowance was issued in November 2013.
These incentives were disallowed in audit because the EWDPI and CEMA were “formulated and granted outside the bounds of the Total Compensation Framework established under Senate and House of Representatives Joint Resolution (JR) 04, s. 2009,” auditors said.
The joint resolution authorizes the President of the Philippines to modify the compensation and position classification system of civilian personnel and the base pay schedule of military and uniformed personnel in the government.
“It is neither among the incentives authorized under Item 4(h) of such JR nor authorized specifically by the President pursuant to Item 4(h)(ii) of the same JR. Moreover, it has not been categorized by the DBM as an incentive pursuant to Item (4)(h)(iii) of JR 4, s. 2009. As such, it is deemed irregular,” COA said.
DBM is the Department of Budget and Management.
“Civil Service Commission (CSC) does not have the authority to allocate savings from the appropriations of the executive branch for payment of incentives and awards while NSCB was not authorized by the President to use savings from its appropriations to pay for EWDPI or CEMA. As such, the payment of EWDPI and CEMA by NSCB is unauthorized and deemed irregular,” the auditors said.
COA then reiterated its recommendation that the NSCB “enforce the refund of the EWDPI payment to NSCB personnel for 2013.”
The agency was also told to ensure that future grant of monetary incentives conform with provisions under the General Appropriations Act, Senate and House of Representatives JR 04 as well as Executive Order (EO) 80 and its implementing rules and regulations.
EO 80, consistent with the joint resolution, prohibited the grant of new and additional increase in the rates of existing incentive and bonuses.
Last May, the NSCB appealed for reconsideration of the disallowance of the incentives.