The Provincial Government of Maguindanao has about P1.13 million in unliquidated cash advances as of yearend 2014, the Commission on Audit (COA) said.
Unliquidated cash advances totaling P1.13 million for payment of traveling expenses remained outstanding as of December 31, 2014,” COA said in a 2014 report on the province’s expenses.
Auditors cited COA Circular No. 97-002 which prescribes the period within which the accountable officer (AO) shall liquidate the cash advances.
For official travel, prescribed is 60 days after return to the Philippines for foreign travel or within 30 days after return to permanent official station for local travel.
“Failure of the AO to liquidate his [or her]cash advance within the prescribed period shall constitute a valid cause for the withholding of his salary and the instruction of other sanctions as provided for under paragraphs 9.2 and 9.3 hereof,” auditors quoted the circular.
They also cited Section 89 of the State Audit Code, which states that a cash advance shall be reported on and liquidated as soon as the purpose for which it was given has been served.
On examination of the cash advances granted to the officers and employees of Maguindanao from January 1 to December 31, 2014, auditors found that there were liquidations made beyond the prescribed period.
“The delays incurred ranged from one day to 180 days which is far beyond the reglementary period,” COA said.
“This practice will only show that the existing controls established by the agency to safeguard its resources is not adequate which may result to loss and/or misuse of government funds. We emphasized the primary duty of the agency head to enforce promptly the settlement of cash advances,” it added.
Auditors told the accountant of the Maguindanao provincial government to remind the responsible persons who have outstanding unliquidated cash advance to settle the same within the reglementary period.
The provincial government has acknowledged the audit recommendation and said they will remind the officers and employees with unliquidated cash advances to settle it immediately, COA said.