The National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) has P35.46 million in unliquidated cash advances at of the end of 2013, state auditors said.
In a 2013 audit report on NCIP this week, the Commission on Audit (COA) said the sum remained unliquidated because “the prescribed guidelines in the granting and liquidation of cash advances were not strictly observed.”
Auditors reiterated their recommendation in the 2012 audit report for the agency to direct the accountable officers to immediately liquidate their outstanding cash advances, and to suspend the salaries of those who failed to settle the same.
Based on the 2013 audit, the funds were granted to officers and employees of NCIP Central Office (CO), Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), Regional Office (RO) Nos. II, III, IV, VI/VII, IX, XI, XII and XIII for travel and other time-bound and special undertakings.
Under the law, a cash advance shall be reported on and liquidated as soon as its purpose had been served. No additional cash advance shall be allowed to any official or employee unless the previous cash advance given to him is first settled, or a proper accounting of it was made.
“Verification of the liquidations made during CY [calendar year]2013 showed that of the unliquidated balance in prior year amounting to P33,771,535.65, P9,382,296.81 or 28 percent was liquidated while of the total cash advances during the current year  of P33,262,350.30, P22,186,319.98 or 67 percent was liquidated,” auditors said.
However, they noted that despite the liquidations made, the balance of unliquidated cash advance as of December 31, 2013 increased by about P1.7 million or 4.78 percent.
“Examination of the account disclosed that CAs [cash advances]granted for special purpose/time bound undertaking was not liquidated upon completion of the project. The accumulation of account balances could be attributed to the lack of strict compliance to the prescribed guidelines on the granting and liquidation of cash advances,” auditors observed.
COA reiterated its previous recommendation and NCIP agreed to require the concerned officers and employees to liquidate their cash advances in order to prevent the accumulation of balances at year-end, as well as to initiate appropriate sanctions to accountable officers (AOs) concerned.
NCIP also agreed to require the accountant of RO IV to withhold the salaries of the AOs “considering that they had been notified and given adequate period to liquidate.”
Meanwhile, the accountant of RO VI/VII and IX were told to issue demand letters to all officers and employees with long outstanding cash advances to liquidate/settle their accounts, while the accountant of RO XIII was told to continuously monitor the liquidation of cash advances.
COA also reminded the agency to strictly observe the rules and regulations on the granting, use and liquidation of cash advances and to ensure that at the end of the year, the account has no balance, except for new cash advances granted in November and December.
NCIP is the primary government arm that creates programs for the protection and promotion of the rights and well-being of indigenous peoples and communities.
Its core programs are ancestral domain titling and land security, development and peace, and enforcement and protection of indigenous peoples’ human rights.