STATE auditors have told the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) to conduct an investigation to determine the authenticity of what they described as “doubtful” signatures on some documents supporting payment of expenses.
The recommendation was made in the 2014 audit report by the Commission on Audit (COA) on Oppap.
“The signatures of officers and staff appearing on the attendance sheets for conferences and meetings and the ARs [acknowledgment receipts]for various claims attached to support expenses of the IMT [International Monitoring Team] and GPH-CCCH [Government of the Philippines-Committee on the Cessation of Hostilities] were unreliable and doubtful due to disparity in signatures of same attendees on different Attendance Sheets and apparent similarity/resemblance of handwriting/strokes by different claimants in the ARs,” the auditors said.
Among the fundamental principles under COA Circular 2012-001, they pointed out, is that claims against government funds shall be supported by complete, sufficient and relevant documents to establish validity of the claims.
The auditors said they “observed inconsistencies in the handwriting of different signatories” upon review, on a sampling basis, of the attendance sheets and acknowledgment receipts for meal expenses incurred by the IMT and GPH-CCCH.
“There were several attendance sheets that included the same name but with different signatures. This was also true with ARs where ARs from the same establishments showed different signatures although the names indicated were the same. In a number of attendance sheets, different names were printed but the handwriting/strokes were similar,” they added.
“We recommended that management conduct investigation to determine authenticity of the said signatures, file appropriate charges against errant personnel and inform the Audit Team of the outcome of the investigation and the corresponding action undertaken,” the auditors said.