State auditors bare ‘excessive’ DOST expenses

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State auditors warned the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) to go easy in its expenses after they noted “irregular” and “excessive” expenses totaling P53.2 million in 2015.

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The Commission on Audit (COA) warned that it may issue a disallowance order if the DOST fails to curb its unreasonable expenses.

“Expenditures in DOST CO [Central Office] and ROs [Regional Offices] totaling ₱53.207 million either did not conform to established rules, regulations, procedural guidelines, policies, principles or practices or were incurred at an unreasonable cost, immoderate quantity or exorbitant price, which is disallowable,” the auditors said an audit report for 2015.

The “excessive expenditures” include the payment of longevity pay totaling P9.85 million to officials and employees which COA said “was not in accordance with the provisions of Sec 13.7 of DBM-DOST Joint Circular No. I, s.2013, resulting in overpayment.” It also cited the expenses “for tokens and representations for visitors and other extraordinary and miscellaneous expenses”; hotel accommodation and meals.

COA likewise said the payment of hazard allowance totaling P17.07 million in DOST’s CO, NCR office, and ROs II, IVB, and X were irregular, as well as the payment of incentives to employees of RO X from 2011 to 2015 that was charged to Administrative Cost per Line Item Budget of Projects.

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