COA, DPWH Commit to Participatory Audit with Citizens

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Navotas City, 26 November 2012 - Today, we celebrate a partnership not just among public agencies but between the Republic of the Philippines and its citizens.”

Ma. Gracia M. Pulido Tan, Chairperson of the Commission on Audit (COA) opened the official launch of the Citizen Participatory Audit (CPA) Project with a statement that underscores the involvement of non-government stakeholders in successful performance audits.

The CPA Project is a key reform initiative of the COA and is aligned with the global alliance Open Government Partnership (OGP). Its main objectives are to enhance government transparency through citizen participation in the audit process and to increase awareness that a vigilant and involved citizenry promotes greater accountability in government.  Under the project, special audit teams with COA and citizen auditors will be created to conduct value-for-money or performance audits of selected government programs.

The CPA is a joint initiative of the COA and non-profit intermediary group ANSA-EAP. The two-year project is implemented with fund support from the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID).

Flood-Control for Pilot Audit

First on the list of programs to be audited is the DPWH-implemented CAMANAVA Flood-Control Project, whose effectiveness has been contested by residents in the past. Over the next year and a half, five to six programs of select government agencies will be audited in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.

During the launch held in Bangkulasi Pumping Station along C-4 road in Navotas City, COA and its citizen auditors from six (6) civil society groups signed a memorandum of agreement with DPWH for the conduct of the audit. The agreement empowers COA and citizen audit teams to jointly request for documents and records on the Flood-Control Project.

COA auditors and citizen group volunteer-auditors attended a training workshop in preparation for the pilot performance audit on 19-21 November at the Commission on Audit central office in Quezon City.

Audit Goes Online

In response to the growing number of feedback from citizens received by COA, it has taken steps to improve its system for tracking and receiving information from various sources.

“We receive complaints and reports from citizens through the various COA offices through various means—emails, text messages, letters, telephone calls and even walk-ins,” Chairperson Tan explains. The Citizen Partnership Unit within COA has recently put in place a public information system that consolidates feedback received by all units and in all forms.

COA also launched a “citizens’ website” (i-Kwenta.com) that encourages citizens to get to know the audit side of managing public funds. i-Kwenta will feature audit reports in less technical formats, “Audit 101” for ordinary Filipinos, and a portal for quick feedback that links back to COA’s main public information system.

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