Citizen participatory audit

By Maria Gracia M. Pulido Tan

It all started from a rather banal self-talk as soon as I was appointed chair of the commission: If the Commission on Audit (COA) is an “independent constitutional body” and therefore not under any of the three branches of government, from whom then should we take our bearings and to whom shall we be directly responsible?

I chuckled when just as immediately, my lawyer’s mind reproachfully reminded me, why, the Constitution and the people, of course!

The Constitution grants the COA the “power, authority and duty to examine, audit, and settle all accounts” of government.

To carry out this mandate, the Constitution bestows on the COA the “exclusive authority to define the scope of its audit and examination, establish the techniques and methods required  therefore, and promulgate accounting, and auditing rules and regulations.”

This is the expression of the “ideals and aspirations” of the Filipino people who ordained the Constitution, in whom “sovereignty resides” and from whom “all government authority emanates.

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