Writeshop looks at form and substance of CPA audit reports

Six audit teams composed of COA auditors, COA engineers and citizen representatives finalized their audit reports during a two-day writeshop held June 17-18 at Empire Suites, Puerto Princesa City, Palawan.

The teams looked into various local government-administered farm to market roads across Palawan province, using geotagging technology, from January to March this year.

The teams also reviewed project documents, conducted key informant interviews and facilitated focus group discussions in their performance audit of the FMRs.

Adelle Chua and Shigemi Muramatsu of ANSA-EAP facilitated the workshop, drawing from the participants what they expected to see in a citizen participatory audit report as different from regular audit reports that the commission releases.

The participants noted that the CPA report, because its target audience includes various sectors including ordinary citizens, has to be simple and straightforward, using simple tenses, active voices and simple sentences.

Chua talked about the five Cs of writing -- clarity, coherence, conciseness, concreteness and context -- and stressed the importance of using easy-to-understand words and phrases.

Each of the teams presented excerpts of their report for critiquing by the plenary, with commenters noting the various composition styles apparent in the excerpts.

On the second day, the groups again presented their entire audit reports, this time focusing on the content of their results, conclusions and recommendations.

Director Shiela Villa, regional head of the COA’s Mimaropa office, and members of the CPA’s Project Management Office also commented on the teams’ drafts and made suggestions to improve their content and coverage.

The participants then identified the issues that cut across all the reports as the plenary composed the audit-in-brief to summarize the audit experience of all six Palawan teams.

The second phase of the CPA will next look into tourism roads in Siargao Island, and then on health services in the basic education sector, still using geotagging.

The CPA is a joint effort of the COA and ANSA-EAP, with funding from Australian Aid-Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.