Secure accountable forms, COA tells City Hall

By: Gerome Dalipe

THE Commission on Audit (COA) has urged the Iloilo City Government to secure unused accountable forms to avoid misuse or loss of government documents.

In its annual report, the state auditors noted how the City Hall kept some of its documents, especially the accountable forms, in unsecured location.

Keeping the accountable forms of the City Hall in a storage room susceptible to any unauthorized access is contrary to Section 101(1) of Presidential Decree 1445, or the Government Auditing Code of the Philippines.

Thus, the lack of any sound internal control exposes these documents to risk of possible misuse and loss, the auditors said.

“Failure to keep the accountable forms in a locked cabinet or storage room with restricted access, exposes the same to the inherent risk of possible loss and misuse due to theft,” read the COA report.

Sound internal control means all accountable forms should be kept in a secure place at all times, the auditors said.

These documents should be locked fireproof cabinet or safe in a locked office, with restricted access to prevent loss or unauthorized use, the auditors said.

Auditors noted the City Hall’s accountable forms are stored in an unsafe location when they conducted cash count on the cash accountability at the City Treasurer’s Office.

“We have observed that the storage room where the unused accountable forms are placed in open racks was held open at all times during office hours, accessible to other employees and clients of the City Government,” the auditors said.

Likewise, auditors noticed that City Hall employees and job hires used the office tables inside the room in taking their snacks.

In the report, the auditors asked the city treasurer to ensure that all unused accountable forms under his custody be kept in a locked cabinet or secured storage room.

The room should be strictly accessible to authorized personnel to safeguard the documents from possible misuse and loss due to theft, the auditors said.