CoA flags P74M of PDEA travel claims lacking supporting documents

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THE Commission on Audit (CoA) said the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) claimed P74 million worth of domestic travel expenses and transactions in 2018 with no adequate supporting documents, representing the bulk of its travel bill for the year.

According to its 2018 annual audit report, CoA noted that PDEA had a total of P110.82 million in domestic travel expenses last year.

Of this total, eight disbursement vouchers (DVs) for airfare amounted to P9.13 million and liquidation reports (LRs) covering P13.32 million, for a total of P22,451,403.48, which were insufficiently supported by documents.

Among the documents which were not attached to the DVs and LRs were office/travel orders, approved itineraries, tickets, boarding pass, terminal fee receipts, certificates of appearance, certification by the agency head of the necessity of the expenses, and certificate of travel completed.

The state auditor also reported that 101 DVs amounting to P51.83 million were submitted for audit but were not supported with official receipts.

“The situation is not in accordance with existing laws, rules and regulations and casts doubt on the validity, existence, occurrence, and regularity of the claims,” CoA said.

CoA cited Section 4 of the Government Auditing Code, which states that any financial transactions and operations of any government agency “shall be completed with complete documentation.”

“The incomplete documentation of the transactions, aside from non-adherence to existing rules and regulations, rendered (it difficult to ascertain) the propriety, necessity, and validity of the transactions,” the auditors said.

CoA recommended that PDEA’s accountant ensure that DVs and LRs submitted for processing have complete supporting documents.

CoA also recommended that the agency’s cashier to require the claimant to submit official receipts for the received payments. — Vince Angelo C. Ferreras