THE COMMISSION on Audit (CoA) flagged the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) for acquiring only one of the eight planned state-of-the-art equipment and facilities as of December 2018, contrary to Republic Act 108671, the National Bureau of Investigation Reorganization and Modernization Act. “Of the eight acquisition of state-of-the-art investigative and intelligence equipment and establishment of forensic and scientific laboratories programmed in CY 2018, using the funds retained from clearance and other fees collected by NBI amounting to P244,500,000, only one, or 12.5 percent was accomplished as of December 31, 2018,” reported the state auditors. CoA said the failure of NBI to fast track the procurement process “delayed the much needed modernization of the Bureau.” CoA also called out the agency for its inability to fully utilize a P58.22 million budget for various projects, wherein only P33.4 million was used. Further, the state auditors noted that this P33.4 million was actually spent for health care services for 1,474 regular employees of the bureau. “Although the acquisition of health care service for the regular employees was authorized in RA 108671, the payment for it amounting to P32,646,629.40 was not in accordance with any of the purposes of the released NCA’s (notice of cash allocation,” said CoA.
CoA also called out the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) for the irregular grant of honoraria totaling P8.7 million. “The grant of honoraria to PSC officials and employees and other personnel involved in sports programs/activities was inconsistent with BC (Budget Circular) 2007-1 since those undertakings could not be considered a special project as defined therein. The implementation of programs/activities geared towards the promotion and development of sports is inherent to PSC’s mandate, thus deemed a regular and permanent function,” said the report. Further, CoA noted that PSC granted honoraria, amounting to P516,300, to lecturers and resource persons without the necessary supporting documents. CoA also pointed out that 17 individuals, who were not designated in the PSC, were included in the payroll for honoraria but “the nature of their participation in the programs/events could not be ascertained due to lack of information provided in the transaction documents.” The report said, “[The management should] provide information as to the name of office/s of the individuals connected with PSC who received honorarium and the nature of their participation/involvement in the PSC’s programs events.” — Vince Angelo C. Ferreras