MANILA, Philippines – Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Police General Guillermo Eleazar on Thursday said he has directed all police offices to further improve their coordination with resident auditors and to immediately take action when any PNP units become a subject of audit reports released by the Commission on Audit (COA).
Eleazar issued the directive after drawing flak for saying that it might be better for COA to “revert” to old ways when all its observations were not released to the media.
“In a forum I attended yesterday, August 18, I categorically suggested that the Commission on Audit should stop releasing its audit reports to the media and instead revert to the old ways when all observations on budget spending are internally directed to the government agencies concerned,” he said in a statement.
“I stand corrected,” he added.
Eleazar said he rectified his comment after meeting with concerned PNP officials on Wednesday night to discuss the entire process of disbursements and the COA’s level of intervention.
“And it was made clear to me that the COA does not issue press statements and instead, posts its audit reports on its website as part of its Constitutional mandate for transparency,” he said.
“It was also discussed that the COA has been actually doing what I have suggested by sending its observations to the PNP offices concerned and giving them enough time to review and correct its observations before a report is published in its website,” he added.
Eleazar on Wednesday made the comment in light of the recent deluge of COA reports that have allegedly tainted the reputation of various government agencies.
COA earlier stressed it is not releasing its reports to the media but are merely being uploaded to their website. The commission is also not releasing any press statements unless it is meant to clear terms or avoid misinterpretation.
“As a result of this consultation, I am directing all the Police Regional Offices, the National Administrative Support Units, the National Operational Support Units and the National Headquarters to further improve their coordination with their respective Resident Auditors and immediately act on their observations to prevent unnecessary situations when the PNP, or any of its unit, becomes the subject of the COA Annual Audit Reports which are eventually misconstrued as tantamount to misuse of funds, or worse, corruption,” he said.
Eleazar assured that the PNP is taking all COA findings seriously and “instituted various measures to further improve our budget spending based on whatever the recommendations would suggest over the years.”
“I assure the Filipino people that the hard-earned money they give to the PNP through their taxes is safe and is wisely spent as part of our continuous commitment to genuine reforms that are anchored on transparency, accountability and professionalism,” he added.