DND fails to account for P83M intelligence funds

MANILA, Philippines ­– The defense department has failed to liquidate a total of P82.5 million in confidential and intelligence funds over 3 years, almost the entire amount disbursed as “advances to officers and employees.”

These were the main findings of state auditors after checking on the how the Department of National Defense (DND) spent its funds in 2011, 2012, and 2013.

The Commission on Audit (COA) said the DND’s confidential fund (CF) and intelligence fund (IF) expenses amounted to P16.5 million in 2011, P31.7 million in 2012, and P34.3 million in 2013.

Of the 3-year total P82.5 million of unliquidated funds, 97% percent or P85.073 million  were advanced to department officers and employees. 

Auditors noted that defense officials had submitted documents to support the disbursements, but the COA has yet to clear or declare them as acceptable.

“These unliquidated balances…have resulted from the non-issuance of Credit Notice from the COA Central Office despite submission of liquidating documents by the DND,” according to COA.
 
The audit agency has signed a joint circular with 4 government agencies – Department of Budget and Management, Department of the Interior and Local Government, Department of National Defense, and the Governance Commission for GOCCs (GCG) – to make more transparent the utilization and reporting of confidential and intelligence funds.

Budget Secretary Florencio Abad has acknowledged that confidential and intelligence funds “vulnerable to misuse,” given their nature and their exemption from regular audit procedures. – Rappler.com