‘Significant’ improvements by DepEd cited by auditors


UNLIKE other government agencies flagged by the state auditors for their alleged “deficiencies” or “lapses,” the Department of Education (DepEd) was noted to have “significant” improvements in its Calendar Year (CY) 2020 Consolidated Annual Audit Report (CAAR).

The DepEd expressed gratitude to the Commission on Audit (COA) team in charge of the review of financial and operational accounts of nearly 45,000 public schools, 214 Schools Division Offices, 16 Reginal Offices (excluding the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao) and the Central Office.

Compared to the previous year, the DepEd “performed significantly better and was able to satisfactorily comply with the accounting standards set by the Commission,” which is the basis of the CAAR. This despite the challenges posed by the pandemic starting CY 2020. Based on this year’s audit report, the Department has delivered an increase in the implementation of the compliance report through the substantial decrease in the misstatements noted by the COA.

The DepEd stressed that the “misstatements” cited in the CAAR pertain to the “difference between the actual financial statement items by the Management and those required by the accounting standards” of the Commission. “Those noted by the Commission were mainly identified as recording errors [that] are now being rectified by [the] DepEd following the instructions/recommendations of the auditing agency.”

“DepEd wishes to emphasize that none of the initial findings pertained to corruption, malversation of public funds, negligence or the betrayal of public trust,” the DepEd said.

It added that the nature of the observation issued by the COA is a way for the audited agency to rectify deficiencies and improve the management of its budget through the former’s recommendation.

Education Secretary Leonor Magtolis-Briones issued OO-OSEC-2019-063 last July 3, 2019, which created an Audit Observation Memorandum Task Force in the DepEd. The task force was mandated to recommend actions in possible areas of improvement, promote a proactive and immediate response to audit concerns and institutionalize regular coordination between the two government agencies.

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