PCOO probes execs on Asean 2017 expenses

By Inquirer.net |July 20,2018 - 09:07 PM

Government auditors have called the attention of PCOO officials over deficient disbursements of their 2017 Asean Summit expenses.

The Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) has started investigations on five of its officials after the Commission on Audit (COA) flagged the agency over the P38 million worth of “deficient” disbursements for the 2017 Asean Summit.

In its 2017 audit report, the COA flagged the PCOO for its purchases of goods and services worth P27,503,535.40 and van rentals worth P7,264,450.

The COA also questioned the rental of IT equipment amounting to P4,039,140, saying the PCOO could have saved money if it just bought the equipment.

State auditors said the rental was “more expensive” than the selling price by P964,872.

The COA also questioned the splitting of contracts, which according to state auditors, have violated the government procurement law.

The PCOO, in a statement, said they “commend and respect the findings” of the COA.

“As ordered by the Secretary, the PCOO Legal Department is conducting an investigation on the matter. Show cause memorandums have been issued and an investigation report is forthcoming,” PCOO said in a statement, read by Undersecretary Marvin Gatpayat.

Gatpayat refused to disclose the identities of the officials being investigated and if they are still with the PCOO.

“Its under investigation. To avoid any trial by publicity, we will just announce their names at the proper time,” he said.

He said the result of the investigation would be released in about 10 days.

“The report will be released any time soon in the next 10 days or so on,” he said.

As early as the third week of January 2018, he said the PCOO “received reports that there might have been some indiscretions in the conduct of procurement in the Asean event.”

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