The National Irrigation Administration (NIA) has immediately conducted management actions in response to the Audit Observations and Recommendations made by the Commission on Audit (COA) in the Agency’s CY 2020 Audit Report, which consisted of the Independent Auditor’s report, the Audited Financial Statements, the Observations and Recommendations, and the Status of Implementation of Prior Years’ Recommendation with Annexes.
COA’s Audit Opinion was stated as “We rendered a qualified opinion of the presentation of the financial statements in all material aspects.” This issuance of a qualified opinion meant that there are only some items for clarification, specifically, the documentary requirements of the projects. COA also issued a “qualified opinion” on its CY 2019 Audit Report for NIA.
Last July 21, 2021, a Virtual Exit Conference was conducted to discuss the findings under the 2020 COA Annual Audit Report that was attended by NIA representatives headed by the Deputy Administrator for Engineering and Operations Sector Czar M. Sulaik, Central Office-based Department Managers, Regional Managers, Engineering and Operations Division (EOD) Managers, and Irrigation Management Office (IMO) Managers. This was an avenue for NIA to clarify and address the said COA findings wherein NIA was allowed to submit documents to comply with the noted observations discussed during the Exit Conference.
On July 27, 2021, NIA was able to comply with the initial submission, and further submitted the supplemental Consolidated Management’s Updated Actions and Comments covering the submission from the Central Office and Regional Offices on July 29, 2021. NIA was given 60 days by COA from the receipt of the 2020 COA Annual Audit Report to implement their recommendations contained in the report on the COA letter dated July 30, 2021. After an article about the COA Report was published in national newspaper, the Agency wrote a letter to COA on August 16, 2021 clarifying the published COA Report where some of the reported findings were not discussed during the Exit Conference. However, no response from COA was received until now.
The Audit Observations indicated that several documentary requirements for 841 awarded contracts aggregating P6.578 billion in nine (9) Regional Offices (ROs) and two (2) Project Management Offices (PMOs), namely Magat River Integrated Irrigation System (MARIIS) and Chico River Pump Irrigation Project (CRPIP), were lacking while other required documents submitted to their respective COA Audit Teams at year-end were deficient. In addition, the issuance of bid and performance security before contract signing, procurement timelines, and certain procedures in the post-qualification evaluation of the winning bidders were not thoroughly compliant with the Revised Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of the Government Procurement Reform Act (Republic Act No. 9184) and Government Procurement Policy Board (GPPB) Manual of Procedures for the Procurement of Infrastructure Projects.