COA to conduct pre-audit on all DOT contracts: Romulo-Puyat

MANILA -- The Commission on Audit (COA) will now review all contracts of the Department of Tourism upon the request of Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat.

"We are in close contact with COA, in fact, the COA only does post-audit based on latest circular but when I approached Chairman Michael Aguinaldo, he agreed that all the projects, all the contracts go through their pre-audit," Romulo-Puyat said during the Makati Business Club Annual Meeting in Makati Tuesday.

According to the tourism chief, COA is scheduled to send a team to the DOT to review all concerned contracts, which did not go through a proper bidding. She noted that pending a COA report, all projects she`s "not comfortable with" are suspended.

The most controversial program Romulo-Puyat named was the PHP80-million Buhay Carinderia...Redefined project of Marylindbert International and the Tourism Promotions Board. Other projects subjected to review on the other hand were not revealed by the official.

"I will not move without the COA`s approval," she stressed.

Part of the DoT’s partnership with COA is on latter strengthening the department`s internal control systems to make sure that the agency`s funds are "not wasted."

"They will make sure it is effectively used," she said.

When asked about the COA review`s timeline, Romulo-Puyat said she won`t rush the commission.

"All contracts I`m not comfortable with, I`m giving to COA, all we can do is follow up with them." (PNA)