Customs declaration of properties way off mark by P9.63B, say state auditors
MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – State auditors have asked the Bureau of Customs to do a recount of its properties and equipment, after it found a huge discrepancy between the BOC properties and equipment on record, and based on the agency's inventory in 2018.
COA made the suggestion in its audit report on the BOC, after it found that the agency only had P208.06 million in properties and equipment as of December 31, 2018 – way off the recorded Property, Plant and Equipment (PPE) account that amounted to P9.89 billion.
"Recorded PPE account as of December 31, 2018, amounted to P9.887 billion. However, the accuracy and existence of the recorded amount cannot be validated due to non-presentation/maintenance of [property card] and [PPE ledger card] by the Property and Accounting Offices," the COA said.
State auditors declared the PPE account "unreliable" as the 2018 Report on the Physical Count of Property, Plant, and Equipment (RPCPPE) listed only P208.06 million – a difference of P9.63 billion.
"The non-preparation of the required forms and supporting documents relating to PPE transactions as well as the non-reconciliation of records between the Property and Accounting Office rendered the PPE account unreliable," the COA said.
Because of this, COA has asked the BOC to do a recount of its properties and equipment based on guidelines from the Government Accounting Manual. (READ: COA calls out Customs for 'illegal' release of cargoes)
While records of the BOC's Accounting Division showed it has Other Machinery and Equipment amounting to P7.96 billion, the Property Division's yearend inventory turned up with nothing. For Machinery, P253 million did not turn up in the inventory.
Here are other discrepancies in BOC's records:
|ICT Equipment||P738.60 million||P3.34 million|
|Furniture and Fixtures||P381.30 million||P1.26 million|
|Technical and Scientific Equipment||P165.16 million||P45.29 million|
The BOC agreed that the Property Officer and the Inventory Committee be required to prepare a complete Report on the Physical Count of Property, Plant, and Equipment, based on the Government Accounting Manual.
It also agreed that the Accounting and Property divisions should conduct regular reconciliation of the agency's PPE records.
On Wednesday, July 3, the BOC said in a statement that Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero had already taken steps in response to the COA findings, “most importantly, to fix the BOC records and to reconcile its PPE listing against actual inventory, among others.”
The BOC said that according to BOC Internal Administration Group (IAG) Deputy Commissioner Donato San Juan, “the Bureau has created an Inventory Team which is tasked to reconcile BOC’s 2012 last inventory report.”
“All inventory reports are properly recorded in the Agency’s Books of Accounts,” it added.
The BOC also said that according to San Juan, of the 37 COA audit observations and recommendations, "the Bureau was able to comply [woth[ 23 or 62% compliance on its audit highlights."
It added that the agency’s compliance with the audit report was “always tackled in the Bureau’s Weekly Executive Committee Meeting (Execom).”
The BOC also said that COA audit report cited “accounting errors incurred as far back as 6 years prior to Guerrero’s appointment as BOC chief, materially affecting the accurate presentation of the BOC 2018 Financial Statements, particularly its audit observations and recommendations that BOC was unable to provide physical evidence on some items listed in the BOC’s Property, Plant and Equipment (PPE).” – Rappler.com