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Accountability Requirements From Public Officer/Employees

Section 1 of PD 1445 provides: It is the declared policy of the State that all government
resources shall be managed, expended and utilized in accordance with law and regulations and
safeguard against loss or wastage through illegal or improper disposition, with a view to
ensuring efficiency, economy and effectiveness in the operations of government. The
responsibility to see to it that such policy is faithfully adhered to rests directly with the chief or
head of the government agency concerned.

This declaration articulates the concern of the state for the safekeeping of the publics
resources. It focuses on how the resources shall be handled by those given the public trust to
manage, spend or use such resources.

Pursuant to this policy the State requires from public officers and employees the following:

1. Compliance with laws and regulations, Laws and rules, Agency policies,
Agency manuals of operations; and Provisions of contracts, MOA
2. Safeguarding of government resources from loss and waste
3. Achieving goals and objectives

Decision-making Process in Government

The decision-making process in government is an important aspect of the environment of state

accounting because accounting information is intended to be useful in making economic
decisions and in making reasoned choices among alternative courses of action.

The ultimate authority for decision-making in the Philippine government rests with the people.
This authority is exercised through duly elected representatives, acting as agents of the people. It
is the sovereign right of the people to change them if the authority is misused or abused.

The President, as chief executive, formulates national policies, which specify the goals of
government and determine the courses of action that the government should take in different
aspects of public affairs.

On the basis of national policy, the President submits a budget to the legislative body for
consideration and processed until approved and passed into a law.

At all levels of government, decision-making should comply with existing laws and regulations.
Questions and issues involving the settlement of money claims, determination of dispute or
settlement of a controversy on the issue as to legality and/or propriety of such claims are
submitted for resolution to the COA in connection with the discharge of its audit function.
Questions involving legal interpretation and/or application of law are submitted for decision to
the courts.
Accounting Responsibility - Under PD 1445, accounting responsibility for all government
funds and property is entrusted, immediately and primarily, to the head of the government
agency or office. It is the duty of the head of the agency to take reasonable steps to minimize, if
not to avoid the risk of losses, defalcations and other types of irregularities in the utilization of all
government resources (to safeguard the resources of the government under his custody) and
periodic reporting to concern authorities. His responsibility, however, is supervised by higher
authorities and government bodies.

The officer in possession or custody of government funds or property by reason of his duties are
accountable for the safekeeping thereof. As such, he shall be properly bonded.

The Head of the agency is made immediately and primarily responsible for all government
funds and property pertaining to his agency. Secondary responsibility is made to rest on the
persons entrusted with the actual possession or custody of the funds or property. They are the
accountable officers and are immediately responsible to the agency head.

The imposition of primary responsibility on the agency head for government funds and property
is in keeping with the concept of fiscal responsibility now lodge with agency head.

The head of the agency shall exercise the diligence of a good father or a family in supervising
accountable officers to prevent the incurrence of loss of government funds and property,
otherwise, he shall be jointly and solidarily liable with the person primarily accountable

Although supervisory work of government accounting is vested upon to the Commission on

Audit, accounting responsibilities in the government, by virtue of the provision of the
Constitution of the Philippines, laws, Presidential Decrees and other issuances, are shared
primarily by the Commission on Audit(COA), Department of Budget and Management, (DBM),
Department of Finance (Bureau of Treasury) and government agencies.

The Commission on Audit serves as the external auditor of the government agencies. It is a
constitutional office and its mandates are provided in Section 2, Art. IX-D of the 1986
Constitution of the Philippines. The COA keeps the general accounts of the national government
, prescribes the standard chart of accounts, promulgates accounting rules and regulations and
exercise technical supervision over the accounting functions of each agency. The office is
mandated by the Constitution to submit to the President and the legislative body within the time
frame fixed by law, an annual audit report of the government, its subdivision, agencies and
instrumentalities including government owned or controlled corporations and recommend
measures necessary to improve efficiency and effectiveness.

The DBM determines the accounting and other item of information needed to monitor budget
performance and assess effectiveness of the agency operation. It prescribes the forms, schedules
of submission and other component of reporting system needed to accomplish and submit the
required information. It approves the Agency Budget Matrix and issues the allotments to
agencies in accordance with the approved budget and issues Notice of Cash Allocation.

The Bureau of Treasury (BTr) performs banking function for the national government. It
receives and keeps government funds, controls the disbursements thereof and maintain accounts
of the financial transactions of national government agencies. It is required to prepare and
submit to the COA and other fiscal activities, a daily statements of cash receipts, disbursements
and fund balances in the National Treasury.

The National Government Agencies (NGAs) consist of various organizational units such as
departments, bureaus, commissions, boards, offices, tribunals, councils, institutions, state
colleges or universities and establishments. These agencies are required to establish and
maintain a system of accounting for their financial resources and operation in accordance with
pertinent rules and regulations. Accounts should be kept in such details as is necessary to meet
the need of agency management and furnish information to fiscal and control agencies such as
COA, DBM and BTr.

Relationship between Accountability, Responsibility and Authority

Accountability is the obligation of a public officer/employee to answer for the responsibility

conferred on him/her. It is her Responsibility to respond to the concerns
of individuals or groups, the public he/she is to serve, within the overall context of his/her
obligations for which he/she has the appropriate Authority.

In government, authority is often used interchangeably with the term "power". However, their
meanings differ: while "power" is defined as 'the ability to influence somebody to do something
that (s)he could not have done' , "authority" refers to a claim of legitimacy, the justification and
right to exercise that power.