PS-DBM is a catastrophe (7)

The Department of Budget and Management and its attached agency, the Procurement Service, being regulatory organizations, are supposed to be manned by men and women adept in performance management, with the capability to sustain its rendition of service even amid a crisis like Covid-19. Its officials and employees are expected to maintain their good performance.

The failure of the Comptroller Division of the PS-DBM to prepare and submit the required financial statements within the deadline required by law is inexcusable for such failure shall result in more loss and misuse of funds and resources.

The catastrophic financial disasters that occurred from 2011 to 2021 could have been avoided had DBM and its attached agency observed strictly the simple and clear provisions of Presidential Decree 1445, otherwise known as the Auditing Code of the Philippines.

PD 1445 is the ultimate in performance and funds control, the only law that required no implementing rules and regulations.

While formulating the fiscal duties and responsibilities of the head of the office, President Ferdinand E. Marcos Sr. himself explained the three broad goals of government.

“Our overriding national objective is the satisfaction of basic needs, the improvement of income opportunities, and the more prudent management of the country’s resources as the bases for the achievement of an egalitarian, self-reliant, participatory humane and just society.”

Section 2 of the Government Audit Code zeroes in on the management of government resources.

“All resources of the government shall be managed, expended or utilized in accordance with law and regulations, and safeguarded against loss or wastage through illegal or improper disposition, with a view to ensuring efficiency, economy and effectiveness in the operations of government.”

The Chief Executive is not satisfied with only prudent management. He asks for the “more prudent management” of our resources. And more importantly, the bases for all we have hoped for and fought for in a republican and democratic form of government is anchored on “the more prudent management” of the country’s resources.

Section 2 of PD 1445 states that, “The responsibility to take care that such policy faithfully adheres to rests directly with the chief or head of the government agency concerned.”

The sharing of this awesome responsibility is thus explained. “Fiscal responsibility shall, to the greatest extent, be shared by all those exercising authorities over fiscal affairs, transactions and operations of the government agency.”

But while the head of office shares this responsibility with his cashier, treasurer, property or supply officer, or any such accountable officer, as head of the office, he is “immediately and primarily responsible for all government funds and property pertaining to his agency (Section 102, No. 1).

“Persons entrusted with the possession or custody of the funds or property under the agency head shall be immediately responsible to him without prejudice to the liability of either party to the government.”

In short, your employees have only secondary fiscal responsibility, while you as head of office is primarily responsible and, therefore, primarily liable. You are personally liable for illegal and void contracts and its consequent damages “to the same extent as if the transaction has been wholly between private parties (Section 87).”

Expenditures of government funds or uses of government property in violation of law or regulation shall be a personal liability of the official or employee found to be directly responsible therefore.

As head of office, he should “exercise the diligence of a good father of a family in supervising accountable officers under his control to prevent the incurrence of loss of government funds and property; otherwise, he shall be jointly and solidarity the person primarily accountable (Section 104).”

Even in the payment and disposition of funds and property, the heed of office shall be primarily liable for the loss, while the accountable officer who fails to serve the required notice shall be secondarily liable (Section 106).

(To be continued)

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