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CoA hits Morales over Ombudsman building



By Hananeel Bordey

The Commission on Audit (CoA) has questioned former Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales and her staff for occupying the incomplete and uninsured Ombudsman annex building in Quezon City.

According to a 2017 CoA audit report, the building was still 2.38 percent from total completion when Morales and her staff started occupying it on 31 December 2017. The project’s original completion date was pegged at 20 July 2015.

CoA said the P498-million building was not yet insured with the General Insurance Fund being managed by the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS).

The auditors noted that the premature occupation exposed “the property to the unnecessary risk of not being indemnified for any loss or damage due to fortuitous events.”

The Ombudsman replied it had no choice but to move into the annex building to give way to the offices of the Sandiganbayan’s Sixth and Seventh Divisions.

CoA demanded the Project Management Team to determine the total amount of liquidated damage that they will account to the contractors and ensure that the construction will be immediately completed to commence the official turnover of the building.

The commission also urged the Ombudsman to have the building insured with the GSIS to protect the government property from loss and damage.