20 August 2021

In the past few days, the Commission on Audit (COA) has been publishing its annual audit reports on national government agencies for F.Y. 2020. This includes a management letter stating the Anti-Red Tape Authority’s non-submission of financial reports, vouchers, and other documents within the prescribed period.

We wish to clarify that ARTA has already submitted our financial documents and other pertinent issuances on 30 July 2021 after COA sent us their demand letter, dated 14 July 2021, that we received on 16 July 2021, ordering us to turn over the said documents within 10 working days from the receipt of the letter.

In its management letter dated 11 June 2021, COA stated that ARTA was not able to submit its financial statements and other necessary documents on 30 April 2021. For our part, the Authority was transparent with its struggles amid the COVID-19 pandemic and lack of personnel as a newly formed agency.

Following COA’s recommendations, we have instructed the chief of our Human Resource Development Division to craft an internal policy on the proper turn over of personnel and recruited more manpower for our Accounting Office.

To date, five of the six plantilla positions in the Finance Division have already been filled up. We have also hired three administrative assistants under Contract of Service to support the Accounting and Budget Unit of the Finance Division.

ARTA is fully committed to cooperate and move with transparency with the COA team. Transparency is in line with our mandate of making government services more efficient. As a very new agency, we continue to improve as we go, and we hope that as we add on to our personnel component, we will become what we are striving to become, which is an agency worthy to be followed and trusted by others.

We will continue to work in close coordination with COA. Their valuable and indispensable observations will greatly help us stay on track in complying with the law and becoming a model agency.