“Mamamayan, kasali ka sa pag-audit ng kaban ng bayan“
The Citizen Participatory Audit (CPA) is a a reform strategy and an audit technique that brings together civil society organizations (CSOs), citizens and auditors of the Commission on Audit (COA), as one audit team; to strengthen citizen involvement in the public audit process towards improving transparency, efficiency and effectiveness in the use of public resources.
The project’s desired outcome was to pilot citizen-government partnerships to support the institutionalization of participatory audits in COA. Since its project implementation in April 2012, several milestones have been achieved in line with the intermediate outcomes of (1) Establishing an enabling framework for citizen engagement (policies, systems, and processes); and (2) civil society organizations (CSO) being able to articulate the citizen agenda.
Notable achievements during the first phase are as follows:
1. Participatory audit models developed. This resulted in the conduct of four audits on public works, education and social services. Operational guidelines were also crafted with civil society partners to clarify roles and responsibilities. A template memorandum of understanding has also been drafted for future audits.
2. System for integrating citizen feedback in CPA established. The Public Information System (PIS) was established to encourage citizen feedback. It also contributed to a more efficient way of filtering and forwarding feedback to appropriate COA clusters for appropriate action. Compared to previous years, a significant increase in the number of citizen feedback has been logged in by the system in 2013, and has continued to increase presently. COA has also adopted www.i-kwenta.com as part of its initiative to encourage audit-related feedback through its Citizen’s Desk program.
3. Policy proposal for CPA formulated. Concrete steps have also been taken by COA to signal its commitment to sustain the CPA project. COA has provided physical office space for the project. While other agencies have signified verbal commitments to encourage transparency, accountability and citizen participation.
4. Shared CSO and COA Agenda. CSO and citizen participation in COA has come a long way. From a baseline of zero participation in 2011 to having CSO recommendations as a critical input in COA’s strategic and operational planning is another milestone. Gathering inputs and sustaining the dialogue between COA and the CSOs were done through the conduct of the regional and national shared agenda building workshops. Aside from generating possible areas for audit engagements, these activities also facilitated a better understanding of the internal processes of each institution.
Now, on its second phase, the project continuously works towards the institutionalization of CPA in COA. The desired outcome or purpose is to strengthen and sustain the engagement of citizens and COA in participatory audits.
CPA is a joint project of the Commission on Audit and the Affiliated Network for Social Accountability in East Asia and the Pacific, with funding support from the Australian Government-Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (formerly Australian Agency for International Development or AusAID) through the Public Financial Management Program (PFMP) managed by Coffey International Pty. Ltd. and the Making All Voices Count.
View our infosheets to learn more about the Citizen Participatory Audit.