WORLD  BANK  OKAYS  $1.2-M  IN  GRANTS  TO  REDUCE  CORRUPTION  IN  RP

MANILA, MAY 14, 2008
(STAR) In a bid to reduce corruption in the country, the World Bank has approved a total of $1,159,985 in grants to the Philippines under its Institutional Development Fund (IDF), with parts of the budget to be used to enhance online bidding and payments and for the training of government personnel and suppliers, Budget Secretary Rolando Andaya said.

The grant, which aims to strengthen capacity and improve efficiency, will go to the Commission on Audit ($300,000), the Department of Budget and Management’s PhilGEPS Group, Procurement Service ($299,985), the Fiscal Planning Bureau ($300,000) and the Local Government Academy ($260,000).

Andaya said the grants to the DBM will finance technical assistance to build up the department’s capacity in policy-based budgeting under its medium-term expenditure framework, and strengthen the capacity of the Procurement Service in implementing the Government’s Electronic Procurement System.

“The IDF grant will enhance DBM’s capacity to develop sound policy analysis which will improve the quality of the recommendations given to the Development Budget Coordination Committee and to the President and Cabinet,” Andaya said.

“In turn, we hope this grant will help us to continue to restructure the budget towards strategic policies and priority areas and be more responsive to the needs of the times through sound technical analysis and systematic internal consultations with key stakeholders on tradeoffs, agency outputs/outcomes and multi-year implications of strategic policies.”

The grant to the COA, meanwhile, aims to improve the agency’s effectiveness and efficiency in auditing government revenues and expenditures through results-based integrated audit that focuses on outputs and outcomes, using a risk-based audit approach.

Acting COA chair Reynaldo Villar said the project aims to integrate the different audit approaches that the COA is presently doing, more specifically the Risk Based Audit, Procurement Audit, Compliance Audit, Fraud Audit and Performance Audit.

He added that the grant will also build and strengthen the capacity of the Local Government Academy (LGA) to coordinate and oversee the many existing training programs available for local government units.

Interior Secretary Ronaldo Puno said the IDF grant responds to the key development challenge of improving the competencies of LGUs under the decentralization program.

“Although there are a large number of training institutions providing training to LGUs, the effectiveness of these programs is undermined by fragmentation, duplication and lack of adequate coordination and oversight,” he said.

World Bank Philippine Country Director Bert Hofman said they expect the grants to the COA, DBM and LGA to improve governance of public resources and delivery of services to Filipinos.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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