ORMOC CITY – The Commission on Audit has opined that the hiring of four consultants by the administration of former mayor Eric Codilla was questionable, as their level of expertise was nothing that the current city employees could not do.
The COA observation came in the light of Memo No. 2012-010 dated October 17, 2012 by Audit Commissioner Ma. Gracia Pulido-Tan putting the hiring of consultants and “ghost employees” as a thrust area in the year 2012 of the Local Government Sector.
In their observation, supervising state auditor Atty. Ma. Jerica B. Castroverde and audit team leader Ma. Nineveh C. Duarte said they found the “necessity” of the hiring of consultants by the City “questionable” as reported in their accomplishment reports. “Their duties and responsibilities are a duplication of that of appointive LGU officials provided in the Local Government Code”, the audit report stated.
The report enumerated the consultants as Dr. Samuel S. Go for agriculture, Atty. Mariano Y. Corro for legislative matters, Engr. Raoul D. Santos for structural engineering and Engr. Siegfredo C. Tabanag as city electrical engineer.
The COA team noted that Dr. Go, a retired president of an agricultural college, was hired as consultant for agriculture since 2004 yet. However, his reports showed that the “nature of his work do not require adequate technical and professional expertise”. The COA noted that his report for 2012 even included “attendance in graduation activities and recognition programs”.
In the case of Atty. Corro, the nature of his work do not concern a particular project or program and duplicated the work of the legal officer as stated in the Local Government Code.
As for the two engineers, the audit report also noted that their consultancy contracts did not specify specific work programs but ongoing city projects. By Lalaine M. Jimenea