GRAND OR petty corruption, fake or faked SAROs — which have been hogging headlines of late — are not the end of the story.

These faked SAROs or Special Allotment Release Orders, along with other accountable forms covering the release of millions of pesos in public funds, are just a sliver of many other systemic flaws and weaknesses in the systems and processes of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM).

In fact, in the Commission on Audit (COA)’s view, these “systems errors” are “not indicative of sound internal control practice” at DBM, the veritable custodian of the national purse.

By all indications, these flaws in DBM’s system for managing SAROs, as well as Notices of Cash Allocation (NCAs), among others, have precisely allowed malefactors, possibly inside and outside the agency, opportunities to manufacture fake or faked documents that apparently lead to funds not reaching the intended beneficiaries.

COA’s latest agency report on DBM notes that there are “spoiled” or “cancelled” SAROs, SAROs with “skipping numbers”, SAROs counted “per box” and not “per piece”, and even “shredded” SAROs gone to the great beyond.

COA’s agency audit of DBM for 2012 reiterated only the same bigger, messier context of “systems errors” in the Budget Department’s management of SAROs and NCAs that have been exposed again and again since 2010.

Read our latest report, “Fake, spoiled, cancelled, missing? SARO mess at DBM lingers — COA”

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