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October 1, 1986
: Ordaining and Instituting a Code of Ethics for Government Auditors.
In the interest of public service, the Commission on Audit hereby resolves to adopt the following Code of ethics for Government Auditors for the guidance of and observance by all officials and employees of the Commission who are engaged directly or indirectly in the discharge of public audit functions prescribed by the Constitution and the laws of the Republic of the Philippines. PREAMBLE At the core of the public trust that characterizes public office is the command of morality by which the office holder is bound to do right. Morality is the very essence of public ethics which is part and parcel of public office. The government auditor is a public officer and, hence, is a trustee of the sovereign people. As such, he is not the owner of authority but an agent of public purpose. It is, therefore, meet that a continuing concern with public ethics pervade his day-by day work. To that end, he must needs be guided, consciously and rationally, by ethical standards of official conduct. I. PUBLIC ROLE OF THE GOVERNMENT AUDITOR Being the functional arm and representative of the Commission on Audit, the government auditor is in the forefront of its decision-making activity that essentially demonstrates itself in the adjudication of money claims for or against the Government. Verily, he is a judge of government accounts. As such, he performs a function critical to the integrity and purposes of public office, the confidence of the people in public officers, and the preservation of accountability in office holding. In a sense, the government auditor is a partner in the pursuit of the common weal, and ensures and maintains a cooperative, conscientious and vigilant, yet dynamic approach in the review and appraisal of government transactions as well as the improvement of the efficiency, economy and effectiveness of government operations. II. RELATIONS OF THE GOVERNMENT AUDITOR His assumption of the office of government auditor casts upon him duties in respect to his personal and professional conduct that concern his relation to his colleagues in the office, the auditees subject to his jurisdiction, the rest of government officialdom, and the general public transacting business with him.
should be above and beyond reproach. reasonable skill and diligence As recipient of a public trust. always bearing in mind his ultimate accountability to the sovereign people who are his real clients. whether in the course of the performance of his official duties or in his private life. Good faith. His personal behavior. V. loyalty. Propriety and irreproachability of conduct A government auditor’s official conduct should be free from all appearances of impropriety and indiscretion. Upholding the dignity of the audit office The government auditor shall at all times comport himself in such a manner as would uphold the honor. virtute officii. particularly where rights of individuals may be jeopardized by his neglect. the government auditor is charged with the obligation. 4.III. to perform the functions of his office in good faith and to the best of his ability. using reasonable skill and diligence. Prudence. efficiency and independence. legal orders and decrees promulgated by the duly constituted authorities of the Republic of the Philippines and will faithfully discharge to the best of his ability the duties of his office. dignity and prestige of the public office that he holds. . will bear true faith and allegiance thereto. 2. GENERAL ETHICAL GUIDELINES 1. 3. as a public officer. FIDELITY TO OATH OF OFFICE The government auditor must demonstrate strict and continuing faithfulness to his solemn declarations in his oath of office that he will support and defend the Constitution of the Philippines. IV. to discharge his functions and duties with the highest degree of responsibility integrity. FAITHFUL SERVICE ADHERENCE TO STANDARD NORMS OF PUBLIC It behooves the government auditor. caution and attention The government auditor is bound. inter alia. to bring to the discharge of his duties that prudence. will obey the laws. caution and attention which careful men usually exercise in the management of their affairs.
remembering that any unwarranted or unreasonable delay in his disposition of matters submitted to him in his official capacity tends to create dissatisfaction with the auditing service in government. always bearing in mind that courtesy and tactfulness are the most eloquent manifestations of a decent social behavior. civility and courtesy High strung and belligerent behavior has no place in the government service. He is bound to act primarily for the benefit of the public and to refrain from activities which will interfere with the proper discharge of his duties thereto. Thus. INTEGRITY AND INCORRUPTIBILITY As a guardian of the public treasure. recognizing that the time of claimants. His conduct in dealing with his co-employees and with the public should be marked by respect for and consideration of the feelings of others. the government auditor owes an undivided duty to the public whom he serves. so as to command the respect and emulation of the public. 6 Punctuality and promptness The government auditor should be punctual in reporting to office and the performance of his official duties. He shall act with civility in his relationship with his co-employees and shall cooperate with them in the performance of their duties. and he should not place himself in a position which will subject him to conflicting ideas or expose him to the temptation of acting in any manner other than in the best interest of the public. Self-restraint. . transacting official business with him is of value. the auditee and other persons. Industry The government auditor should exhibit an industry and application in his work commensurate with the duties and responsibilities imposed upon him. He sets the moral tone for the auditee. VI. He shall discharge his duties with promptness and dispatch.5. the government auditor shall act with selfrestraint and civility at all times. 7. PUBLIC INTEREST As a public officer. Even when confronted with rudeness and insolence. VII. the government auditor is expected to keep his personal integrity above and beyond suspicion.
he shall avoid or eschew any relationship or circumstance which would likely. IMPARTIALITY AND OBJECTIVITY 1. importunings and blandishments. 4. He has no right to exercise his functions or use his influence for personal gain or other private ends. refrain from all relations which would normally tend to arouse suspicion that such relation warp or bias his judgment or prevent his impartial attitude of mind in the administration of his duties as auditor. both from within and without the office. the government auditor shall observe and maintain complete independence. or that he is affected by the rank. judgments and decisions and even recommendations on matters presented to him for resolution. conclusions.The government auditor shall maintain the highest degree of integrity in his personal and official actuations. he must avoid even the appearances of relationships which would suggest a conflict of interest to a reasonable observer. INDEPENDENCE. Official authority and public influence are not meant to be available for personal advancement or enrichment or for the benefit of any special interest. He shall endeavor to preserve and protect his independence. impartiality and objectivity. and must be guided by a strict sense of honesty and uprightness. 6. . even subconsciously. 3. 5. He must avoid situations or actions that would tend to weaken his impartiality and objectivity. To that end. He must continually maintain an independence in mental attitude. Whenever in his judgment a circumstance or a case involves a conflict of interest that tends to taint his independence. In that regard. He should not suffer his conduct to create the impression that any person can unduly influence him or enjoy his favor. In all matters relating to his work. so far as reasonably possible. 2. He must be strong-willed so that he may be able to resist any temptation that may compel him to compromise his objectivity and impartiality. impair his objectivity and independent judgment as an auditor. It is desirable that he should. position or influence of any party. as well as pressures. He shall at all times be impartial and objective particularly in his appraisals and in his rendition of opinions. and must not be influenced or swayed by public clamor or considerations of personal popularity. VIII. the government auditor shall abstain or inhibit himself from giving his judgment or decision thereon. impartiality or objectivity.
The general principle that there shall be no bargaining in public office applies to his situation. hence. PARTISAN POLITICS The government auditor shall not engage.7. To permit such a recovery would contravene public policy. nay. for this practice is forbidden by public policy as it tends to impair his efficiency. rules and regulations with fairness. and while not required to surrender his rights or opinions as a citizen. perquisites and emoluments. opinions or thoughts on political questions. XII. NON-RECOVERY OF REWARD FOR PERFORMANCE OF DUTY The government auditor shall not claim. it is likely. NON-ASSIGNMENT OF SALARY The government auditor shall not assign his unearned salaries. laws. XI. objectivity and impartiality regardless of kinship or influence of any party. inevitable. barter or sale. are not considered the proper subject of assignment. a reward offered by the public for the performance of an act which it was a part of his official duty to perform if he could. nor shall he use his official authority to coerce or influence the political activity of any other person or body. While he is entitled to entertain personal views. that suspicion of being warped by political bias will attach to the government auditor should he become the active promoter of the interest of one political party against another. . as he will not be permitted to recover. ADMINISTRATIVE AND CRIMINAL SANCTIONS Any violation or infraction of this Code which partakes of the nature of an administrative offense under the Civil Service Law shall be a ground for disciplinary action against the erring government auditor in accordance therewith without prejudice to the corresponding criminal action under appropriate penal laws as may be warranted in the premises. issues or problems. IX. in partisan political activities or take part in any election except to vote. He shall apply audit standards. directly or indirectly. He must bear in mind that the emoluments of a public office are beyond the commerce of man and. X.
GUINGONA. FERNANDEZ. 1986 at Quezon City.) EUFEMIO C.. Philippines. JR. Chairman (SGD. EFFECTIVITY This Code shall take effect thirty days from its publication in the COA Bulletin.) TEOFISTO T.. Commissioner . DOMINGO.) BARTOLOME C. JR. (SGD. Promulgated by the Commission Proper on this 1st day of October. Commissioner (SGD.XIII.
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