For the first time since 2009, the Department of Tourism (DOT) has been accorded with an “unqualified opinion” by state auditors for the 2019 fiscal year.
An “unqualified opinion” is the highest audit rating that can be rendered by an auditor when the financial statements of the audited entity are found to be presented fairly in all material aspects, after being subjected to scrutiny in accordance with International Standards of Supreme Audit Institutions.
“We believe that the audit evidence we have obtained is sufficient and appropriate to provide a basis for our opinion,” the Commission on Audit’s (COA) Independent Auditor’s Report said.
Elated with the rating, Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said the rating from COA is an affirmation that the DOT is observing the highest degree of accountability and transparency in its financial management.
“It reassures our stakeholders and our development partners that the DOT is fully compliant with International Public Sector Accounting Standards, thus, can be relied upon as a good partner in developmental projects as it adheres to sound and internationally accepted financial management practices,” she said.
First appointed as secretary of the department in 2018, among Puyat’s first directives included a thorough “house cleaning” after assuming her post.
“This Unqualified Opinion gives the Department of Tourism (DOT) an over-all clean and positive image in the eyes of its clients and stakeholders. It clearly confirms that there are no material discrepancies or misstatements found in the financial statements of the department, and that we did everything fairly and in accordance with the laws, rules and regulations,” she stressed.
This was the first time that the DOT received the highest COA rating since 2009.
While the tourism chief attributed the accomplishment to the hardworking employees of the department, she still challenged her constituents to “keep up the good work”.
“For the employees, it means a ‘job well done,’ a seal of excellence and transparency for the DOT,” she said.
“Achieving this milestone in this challenging time is a motivation for us to continue leading the tourism sector in helping rebuild the economy, and helping the sector rise from the torment of COVID 19, she added, stressing that integrity and accountability are cornerstones of transformational public service.