/ 20 June 2023

FOR THE first time in its history, the Commission on Higher Education received the highest audit rating from the Commission on Audit.

The Audit Rating, known as an unqualified opinion or unmodified opinion, is the highest recognition given to a government agency after an extensive examination and investigation conducted by COA.

CHED earned this prestigious recognition for its financial statement for the fiscal year 2022.

CHED Chairman Prospero De Vera III was elated by the agency’s feat.

“This is truly historical and a product of the various fiscal accountability reforms initiated when I assumed the CHED Chairmanship in 2018,” De Vera said.

“In the first exit conference I attended as CHED Chairman, I informed the COA auditor and his team that the Commission will act decisively on audit observations that have persisted even as early as the late 1990s. This included requiring higher education institutions who get CHED grants to clear all their unliquidated funds before they can even apply for project grants,” he added.

De Vera said that since that time, P2,864,412,550.78 has been returned to the government coffers by HEIs. Others have improved their documentation and reporting systems to clear their accounts.

CHED also required several state universities and colleges who got Disbursement Acceleration Program funds to return the unexpended balances after the Supreme Court’s decision on the legality of the DAP practice.

Tighter procurement procedures were also implemented in various CHED offices and prompt action on COA observations was done as soon as the COA reports came out.

“We will continue to implement reforms to build upon the gains shown by the COA unqualified opinion. This includes increasing our disbursement rate and complying with the shift to cash based budgeting. We will also closely monitor and improve the practices of our regional offices that continue to have audit observations,” De Vera said.