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Certificate of Availability of Funds vs. Existence of Available Appropriation

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Certificate of Availability of Funds vs. Existence of Available Appropriation

Post by engrjhez® on Mon Sep 27, 2010 2:58 pm

I believe these are two distinct documents. May I solicit as to any information of their legal bases and use in the procurement process in as far as Local Government Units are concerned.

Here are some I have researched so far (to avoid duplicate posts) in addition to provisions of GPRA and its IRR:
http://www.gppb.gov.ph/laws_rules/laws/COA_Resolution86-58.pdf (COA Resolution 86-58, 15 Nov 1986)
http://www.gppb.gov.ph/opinions/view_opinion.asp?o_id=122 (NPM 110-2004)
http://sc.judiciary.gov.ph/jurisprudence/2005/nov2005/151373_74.htm (SC Decision: GR-151373-74, 17 Nov 2005)

This topic is deeper in the roots of finance and accounting which is already beyond the limitations of my procurement expertise. Kindly cite the specific provisions of law. Smile
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Re: Certificate of Availability of Funds vs. Existence of Available Appropriation

Post by jcolas on Mon Sep 27, 2010 6:27 pm

Certificate of Available of fund vs Existence of Available Appropriation.

Appropriation is one of the Budgetary Accounts that includes allotment and oblgations. Appropriation refers to the authorization made by law or other legislative acts for payments to be made with government funds under specified conditions and/or for specified purpose. Appropriations are broken down by your Budgeting Office into allotment class which now becomes the authority to obligate. The appropriations are issued to agencies by the DBM through the ARO for regular expenditures or (SARO), where the release of which is subject to compliance with specific laws or regulations or is subject to separate approval or clearance by competent authority. Certificate of Availability of Funds, on the other hand, is that certification that is signed by the Accountant to show that their is availability of Cash Allocation and that upon certification by the Accountant, the obligation incurred can now be actually paid. The Certificate of Availability of Funds signed by the Accountant hinges on the "Existence of Available appropriation certified by the Budget Officer". I hope Sir RDV can explain further.
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Re: Certificate of Availability of Funds vs. Existence of Available Appropriation

Post by RDV @ GP3i on Mon Sep 27, 2010 11:07 pm

jcolas wrote:Certificate of Available of fund vs Existence of Available Appropriation.

Appropriation is one of the Budgetary Accounts that includes allotment and oblgations. Appropriation refers to the authorization made by law or other legislative acts for payments to be made with government funds under specified conditions and/or for specified purpose. Appropriations are broken down by your Budgeting Office into allotment class which now becomes the authority to obligate. The appropriations are issued to agencies by the DBM through the ARO for regular expenditures or (SARO), where the release of which is subject to compliance with specific laws or regulations or is subject to separate approval or clearance by competent authority. Certificate of Availability of Funds, on the other hand, is that certification that is signed by the Accountant to show that their is availability of Cash Allocation and that upon certification by the Accountant, the obligation incurred can now be actually paid. The Certificate of Availability of Funds signed by the Accountant hinges on the "Existence of Available appropriation certified by the Budget Officer". I hope Sir RDV can explain further.

You have explained it well, jcolas. I will just add that the existence of available appropriation does not necessary mean that a Certificate of Availability of Fund (CAF) could be issued. The available appropriation has to be released first in the form of an allotment, through release documents, which could either be an Agency Budget Matrix (ABM) or a Special Allotment Release Order (SARO). Once the available appropriation is released by means of the ABM or SARO, it is only then that the CAF could be issued.
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Re: Certificate of Availability of Funds vs. Existence of Available Appropriation

Post by jcolas on Tue Sep 28, 2010 7:21 am

"Engrjhez wrote:
Certificate of Available of fund vs Existence of Available Appropriation.

Thank you Sir RDV and If I may add sir Engrjhez and Sir RDV. In the Budget and Finance Division, the Budget Officer Controls the Fund, while the Accountant controls the NCA. That is one difference which is very vital for check and balance purposes.
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Re: Certificate of Availability of Funds vs. Existence of Available Appropriation

Post by engrjhez® on Tue Sep 28, 2010 11:10 am

Thanks for the clarifications. However, I have yet to adapt the definitions you have elaborated for Local Government Units. In LGUs, I think we have practiced for so long the issuance of an Obligation Request (ObR) as part of the requirement before any contract is entered into. Then came the need to issue Certificate of Availability of Funds (CAF) which was just brought up yesterday by our Chief Accountant.

On my understanding ObR is more proper to be issued once award is already recommended by the BAC (before, we just attach them before any procurement is posted). On a separate reading, the CAF should also be accomplished and issued by the Accountant before any contract is entered into. Frankly speaking, we are not accomplishing CAFs in as far as I know. Then came the 2005 Supreme Court Decision (DOH vs. C.V. Canchela & Associates, Architects) declaring a contract null and void ab initio in absence of a CAF issued by the Chief Accountant.

And how can we reconcile these two statements (one from the Act, the other from the IRR)
R.A. 9184 wrote:Section 20. Pre-Procurement Conference. - Prior to the issuance of the Invitation to Bid, the BAC is mandated to hold a pre-procurement conference on each and every procurement, except those contracts below a certain level or amount specified in the IRR, in which case, the holding of the same is optional.

The pre- procurement conference shall assess the readiness of the procurement in terms of confirming the certification of availability of funds, as well as reviewing all relevant documents and the draft Invitation to Bid, as well as consultants hired by the agency concerned and the representative of the end -user.
Revised IRR, R.A. 9184 wrote:
20.1. Prior to the advertisement or the issuance of the Invitation to Bid/Request for
Expression of Interest for each procurement undertaken through a public bidding,
the BAC, through its Secretariat, shall call for a pre-procurement conference. The
pre-procurement conference shall be attended by the BAC, the Secretariat, the unit
or officials, including consultants hired by the procuring entity, who prepared the
Bidding Documents and the draft Invitation to Bid/Request for Expression of Interest
for each procurement. During this conference, the participants, led by the BAC,
shall:
a) x x x
b) x x x
c) Determine the readiness of the procurement at hand, including, among other
aspects, the following:
i) availability of appropriations and programmed budget for contract;
x x x
Have our legislators overlooked these seemingly conflicting provisions? Unless of course Section 20 of the Act was already amended (which I do not know).
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Re: Certificate of Availability of Funds vs. Existence of Available Appropriation

Post by Mikel on Tue Sep 28, 2010 2:24 pm

Please allow me to share my view on this topic.

To distinguish appropriation from fund/cash within the context of the procurement process in LGUs, reference should be made to the Sec. 306 of the IRR RA 7160 (definition of terms).

Under Sec. 360 of the IRR of 7160 (which I believe is still in enforce today not being inconsistent with RA 9184), every requisition (presumably for goods, consul & infra) must be accompanied by a certificate signed by the budget officer (for existence of appro), by the accountant (for obligation) and by the treasurer (for availability of funds). Please note that there is no contract yet at this stage.

Thus, under Sec. 20[c] of the IRR of RA 9184, the BAC shall ensure that the availability of the appro. and then proceed with the process. After the determination of the winning bidder, a contract shall drawn/executed between the PE and the winning bidder/supplier. However, it should be noted that under PD 1445, a Certification of Availability of Fund (CAF) to be issued by the agency’s accounting official (no need for the auditor’s verification) is needed before the HOPE can enter into a contract. It is to be noted that under PD 1445, there is no distinction between the term appropriation and fund had been provided.

For contracts covered by Purchase Orders, it is to be noted that the agency accountant certifies as to the availability of funds for the contract. This certification is made in the face of the PO. However, for contracts other than PO (i.e. formal contracts), a separate Certification should be made by the proper accounting official or this may be incorporated in the contract itself. (the latter is only a suggestion, but it is already substantially compliant to the requirement)

Please note that the cited 2005 SC decision deals with the DOH, a national government agency. In case of LGUs, RA 7160 requires only the authority by the Sanggunian concerned for the HOPE to enter into a contract, thus, the said case is not totally applicable to LGUs. Please note also that under RA 7160 (Sec. 344), no money shall be disbursed unless the local budget officer certifies to the existence of appropriation that has been legally made for the purpose, the local accountant x x x, the local treasurer certifies to the availability of funds for the purpose. Thus, the absence of CAF in the execution of the contract may not be fatal and can be ‘cured’/ ratified by the certifications in the ObR and the DV.

Please see QC v. Lexber, Inc. GR No. 141616, March 15, 2001. Thank you very much.

Medyo magulo po ang explanation, pasensya.

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Re: Certificate of Availability of Funds vs. Existence of Available Appropriation

Post by engrjhez® on Tue Sep 28, 2010 2:56 pm

Mikel wrote:
x x x
Medyo magulo po ang explanation, pasensya.

No. Your explanation is okay. Being a State Auditor detailed on LGUs, I acknowledge and respect the details you have shared. I will return soon as I got my free time this afternoon to give my follow up question.The question lang I will leave is "when to accomplish those documents: before, on procurement, or at any time before entering into contract". Take note that Sec.20 (Pre-Procurement Conference) is not mandatory to all.

We are now about to begin the PhilGEPS Trainer's Training course in a few minutes.

Smile
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Re: Certificate of Availability of Funds vs. Existence of Available Appropriation

Post by Mikel on Tue Sep 28, 2010 3:24 pm

Necessarily, the certifications under Sec. 360 shall be made before or during the preparation of the Purchase Requests, in the same manner that the CAF shall be issued before the HOPE enters into the contract. The CAF is a condition sine qua non before the HOPE can enter into a contract (at least for NGAs, my opinion only). As for the ObR, I believe that this should be accomplished after the bidding (naka certify na kasi ang budget sa requisition pa lang) with the payee already indicated therein. As to the certifications in the DV(Boxes “A” & “B” thereof), these shall be made before the payment/ issuance of checks to contractors/ suppliers.

While pre proc is not mandatory, I believe that the BAC has still the responsibility to ascertain the ABC of the procurement projects, and the best way to ascertain this is to verify the certification issued by the budget officer.


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Re: Certificate of Availability of Funds vs. Existence of Available Appropriation

Post by engrjhez® on Tue Sep 28, 2010 4:35 pm

Mikel wrote:Necessarily, the certifications under Sec. 360 shall be made before or during the preparation of the Purchase Requests, in the same manner that the CAF shall be issued before the HOPE enters into the contract. The CAF is a condition sine qua non before the HOPE can enter into a contract (at least for NGAs, my opinion only). As for the ObR, I believe that this should be accomplished after the bidding (naka certify na kasi ang budget sa requisition pa lang) with the payee already indicated therein. As to the certifications in the DV(Boxes “A” & “B” thereof), these shall be made before the payment/ issuance of checks to contractors/ suppliers.

While pre proc is not mandatory, I believe that the BAC has still the responsibility to ascertain the ABC of the procurement projects, and the best way to ascertain this is to verify the certification issued by the budget officer.

We might be missing something.
1. Please correct me but are we talking here of three (3) distinct documents? (EAA, CAF and ObR?);
2. Requisition - do we mean Purchase Request (PR)? Would that mean the Local Budget Officer also signs on the PR?
3. CAF is accomplished before any advertisement of procurement?

Funny how this was not even clarified in the COA's Procurement Audit Manual... Smile
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Re: Certificate of Availability of Funds vs. Existence of Available Appropriation

Post by sunriser431 on Tue Sep 28, 2010 7:56 pm

may I butt in
Excerpts from NGAS Manual for Local Government Units
Volume I - The Accounting Policies
B.BUDGETARY ACCOUNTS
Sec. 06. Budgetary Accounts. - Budgetary accounts are composed of appropriations, allotments and obligations
Sec. 07. Accounting for Appropriations. – Appropriation refers to an authorization made by ordinance, directing the payment of goods and services from local government funds under specified conditions or for specific purposes.
The local sanggunian approves the annual budget thru the issuance of appropriation ordinance. On the first business day of the fiscal year, the entire annual budget of the local government unit shall be recorded in the Registry of Appropriations, Allotments and Obligations (RAAO). The appropriations, in the amounts approved by the legislative body and confirmed by the reviewing authorities, are recorded in the registries maintained by the accountant where they may be compared with the actual developments of the period.

Sec. 08. Accounting for Allotments. – Allotment is the authorization issued by the Local Chief Executive (LCE) to a department/office of the LGU, which allows it to incur obligations, for specified amounts, within the appropriation ordinance. Allotments are released quarterly based on the Work and Financial Plan and Request for Release of Allotment. The Accountant, upon receipt of the Advice of Allotment, shall enter the allotment in the RAAOs.

Sec. 09. Accounting for Obligations. – Obligations refer to the amounts committed to be paid by the LGU for any lawful act made by an accountable officer for and in behalf of the local government unit concerned.

Obligations shall be taken up in the registries as they are incurred. For each obligation, the requesting department/office shall prepare the Allotment and Obligation Slip (ALOBS) signed by the department or office head as requesting official and forward this, together with the supporting documents, to the Budget Officer.

The Budget Officer shall certify to the existence of appropriation that has been legally made for the purpose by signing the appropriate box in the ALOBS and assign the ALOBS number thereto. The Accountant shall review the ALOBS and certify as to obligation of the allotment by signing the appropriate box in the ALOBS. He shall also fill up the Status of Obligation. The Accountant shall record the amount of obligation in the RAAOs.
reminder "ALOBS" for now are called "OBR" but having the same purpose. . I'll be back soon, for update. Peace
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Re: Certificate of Availability of Funds vs. Existence of Available Appropriation

Post by jcolas on Tue Sep 28, 2010 9:37 pm

What I cited is the practice of a National Government Agency; and I am sure their are minor differences with the LGU in the way this are done; their will always be differences but the basic principle is still the same. The available appropriation has to be released first in the form of an allotment, through release documents, which could either be an Agency Budget Matrix (ABM) or a Special Allotment Release Order (SARO). Once the available appropriation is released by means of the ABM or SARO, it is only then that the agency can incur obligations. As what I have posted earlier, the appro/allotment is the authority to obligate. That, in effect is the basic accounting principle. The accounting entries which am sure, Sir Mikel will vouch will affirm this principle. The receipt of the appropriation comes first, then the incurrence and recording of the obligation , after which payment as soon as the NCA becomes available, as certified by the Accountant, is effected by the Cashier. As to the personalities involved; in an NGA, it isthe Budget Officer that controls the appropriations(Allotment) while the NCA is controlled by the Accountant.
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Re: Certificate of Availability of Funds vs. Existence of Available Appropriation

Post by Mikel on Wed Sep 29, 2010 11:27 am

@ engrjhez – based on my understanding, there are at least 3 docs, the PR, CAF (in case of contracts other than PO) and ObR.
- Yes, the requisition refers to the PR, and,
- For me, CAF is only needed before the HOPE enters into a contract. The certifications in the PR, in my opinion, would suffice for purposes of advertisement.

@ sunriser – COA Circular no.2006-002 (1/31/06) revised the ObR (then ALOBS) for LGUs, without the corresponding amendment of the procedures on the accounting for obligations. ALOBS then had 3 signatories (Dept Head, Budget and Accountant), in the ObR, only 2, kaya medyo magulo.
Anyway, the important thing to know/determine is – When is an obligation incurred? In my view, based on the definition provided in Sec. 306 of RA 7160, obligation is incurred when there is already a perfected contract between the govt agency and the supplier/ contractor, the contract amount shall be the amount indicated in the ObR. (in my opinion lang) The issuance of ObR before or after the perfection of the contract is already substantial compliance with the requirement of the law, pwera lang after payment.


@ jcolas – i do agree with you, LGUs are microcosm of the NGAs in the budgetary and accounting procedures, with minor differences lang.

Good day and Peace everyone!

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Re: Certificate of Availability of Funds vs. Existence of Available Appropriation

Post by sunriser431 on Wed Sep 29, 2010 8:10 pm

Mikel wrote:@ engrjhez – xxxx
@ sunriser – COA Circular no.2006-002 (1/31/06) revised the ObR (then ALOBS) for LGUs, without the corresponding amendment of the procedures on the accounting for obligations. ALOBS then had 3 signatories (Dept Head, Budget and Accountant), in the ObR, only 2, kaya medyo magulo.
Anyway, the important thing to know/determine is – When is an obligation incurred? In my view, based on the definition provided in Sec. 306 of RA 7160, obligation is incurred when there is already a perfected contract between the govt agency and the supplier/ contractor, the contract amount shall be the amount indicated in the ObR. (in my opinion lang) The issuance of ObR before or after the perfection of the contract is already substantial compliance with the requirement of the law, pwera lang after payment.
@ jcolas – xxxx
Good day and Peace everyone!
Sir Mikel, I have received your e-mail and thanks for the reference provided. For complete text highlight this COA Circular no.2006-002 dated 1/31/06. Smile
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Re: Certificate of Availability of Funds vs. Existence of Available Appropriation

Post by engrjhez® on Wed Oct 06, 2010 12:51 pm

Mikel wrote:@ engrjhez – based on my understanding, there are at least 3 docs, the PR, CAF (in case of contracts other than PO) and ObR.
- Yes, the requisition refers to the PR, and,
- For me, CAF is only needed before the HOPE enters into a contract. The certifications in the PR, in my opinion, would suffice for purposes of advertisement.

What certification in particular? The PR contains only the signatures of the requesting dept/unit and the approval of head of agency. It does not include any signature from the budget officer. scratch
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Re: Certificate of Availability of Funds vs. Existence of Available Appropriation

Post by charlie brown on Wed Oct 06, 2010 6:13 pm

[quote="engrjhez®"][color=green]
Mikel wrote:@ engrjhez – based on my understanding, there are at least 3 docs, the PR, CAF (in case of contracts other than PO) and ObR.
- Yes, the requisition refers to the PR, and,
- For me, CAF is only needed before the HOPE enters into a contract. The certifications in the PR, in my opinion, would suffice for purposes of advertisement.

The ABC as defined in section 5 of the IRR is the primary requirement insofar as funding is concerned, before a procurement can be undertaken. hence it is important to ensure that what is in the APP actually has a funding equivalent in the budget of the LGU/AGENCY. This is assured by the fact that section 7 of the IRR requires the active participation of the budget office in the preparation and finalization of the APP. For purposes of posting the procurement oppurtunity whether competitive or alternative mode, the ABC is required. the CAF maybe required by the HOPE before he signs the contract just to be sure that funds are actually available and not part of the reserve or needing clearance partion of the ABM or LBM (for LGUs). The OBr on the other hand will only be required once billing has been made by the contractor/supplier in which case there would already exist a valid obligation on the part of the agency/LGU to pay.

the PR is actually mentioned in Title VI Book two of the local government code but this has already been amended by RA 9184. Besides the PR is really a relic of the past procurement system that was "reactive" in nature. Now we have a "proactive" APP that does not require a purchase request or requisition before a procurement activity will roll. As to the PO, this is not stated in the IRR, and only mentioned in some instances in the GPM. My opinion is that this is also a relic of the past and is duplicative of the GCC/SCC and the NOA/NTP of the IRR and PBDs. In some alternative modes not requiring the use of the PBDs the PO may also have been replaced by the modified RFQ which unfortunately, the GPPB did not have the foresight to include a sample under res 09-2009.

in view of these controversies, i believe the gppb has to make a clear stand kung ano ba talaga.
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Re: Certificate of Availability of Funds vs. Existence of Available Appropriation

Post by Mikel on Fri Oct 08, 2010 11:50 am

Budgeting, accounting and procurement activities are invariably linked with each other (more so in local government setting), thus, it is incumbent upon the concerned offices (DBM, COA, DILG and GPPB, etc.) should come up and promulgate guidelines which would comply with and adhere to budgeting, accounting, auditing and procurement laws, rules and regulations.

While it may be argued that the PR is a ‘relic’ of the past system (which, by the way, was issued by COA pursuant Sec. 383 of RA 7160 and its constitutional power to promulgate accounting rules and regulations), the absence of a clear guideline/ procedure in the present law (RA 9184) which deals with the provisions of RA 7160, more specifically Sec. 360 (in case of the requisition requirement) thereof, had sown the confusion sought to be clarified in this post.

Thus, some auditors of LGUs still require the PR as prescribed under COA Circular No. 2002-003 (again, issued by COA in the exercise of its constitutional mandate to promulgate accounting rules and regulations), which to date is still ‘unamended’/’ unrepealed’. Please note that for local government units, the PR facilitates the recording of the financial aspect of the procurement in the books (both accounting and budget) of the LGUs. Thus, unless the GPPB would address this issue, it would be more beneficial to the LGUs to use the PR.

Going now to the point of engrjhez (re: PR), it is indeed confusing because the PR form provided by GPPB (am I right?), there are only 2 signatories, while the original PR form for LGUs as provided in the aforementioned COA circular there 3 signatories (+ the ALOBS). I think there should be a more in-depth study on these issues, more especially for LGUs, to harmonize the guidelines.

Thanks.

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Re: Certificate of Availability of Funds vs. Existence of Available Appropriation

Post by engrjhez® on Wed Feb 23, 2011 9:05 pm

Thanks for sharing your invaluable expertise as Auditor in shedding light on this issue. As of this moment, I am writing a position paper which later would be sent to GPPB, COA, and the DBM for their clarification. There are a lot of issues that need to be resolved jointly by the these three agencies especially on LGU procedures and forms.

I will have my position paper publicly posted for scrutiny (later) and I will have forum members informed of updates. Smile
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