Friday, October 24, 2008

City office illegally issuing temporary receipts

When you pay anything to the city government, always demand an official receipt.
Do not accept anything short of the official receipt.
If a city office to whom you paid money issues a temporary receipt in lieu of an official receipt, tell that collecting personnel that this is illegal.
The law, the revised administrative code provides that No payment of any nature shall be received by a collecting officer without immediately issuing an official receipt in acknowledgment thereof.
The government’s accounting and auditing manual explicitly prohibits the issuance of temporary receipts: “At no instance shall temporary receipts be issued to acknowledge receipt of public funds.
The Commission on Audit has discovered that the city agriculturist’s office, crop division, had been issuing temporary receipts (T.R.), instead of official receipts (O.R.) in the sale of crops.
This is illegal, says the COA.
The COA conducted an examination of the file copies of documents kept by Ms. Felicitas A. Barba, Agriculturist II, the center chief, crop division.
The COA found several ORIGINAL copies of already-issued official receipts.
The COA was surprised---or suspicious?--- why already-issued official receipts were still in Ms. Barba’s possession when these official receipts are supposed to be in the possession of crop buyers.
The COA then discovered that what were issued by the office were not official receipts, but only “temporary acknowledgment receipts.”
According to Ms. Barba, upon the sale of crops, the buyers are issued temporary acknowledgement receipts, especially during those times when she is not around.
Ms. Barba continued to explain, that in her absence, she designates a utility worker, named Eddie Apenas to accept sales of crops and instructs him to issue temporary receipts to the buyers, prior to issuance of official receipts which are in her custody.
The COA inquired, why official receipts (already issued) were still in her possession.
Ms. Barba explained these official receipts will be given to the buyers “later”, or when they come back to buy again.
The COA asked whether the office has file copies of the temporary receipts.
None, said Barba.
This is illegal, COA reminded.
This practice may raise suspicions as regards the amounts appearing in the temporary receipts, with that indicated/transferred in the official receipts, the alarmed COA noted.
There is no way to trace and compare the T.R. against the O.R. because there were no file copies of the issued temporary receipts.
The COA also raised the possibility that no official receipts may have been issued for some collections.
If this is the case, to whose pocket do these collections go?
Ms. Barba said she has been recently designated. She is not aware of the regulations.
After the COA discovery, Ms. Barba said the practice of issuing temporary receipts will be stopped.
Here is a possible scenario, as may be feared by the COA: For example, P500 was paid by a buyer. A temporary receipt of P500 is issued (by a utility worker) and given to the buyer. But what if only P100 is “later” written in the official receipt ?
Remember, the COA uncovered issued official receipts in Ms. Barba’s possession.
Is this scenario impossible, improbable, remote?
What’s your answer?

No comments: