Bill mandates LGUs to disclose expenditures

A LAWMAKER has filed a bill mandating the local government units (LGUs) to make an annual disclosure of their budget, finances, disbursement, funds utilization, expenditures, bids and offerings to ensure that local officials will adhere to fiscal responsibility and transparency.

Rep. Maria Evita Arago (3rd District, Laguna) said House Bill 6696 seeks to amend Section 352 of Republic Act 7160, otherwise known as the “Local Government Code of 1991.”

The bill, to be known as the “Local Government Transaction Disclosure Act of 2012,” mandates the provincial governors, city mayors and municipal mayors to disclose and post for public viewing documents pertaining to budgets, finances, disbursements, funds utilizations, expenditures, bids and offerings.

The fiscal transactions would include the annual budget, quarterly statement of cash flows, statement of receipt and expenditures, trust fund (PDAF) utilization, special education fund utilization, 20% component of the IRA utilization, gender and development fund utilization, statement of debt service, annual procurement plan or procurement list, items for bid, bid results on civil works, goods and services and abstract of bid calculated.

“It goes with President Aquino’s campaign slogan, “Kung walang corrupt, walang mahirap.” It is envisioned that disclosures of these expenditures and financial activities would ensure that public money is spent well on public service,” Arago said.

Under the bill, local treasurers, accountants, budget officers and other accountable officers shall within 30 days from the completion of the preparation of the fiscal items in accordance with the forms, procedures, and schedules prescribed by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) and those that may be jointly issued with the Commission on Audit and other responsible agencies, post in three publicly accessible and conspicuous places in the locality.

The bill also requires to post in their official websites and publish in a newspaper of general circulation all procurement related activities and requirement of the concerned LGU, such as the invitation to bid, notice of award, notice to proceed, and approval of contract in procuring entity’s premises, shall strictly comply with the posting and publication requirement under Republic Act 9184, otherwise known as the Government Procurement Reform Act.

The bill imposes a fine not exceeding the equivalent of six months’ salary or suspension not exceeding one year or imprisonment of not less than one month but not more than six months, in addition to the imposition of administrative sanction, upon public officer or employee who shall violate any of the provisions of this proposed act.

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