Powers of the Commission on Audit (COA)

The Commission has the power, authority and duty to examine, audit and settle all accounts and expenditures of the funds and properties of the Philippine government. Towards that end, it has the exclusive authority to define the scope, techniques and methods of its auditing and examination procedures. It also may prevent and disallow irregular, unnecessary, excessive, extravagant or unconscionable expenditures, or uses of government funds and properties. (Section 2(2), Article IX-D, Constitution of the Philippines)


The Commission on Audit shall have the power, authority, and duty to examine, audit and settle all accounts pertaining to the revenues and receipts of, and expenditures or uses of funds and property, owned or held in trust by, or pertaining to the Government, or any of its subdivisions, agencies, or instrumentalities, including government-owned and controlled corporations with original charters, and on a post-audit basis: (a) constitutional bodies, commissions and offices that have been granted fiscal autonomy under the Constitution; (b) autonomous state colleges and universities; (c) other government-owned or controlled corporations and their subsidiaries; and (d) such non-governmental entities receiving subsidy or equity directly or indirectly, from or through the government, which are required by the law or granting institution to submit to such audit as a condition of subsidy or equity. However, where the internal control system of the audited agencies is inadequate, the Commission may adopt such measures, including temporary or special pre-audit, as are necessary and appropriate to correct the deficiencies. It shall keep the general accounts of the Government, and for such period as may be provided by law, preserve the vouchers and other supporting papers pertaining thereto.
The Commission shall have exclusive authority subject to the limitations in Article IX of the Constitution, to define the scope of its audit and examination, establish the techniques and methods required therefor, and promulgate accounting and auditing rules and regulations including those for the prevention and disallowance of irregular, unnecessary, excessive, extravagant, or unconscionable expenditures, or uses of government funds and properties.

Specifically, such jurisdiction shall extend over but not be limited to the following cases and matters:

a. Disallowance of expenditures or uses of government funds and properties found to be illegal, irregular, unnecessary, excessive, extravagant or unconscionable;
b. Money claims due from or owing to any government agency;
c. Determination of policies, promulgation of rules and regulations, and prescription of standards governing the performance by the Commission of its powers and functions;
d. Resolution of novel, controversial, complicated or difficult questions of law relating to government accounting and auditing;
e. Charges made in the audit of revenues and receipts resulting from under-appraisal, under-assessment or under-collection;
f. Audit of the books, records and accounts of public utilities as provided by law;
g. Visitorial power over non-governmental organizations (1) subsidized by the government, (2) those required to pay levies or government share, (3) those funded by donations through the government, (4) those for which government has put up a counterpart fund, or (5) those entrusted with government funds or properties;
h. Authorization and enforcement of the settlement of accounts subsisting between agencies of the government;
i. Compromise or release in whole or in part, of any settled claim or liability to any government agency;
j. Power to require the submission of papers relative to government obligations;
k. Opening and revision of settled accounts;
l. Retention of money due to a person for satisfaction of his indebtedness to the government;
m. Seizure by the Auditor of the office of the local treasurer found to have a shortage in cash;
n. Checking and audit of all property or supplies of the government agency;
o. Constructive distraint of property of any accountable officer with shortage in his accounts upon a finding of a prima facie case of malversation of public funds or property against him;
p. In coordination with appropriate legal bodies, collection of indebtedness founded to be due a government agency in the settlement and adjustment of its accounts by the Commission