THE Commission on Audit on Monday ordered former officials and employees of the Technology Resource Center to return illegal bonuses of P14,695,097.84 paid to them in 2011 without any clearance from the Department of Budget and Management.
In its decision, CoA’s Commission Proper denied a petition for review filed by former TRC director general Dennis Cunanan seeking a recall of the notice of disallowance issued by the TRC audit team on Oct. 23, 2012.
Cunanan, facing multiple graft raps before the Sandiganbayan for supposed involvement in the Priority Development Assistance Fund scam, appealed the disallowance.
He said the audit findings had no “sufficient legal and factual justification.”
But CoA Chairman Michael Aguinaldo, along with Commissioners Jose Fabia and Isabel Agito, affirmed the decision of CoA’s Corporate Government Sector 6 that the Omnibus Incentive Benefit was illegal.
Under the law, any additional benefit or allowance not yet integrated into the standardized salaries of employees requires prior approval by the DBM.
“TRC recognized this authority when it wrote the DBM Secretary on May 11, 2011 requesting approval of the OIB in its corporate operating budget for 2011. Despite the lack of approval from the DBM, TRC continued to pay the OIBs to its officers and employees,” CoA said.
“[T]he BOD of TRC does not have an unbridled and plenary power to determine the salary, benefits, and allowances of its personnel. It is only the DB that has the mandate to classify positions and determine the appropriate salaries per specific positions.”