THE Commission on Audit has questioned the hiring of a number of consultants of the state-run Nayong Filipino Foundation in 2015 in alleged violation of Civil Service Commission rules and regulations.
The Commission said the consultants “performed regular functions which do not require expertise in a particular area of specialization and were allowed to perform supervisory functions.”
Several of the consultants had been given additional allowances and benefits not stipulated in their contracts, it added.
The foundation hired 12 consultants to render services as technical advisers in the fields of human resource, marketing and communications, branding and lead design and business development last year.
The audit team pointed out that consultants for marketing and human resources were performing regular functions that did not require expertise in a particular area of specialization and were allowed to perform supervisory function.
“The services of the consultants were renewed continually upon expiration of their contracts instead of being hired for a limited period to perform specific activities or services with expected outputs. We noted, however, that NPF can hire a regular employee for the vacant HR plantilla position, instead of continually hiring a consultant,” the Commission’s report.
One of the consultants was even allowed the use of a service vehicle to and from the residence to the foundation’s office and a cell phone load allowance, while some were allowed to reimburse meals, parking fees and other miscellaneous expenses.
“We have also noted that NPF is already paying the Office of the Corporate Government Counsel P15,000 a month for legal services. Hence, the hiring of consultant for legal services may no longer be necessary,” the auditors said.
The NPF spent P1.588 million for consultancy services that exceeded the approved corporate operating budget of P1.380 million.
State auditors recommended to the foundation to comply with the rules and stop the practice of paying the consultants’ allowances and benefits not stipulated in their contracts.
The foundation, however, said the current plantilla and organization structure of NPF was outdated and did not provide regular roles for the functions required by its work and business.
“Thus, the services of competent personnel were engaged either through a consultancy or service agreement,” it added.