Citizens have power to demand transparency, accountability—COA
MANILA, Philippines—Ordinary people have the power to exact transparency and accountability from their public servants.
Commission on Audit (COA) chair Grace Pulido-Tan made this statement on learning that the Citizen Participatory Audit (CPA), a government transparency project led by the COA, won this year’s Bright Spots competition at the Open Government Partnership (OGP) Summit in London on Oct. 31 and Nov. 1.
Tan said that COA’s officials and rank-and-file employees were all “very deeply honored” by the international recognition accorded their work.
She said the COA, with its partners from civil society, initiated the CPA last year to directly involve ordinary citizens in exacting accountability from the government over their money.
“It is based on our belief that a truly transparent and accountable government can only be possible with an involved and vigilant citizenry,” Tan said in a message to the Inquirer.
“That it has created this impact is a most pleasant surprise, and it inspires us to do our very best to faithfully carry out our work for the people,” she added.
Tan sent Commissioner Heidi Mendoza to the London summit to present the project at three sessions attended by over 1,000 world leaders and ministers and representatives of nongovernment organizations who came to show their commitment to radically greater transparency and accountability to citizens.
Mendoza was assisted by COA Director Aida Ayaso Talavera, CPA project management team leader, and Vivien Suerte-Cortez of COA’s partner organization, Affliated Network for Social Accountability in East Asia and the Pacific Foundation.
The CPA is part of COA’s five-year Strategic Plan (2011-2016), which has identified transparency and openness to citizen participation as key facets of its priority reform agenda.
The CPA emerged as the overall crowd favorite even before the real-time voting that was conducted from 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Nov. 1. The Philippines was declared the winner at the close of the summit.—Cynthia D. Balana
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