The Commission on Audit (COA) has given the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) its “unmodified opinion” for the fourth consecutive year, a testament to the latter’s transparent and sound management of public funds.
COA auditor Concepcion Reyes, in an independent auditor’s report, rendered an “unmodified opinion,” also known as an “unqualified opinion,” on the fairness of the presentation of the SEC 2021 financial statements.
“In our opinion, the accompanying financial statements present fairly, in all material respects, the financial position of the SEC as at December 31, 2021, and its financial performance, changes in net assets/equity, cash flows, comparison of budget and actual amounts for the year then ended, and notes to financial statements, in accordance with the International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS),” Reyes’ report read.
The audit was conducted “in accordance with the International Standards of Supreme Audit Institutions and to ascertain the level of assurance that may be placed on the management’s assertion on the financial statements; determine the propriety of transactions; recommend improvement opportunities; and determine the extent of the implementation of prior years’ audit recommendations.”
An “unqualified” or “unmodified” opinion is given when auditors conclude that financial statements “as a whole are free from material misstatements, which could arise from either error or fraud,” according to the IPSAS.
The SEC also received an unqualified opinion on the fairness of presentation of its financial statements for 2018, 2019, and 2020, making this the longest streak of unqualified opinions the Commission has received over the past decade.
SEC chairman Emilio Aquino said in a statement Sunday, they “take pride in the four-year streak of unqualified opinions we have obtained from COA, which serves as a concrete proof of our adherence to transparency, accountability, and good governance.”
“This testament to the honest, sound, and prudent use of public funds, is especially important for the SEC, which is mandated to oversee the country’s corporate sector and should thereby serve as a model for the highest standards of transparency and accountability in the industry,” he added.
The SEC has continuously advocated good governance and improvement in ease of doing business in the country by eliminating red tape and other opportunities for graft and corruption.
Last month, the SEC was conferred the Global Good Governance (3G) Advocacy and Commitment to Corporate Governance Award by London-based Cambridge International Financial Advisory for the second consecutive year. The award is given to individuals and institutions who treat governance and sustainability as a strategic opportunity.
The SEC was also recognized as the 3G Transparency Awardee by the same financial advisory house, in recognition of its rigorous and transparent reporting on financials, governance, and strategy.
For championing sustainability and good governance in the corporate sector, SEC director Rachel Esther Gumtang-Remalante of the Corporate Governance and Finance Department was hailed as one of Asia’s Top Sustainability Superwomen for 2021 by Singapore-based consultancy CSRWorks International.
In March, the commission received the ISO 9001:2015 Certification anew for its quality management system covering all core services across its main and extension offices.
The certification covers procedures related to the provision of registration of partnerships and corporations in the SEC Extension Offices in Baguio, Tarlac, Legazpi, Cebu, Bacolod, Iloilo, Davao, Cagayan de Oro, and Zamboanga.
The commission first obtained ISO 9001:2015 Certification in 2018, then successfully expanded the scope of its ISO-certified quality management system to 122 document procedures in 2020 from an initial 59.