DOJ: Resident ombudsmen to be deployed starting September

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MANILA – The Department of Justice (DOJ) said on Thursday that the state auditors and prosecutors will be assigned as resident ombudsmen in government agencies beginning this month.

“The Office of the Ombudsman (OMB), the Commission on Audit (COA), and the Department of Justice (DOJ) have signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) under which prosecutors and state auditors will be deputized as resident ombudsmen in graft prone agencies of the government. The OMB, COA, and DOJ shall jointly enter into agreements with partner agencies for the deployment of the resident ombudsmen which is expected to start rolling this month,” Justice Undersecretary Neil Bainto said in a statement.

As resident ombudsmen, these prosecutors and auditors will “among other things, provide the Ombudsman’s front line services to government agencies by acting on complaints and reports against officials and workers of the respective agencies.”

They will also act as watchdogs and implementors of anti-corruption programs, as well as monitor adherence to current laws and regulations.

Local government units (LGUs) and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) were the subjects of complaints received by the TFAC, according to Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra, who was directed by the president to establish a special task force against corruption (TFAC).

During the first half of the year, the task force handled 220 complaints, the majority of which were “anomalous transactions performed jointly by these LGUs (local government units) and (DPWH) district engineering offices”.

According to Guevarra, other complaints have been filed against the Land Registration Authority, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, the Bureau of Customs, and other government-owned and controlled corporations (GOCCs), with most of the complaints acted upon “quietly” by the task force.

Some cases have also been sent to the Ombudsman for additional investigation, as well as the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) for criminal prosecution.

House committees to hold hearings during break

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Spread the loveMANILA – The House of Representatives has authorized for its committees to conduct hearings during the five-week congressional break, extending until late April.