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DBM: Account Code System a Fiscal Transparency Tool 

23 June 2015
 
The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) today emphasized that the Unified Account Code Structure (UACS)—which was introduced under the Aquino Administration— has been designed to streamline the budget process and create an environment of fiscal transparency and accountability in government. 
 
Responding to concerns raised by former Senator Panfilo Lacson over the UACS, the Budget department said that the coding system is simply a tool that agencies and departments can use to help monitor the status of each government project, activity, or program (PAP), as well as to record government financial data. 
 
 
“The beauty of the UACS is that as a classification system, it gives oversight agencies a common reference in tracking each individual government project or program. This will not only aid us in managing the government budget more efficiently, it will help us detect irregularities,” said Budget and Management Secretary Florencio “Butch” Abad.
 
In an earlier statement, Lacson noted some confusion over the UACS serial numbers of the projects or programs in the 2015 General Appropriations Act (GAA), as well items that were not identified or “left blank.” 
 
“The codes in the UACS are generated by the system for each project or program that comes in, but its presentation is different in the GAA document. In the GAA, these projects and programs are grouped according to project categories, which may account for the sequential variation,” said Budget Undersecretary Luz Cantor.
 
“Likewise, the UACS permanently maintains each project or program code in the system even if these have already been fully implemented in the past years or were disapproved. For clarity’s sake, these aren’t presented in the current GAA to avoid confusion,” Cantor said.
 
On the other hand, most items in the GAA are disaggregated and itemized. Unless identified as aggregated or “lump sum” funds (like the Special Purpose Funds or SPFs), funds have a corresponding item noted in the GAA document. The UACS system also helps in this regard as each code identifies and describes the item and fund in the GAA, depending on the category.
 
Under the UACS, each PAP will get a unique number code that can go as high as 54 digits. The code is also divided into five distinct subcategories (including the Commission on Audit’s Chart of Accounts) that describe every aspect of the PAP. Finally, each UACS code will also pinpoint the location of each PAP being implemented, up to varying degrees of specificity.
 
Furthermore, the UACS will help the DBM monitor budget transactions, from appropriations and allotments to actual expenditures. Likewise, the system will allow others to derive and analyze data from each program or project, and later convert it to timely and useful information that will facilitate decision-making or policy-formation.
 
 
(DBM Press Release issued on 22 June 2015)
 
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