MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Audit (COA) expressed disapproval over the absence of public biddings for relief goods purchased by the Office of the Vice President (OVP) in 2015.
Under the leadership of former vice president Jejomar Binay, the OVP bought and distributed relief goods worth P24.153 million ($517,976) to provinces and municipalities.
The 44 transactions, based on the audit report released last August 26, were done through negotiated contracts and not through public biddings.
The OVP, however, said that the lack of public biddings was because “time was of the essence and immediate action was necessary.”
COA hit the justification, saying that state weather bureau PAGASA made “accurate predictions” of typhoons. It added that the procurement of supplies for relief operations “need not be considered emergency purchases.”
Disadvantageous to gov’t
The failure to undergo the proper procurement process, according to COA, was “disadvantageous” to the government as the OVP failed to get the lowest possible prices for the goods.
It added that the items bought under the negotiated contracts – canned goods and packed noodles, among others – could have been bought in advance.
The 2015 Annual Procurement Plan of the OVP, COA pointed out, did not include the relief goods worth P24.153 million.
It was also not posted on the Philippine Government Electronic Procurement System (PhilGEPs), a requirement under Republic Act No. 9184 or the Government Procurement Reform Act.
Aside from the lack of public biddings, COA also found several procedural lapses under the OVP.
State auditors questioned the lack of documents detailing the delivery of relief goods. These documents include proof of coordination with local government units (LGUs) and national government agencies (NGAs) in relation to the distribution of relief items, official acknowledgement from the recipient LGUs/NGAs, on-site social workers’ certification, and the original copy of the distribution list signed by recipients, among others.
The release of P3.924 million ($84,512) for “consultancy services” was also questioned by COA. The curriculum vitae and accomplishment reports of the consultants, the auditors noted, were not submitted. – Rappler.com
$1 = P47