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COA hits lack of transparency in bidding in Donsol, Sorsogon

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State auditors scored the lack of transparency in the bidding process at Donsol, Sorsogon, after it was found out the local government unit did not post its bidding documents in PhilGEPS.

In a 2016 report, the Commission on Audit (COA) said the notices of award, notices to proceed, and contract for the procurement of goods and infrastructure projects through public bidding in 2015 were not posted in PhilGEPS.

This violated the Government Procurement Reform Act or the Republic Act 9184, which states that procurement should be governed by a “transparency in the procurement process and in the implementation of procurement contracts through wide dissemination of bid opportunities and participation of pertinent non-government organizations.”

The law also requires the principle of “public monitoring of the procurement process and the implementation of awarded contracts.”

“Our review of the supporting documents for the contracts and payments of claim for the procurement of goods and infrastructure projects… through public bidding disclosed that the printout copy of the posting in the PhiGEPS of the Notices of Award, Notices to Proceed and the Contract… were not among the documents submitted,” the auditors said.

The auditors also said the municipality failed to submit the printout copy of the posting in the PhilGEPS of the Notices of Award of the procurement of goods and infrastructure with approved budget above P50,000 through the alternative mode of procurement.

The management through the Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) Secretariat justified that they tried to post the Notice of Award in PhilGEPS for the awarded projects, but they could not upload the notice to proceed and contract because of poor internet connection.

The management vowed to solve the problem in the posting of the Notice of Award and vowed to comply with the audit recommendation.

The COA urged the municipal mayor Josephine Alcantara-Cruz to have the BAC post in PhilGEPS the Notice of Award, Notice to Proceed and Contract for the procurement through public bidding.

The COA also recommended the municipal accountant to ensure that the printout copy of the posting in PhilGEPS be included among the supporting documents for the payment of the claim for the procurement of goods and infrastructure projects through alternative mode of procurement.