Over P3M purchases in Paluan, Occ. Mindoro reimbursed w/o public bidding
The municipality of Paluan in Occidental Mindoro made purchases amounting to P3,834,130.84 paid on a reimbursement basis, without the benefit of a public bidding and depriving government of the most advantageous price, state auditors said.
In a 2016 report, the Commission on Audit (COA) said from January to November 2015, procurement of goods and services totaling P3,834,130.84 were paid by reimbursement.
This meant that these purchases “were made in utter disregard of the procurement law (because these) did not pass though the Bids and Awards Committee for the determination of the mode of procurement to be used and the recommendation of award,” the auditors said.
The transactions include procurement of spare parts and labor for repair of service vehicles, gasoline, oil and lubricants, foods, office equipment, furniture and fixtures, supplies and other miscellaneous expenses, the auditors said.
The reimbursements were made by municipal mayor Carl Michael Pangilinan, vice mayor Michael Diaz, and several other officials.
“The municipal officials and employees simply went out of their way, bought the equipment and supplies they wanted/needed from suppliers of their own choice and claimed reimbursement of the amount paid. There was no public bidding to ensure that the most advantageous cost to the government is obtained,” the auditors said.
These officials failed to plan the procurement activities, and thus the procurement of goods and services from suppliers of their own choice is tantamount to a graft offense, or giving unwarranted benefit, advantage or preference to a private supplier, the auditors said.
“With this practice, the conduct of competitive bidding or other modes of procurement as provided for in the Revised Implementing Rules and Regulations was disregarded. The authorization/approval in the proper channels of procurement of supplies, materials and equipment was bypassed. Moreover, the risks are high for uncontrolled expenditures, unauthorized use of funds, prices that might not be reasonable and no deliveries for the items reimbursed, thereby casting doubts on the economy and regularity of the procurement,” the auditors said.
The COA urged the municipal mayor Pangilinan to ensure that the procurement of goods and services are made strictly in accordance with the provisions of Republic Act 9184 or the Government Procurement Reform Act, and its revised implementing rules and regulations.
The COA added that procurement planning should be done meticulously to avoid payments on reimbursement basis.
The municipal mayor commented that most suppliers in Manila do not accept out of town checks, forcing the local government unit to pay in cash and reimburse later.
The mayor added that he always instructed municipal officials and employees to list down the necessary spare parts, materials and supplies so as to purchase these goods in the normal procurement process.
He added that the amount paid through reimbursements has substantially decreased annually.
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