Bawal yan! P8.5M procurement in Tubo, Abra without public bidding
At least P8.5 million items in 2015 were procured without public bidding at the municipality of Tubo in Abra, resulting in prices which may not be advantageous to the local government unit (LGU), state auditors said.
In a 2016 report, the Commission on Audit (COA) said various procurement worth P8,534,541.60 were not done through a competitive bidding as provided under Article IV, Section 10 of Republic Act 9184 or the Government Procurement Reform Act.
Auditors said the municipality resorted to shopping and/or small value procurement instead, thus the prices may not be advantageous to the local government unit.
“For 2015, the Municipality made various procurements totaling P8,534,541.60 without the benefit of public bidding, thus there was no assurance that the prices were the most advantageous to the government,” the auditors said.
These procured items include construction materials, hauling services, spare parts, office supplies, IT supplies and equipment, mono bloc chairs, polo shirts and uniforms, gasoline, oil, lubricants and spare parts, calendar, and milk and toothbrushes.
Auditors said no bidding or contract documents were attached to the disbursement vouchers, and that no Bids and Awards Committee Resolution recommending the alternative mode of procurement to be used was submitted.
“Thus, we concluded that no public bidding was conducted,” the auditors said.
Auditors also noted that the following procurement of construction materials totaling P117,160, though for different infrastructure projects, were procured on the same date from the same supplier – Kili Road Riprapping, Kaliskisen Road Concreting, Supo Road Riprapping; Tabacda Road Ripprapping.
The local government unit resorted to shopping and/or small value procurement as an alternative mode of procurement instead of competitive public bidding as required by Article IV, Section 10 of Republic Act 9184, auditors said.
The section reads that “All procurement shall be done through competitive bidding, except as provided in Rule XVI of this implementing rules and regulations (IRR).”
According to the IRR, splitting of government contracts is prohibited.
“Splitting of Government Contracts means the division or breaking up of GOP contracts into smaller quantities and amounts, or dividing contract implementation into artificial phases or sub-contracts for the purpose of evading or circumventing the requirements of law and this IRR, especially the necessity of public bidding and the requirements for the alternative methods of procurement,” the IRR states.
The COA urged the municipal mayor Guilbert Ballangan and other officials to explain the reason behind the the splitting of procurement.
The COA also recommended that purchases beyond the threshold on shopping and small value items be done through public bidding as mandated under the Republic Act 9184 and its IRR.
“Alternative methods of procurement shall be resorted to only in the highly exceptional cases provided for in R.A. No. 9184. In all instances, the procuring entity shall ensure that the most advantageous price for the LGU is obtained,” the auditors reminded the LGU.
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