Ombudsman violated procurement law - COA

By Michael Punongbayan, The Philippine Star

Posted at Mar 17 2014 09:09 AM | Updated as of Mar 17 2014 05:09 PM

MANILA - State auditors have found that the Office of the Ombudsman had violated the procurement law in the purchase of information technology (IT) equipment.

The Commission on Audit (COA) has recommended sanctions against those responsible.

In a 2012 report released yesterday, state auditors said the anti-graft agency’s Military and Other Law Enforcement Offices (MOLEO) division did not conduct public biddings.

The COA report said deficiency lies in the lack of a Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) resolution recommending and justifying to the Head of Procuring Entity (HOPE) the use of other alternative modes of procurement as required under Republic Act 9184, the Government Procurement Reform Act.

Quoting the law, state auditors said: “The procuring entity may, in order to promote economy and efficiency, resort to any of the alternative methods of procurement, (however) alternative methods shall be resorted to only in the highly exceptional cases.”

State auditors said COA Circular No. 2012-001 also provides that the BAC resolution is one of the basic documentary requirements for procurement through alternative mode as it states, among others, the manner and reason of procurement.

“We observed that in OMB-MOLEO, all purchases of IT equipment using the alternative mode of procurement were not supported with the BAC resolutions, contrary to Section 48 of Rule XVI of RA 9184 and reiterated under item 9.2 of COA Circular No. 2012-001,” state auditors said.

The COA report recommended that the BAC of OMB-MOLEO strictly comply with the rules and the law, as well as audit regulations on the submission of a BAC resolution as a requirement for alternative methods of procurement.

“We also recommend that management, prospectively, impose the pertinent sanctions prescribed for non-compliance with RA 9184, if warranted,” state auditors said.

Reacting to COA’s findings, the MOLEO said they are gradually systematizing their procurement process.

During the last quarter of 2012, the OMB-MOLEO’s BAC sought approval of the HOPE for the purchases using the alternative mode of procurement, the MOLEO added.

A BAC Resolution can only be issued for special projects of the office, MOLEO said.

In response, state auditors said: “The issuance of a BAC resolution is mandatory for all types of transactions.”