Ombudsman: ‘Superbody’ to investigate gov't contracts

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 19 2011 01:22 PM | Updated as of Jul 19 2011 09:22 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Acting Ombudsman Orlando Casimiro has created a “superbody” that will examine and investigate government contracts and transactions.

In a memorandum circular, he has already requested the institutional participation of the Commission on Audit (COA), the Department of Justice (DOJ), National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) and the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR).

The team, called Special Multi-Agency Reform Team, will “examine and investigate contracts and transactions entered into by government agencies through their respective officials and employees with the end view of expediting the prosecution of all perpetrators of corrupt activities, should the evidence so warrant.”

It is anchored on the Ombudsman’s mandate to take measures against graft and corruption.

Sec. 15 (4) of RA 6770 (Ombudsman Act of 1989) mandates the Office of the Ombudsman to “direct the officer concerned, in any appropriate case, and subject to such limitations as it may provide in its rules and procedure, to furnish it with copies of documents relating to contracts or transactions entered into by his office involving the disbursement or use of public funds or properties, and report any irregularity to the Commission on Audit for appropriate action.”

The law also provides that the Ombudsman has the power to request government agencies for assistance.