₱442M OCD pandemic response in question

 

During the pandemic, the Commission on Audit (COA) says, the Government allows negotiated procurement under the Government Procurement Policy Board (GPPB) Circular 01-2020, but it still requires a valid contract that will support the procurement.
The GPPB Circular No. 01-2020 was issued on 06 April 2020 and sets the guidelines for emergency procurement under Republic Act 11469 or the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act.

MANILA — The Office of Civil Defense (OCD) is placed under the spotlight over a report by the Commission on Audit (COA) detailing questionable payments amounting to ₱442.233 million for goods and services related to its COVID-19 response.

The COA shows in its 2020 annual audit report on the OCD that the Civil Defense office paid up a total of ₱94.551 million to various suppliers for goods and services without contracts.

“Based on above-cited provisions of (GPBB Circular 01-2020), there is no showing that a procuring entity may dispense with the execution of a valid contract as one of the basic requirements for all types of procurement and basis for payment of expenditures incurred during the state of calamity,” says the COA.

 

In the report, COA notes the following:

  • The OCD payments were based on services rendered or delivered. According to the auditing agency, such payment mode has long been disallowed under COA Resolution No. 86-58 dated Nov. 15, 1986.
  • The OCD paid out a total of ₱347.682 million for goods and services with “contract deficiencies.”
  • At least 61 purchase contracts are not supported with market research as the basis for the price negotiations. The OCD attachments were found “irrelevant and self-serving” because the “certifications were not supported with documents indicating the actual market research done.”
  • Some of the contracts are not supported with the necessary documents—such as technical specifications, the scope of work, term of reference, as well as, Omnibus Sworn Statement from suppliers attesting that the items they delivered were in good condition and quality.

Meanwhile, the transactions flagged for lack of valid contract include catering services for staff in quarantine facilities, accommodations and meals for volunteers and OCD personnel, sanitation and decontamination services, and storage charges.

Deficient contracts found are supply and delivery of medical supplies for frontliners and patients, catering services for personnel of testing facilities, provision of meals for OCD employees, accommodation and provision of shuttle services for medical frontliners and police and OCD personnel, procurement of hospital beds, X-ray machines and other medical equipment and supplies, janitorial services for quarantine facilities and procurement of hygiene kits. (BG/Headline PH)

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