COA calls for changes in Cotabato procurement practices


by Allan Yves Briones

The Commission on Audit (COA) remarked that procurement for projects, programs and activities (PPA) could be more efficient and effective if the provincial government of Cotabato would observe several “salient” features of the law.

In the 2018 annual audit report, state auditors noted that the Cotabato Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) awarded a total of 1,064 contracts through public bidding – a “voluminous” bulk of work for its five members, supported by a crew of three technical working group members and five secretariats.

The workload has since caused the “slow” implementation of PPAs.

“As per evaluation, the number of personnel in the BAC fall short considering the number of transactions and the complexity of documentary requirements and processes since public bidding was being observed in most of its procurement,” the report stated.

State auditors recommended that the BAC accumulate the purchase requests into a single PPA which would reduce the amount of time required to process each one.

“Moreover, some contracts, only if warranted, could be subjected to the alternative mode of procurement as provided by the Rule XVI of R.A. 9184 which includes direct contracting, repeat order, shopping, and negotiated procurement,” COA added.

In the report, state auditors also flagged the non-submission of the Procurement Monitoring Report (PMR) which covers all procurement plans for the year.

COA ordered Cotabato to direct its BAC secretariats to prepare their PMR within the prescribed period, to ensure that any non-compliances or deviations from procurement law are identified and corrected.