Body Readies Mechanism to Check Anomalous Purchases

Article excerpt

Sen. Edgardo J. Angara said yesterday that an inter-agency committee is rushing a draft of the mechanism that would prevent overpricing and anomalous transactions in the government's domestic purchases and contracts under the Procurement Law or Republic Act 9184.

Angara said the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) on domestic transactions have been finalized while those covering foreign contracts are still being discussed by the inter-agency committee.

"We are now working feverishly in formulating the IRR to snuff out official corruption by modifying the outdated procurement and bidding law," said Angara, author of the Procurement Law and chairman of the Joint Congressional Oversight Committee tasked to promulgate the law's IRR.

Angara said that the government loses some P22 billion yearly to corruption in the purchase of goods, the bidding of awards for infrastructure contracts, and the procurement of services.

The IRR for domestic concerns have been completed but the separate IRR for foreign-funded projects is still pending due to difference of opinions, he said.

He said, however, the disagreement can be harmonized with pragmatic solutions.

International financing institutions (IFIs) have disagreed with the stand of the technical working group (TWG) that the IRR will apply to all infrastructure projects, goods and services, regardless whether the funds are from local or foreign sources.

The bone of contention was a clause in the law stating that eligibility requirements must give equal access to all prospective bidders. The law further provides that contracts cannot exceed the approved budget for contract (ABC), which represents the ceiling on all bid prices. …