Press Release
July 27, 2010


To prevent another problem and issue in the fashion of NBN-ZTE and Cyber-Ed Projects, Senator Chiz Escudero refiled his bill amending the currently existing government procurement system.

Senate Bill No. 2089 (An Act Amending RA 9184 Otherwise Known As The Government Procurement Reform Act) which Escudero first filed in 2007 amends three points in RA 9184 . The bill seeks to address issues that have resulted from projects favored and concluded by the past government.

One, the proposed bill puts under the coverage of RA 9184 the procurement of infrastructure projects, goods and consulting services funded by loan or credit under the Official Development Assistance (ODA) Act.

"We are putting this measure to in the light of the interpretation that the procurement of certain infrastructure projects can be made exempt from the operation of RA 9184" Escudero said.

Section 4 of the GPRA mandates the observation of treaties or international executive agreements affecting procurement in relation to Section 1 of RA 8555 (An Act Amending RA 8182, And For Other Purposes).

Section 1 of RA 8555 empowers the president to waive the application of any law in deference to the contracting of loan or credit with lending institution.

Two, SBN 2089 mandates the posting of the decisions of the Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) relative to criteria, ratings and calculations of bids as well as all other bids on the agency's website simultaneous with that of the Government Procurement Policy Board's (GPPB) website.

"We want to bolster and reinforce accountability of public officials by making public how BAC officials and members decide and why. If there be anomalies, the erring BAC member may be easily and immediately identified" Escudero added.

Three, the bill lessens the discretion of procuring agencies, specifically in the consideration of single calculated/rated and responsive bid submission, and the use of observers.

On the consideration of single calculated/rated and responsive bid submission, a procuring agency can only do so by subjecting it to the approval of the GPPB. This is in addition to the current requisites.

"This is a stop-gap measure that disables the procuring agency to rig biddings through a consensus amongst competing contractors or bidders in that agency".

Escudero also wants to limit the number of times an observer can be invited by a procuring agency. He noted that observers who are regulars of the BAC become friendly and sometimes even cohorts in rigged transactions.

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