The Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) performs most of the procurement evaluation and decisions but is still generally a recommending body (Sec.12.1 IRR, RA 9184). Yet, there are some practices that the signature of the Head of Procuring Entity (HOPE) is sought as “noted” (or for information purposes) instead of its approval. The contention is that HOPE is being unnecessarily exposed to accountability where they should not be, that the BAC is solely liable for the decisions they make. The duty of the HOPE, they say, is somewhat ministerial in nature.
The issues here are:
- Whether or not the HOPE’s should bear notation that it is just “NOTED”, and
- Whether or not the HOPE is relieved of the accountability in practicing the preceding issue.
My answers are both in NEGATIVE.
To better understand the rationale, let us cite the pertinent provisions of the IRR where approval, not acknowledgment, must be given by the HOPE:
- The APP shall bear the approval of the Head of the Procuring Entity or second-ranking official designated by the Head of the Procuring Entity to act on his behalf, and must be consistent with its duly approved yearly budget. (Sec.7.2)
- The procuring entity’s Budget Office shall evaluate each end-user’s submitted PPMP and, if warranted, include it in the procuring entity’s budget proposal for approval by the Head of the Procuring Entity. (Sec.7.3.3)
- The updating of the PPMPs shall be the responsibility of the respective end-user units of the Procuring Entities, while the consolidation of these PPMPs into an APP shall be lodged with the BAC Secretariat, subject to approval of the Head of the Procuring Entity. (Sec.7.4)
- The procurement monitoring report shall be approved and submitted by the Head of the Procuring Entity to the GPPB in printed and electronic format within fourteen (14) calendar days after the end of each semester. (Sec.12.2)
- The BAC shall recommend the short list of consultants to the Head of the Procuring Entity for consideration and approval. (Sec.24.5.4)
- From submission and receipt of bids until the approval by the Head of the Procuring Entity of the ranking of short listed bidders, those that have submitted their bids are prohibited from making any communication with any BAC member, including its staff and personnel, as well as its Secretariat and TWG, regarding matters connected to their bids. (Sec.33.1)
- The Head of the Procuring Entity shall approve or disapprove the recommendations of the BAC within two (2) calendar days after receipt of the results of the evaluation from the BAC. (Sec.33.2.1.a.iii)
- The exact weights shall be approved by the Head of the Procuring Entity upon the recommendation of the BAC and indicated in the Bidding Documents. (Sec.33.2.1.b.ii)
- All participating short listed consultants shall be furnished the results (ranking and total scores only) of the evaluation after the approval by the Head of the Procuring Entity of the ranking. (Sec.33.2.4)
- The BAC shall recommend to the Head of the Procuring Entity the award of contract to the bidder with the Lowest Calculated Responsive Bid/Highest Rated Responsive Bid or the Single Calculated/Rated Responsive Bid after the postqualification process has been completed.To facilitate the approval of the award, the BAC shall submit the following supporting documents to the Head of the Procuring Entity: a) Resolution of the BAC recommending award; b) Abstract of Bids; c) Duly approved program of work or delivery schedule, and Cost Estimates; d) Document issued by appropriate entity authorizing the procuring entity to incur obligations for a specified amount; and e) Other pertinent documents required by existing laws, rules, and/or the procuring entity concerned. (Sec.37.1.1)
- Within a period not exceeding seven (7) calendar days from the date of receipt of the recommendation of the BAC, the Head of the Procuring Entity shall approve or disapprove the said recommendation. (Sec.37.1.2)
- Subject to the prior approval of the Head of the Procuring Entity, and whenever justified by the conditions provided in this Act, the procuring entity may, in order to promote economy and efficiency, resort to any of the alternative methods of procurement provided in this Rule. (Sec.48.1)
(to be continued…)