It has long been proposed that the Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) Secretariat be created and permanently function as the administrative support unit of the BAC. Unlike the BAC, which has a fixed term of one (1) year from date of appointment, extendable at the discretion of the Head of Procuring Entity (HOPE), the BAC Secretariat’s term is very much open ended.
If the BAC Secretariat was formed out of attending members for a very long time, there are a lot of disadvantages, namely:
- The members do not have personal attachment and dedication to the job especially when they are also expected to report and accomplish tasks from their mother units;
- There is no single office space that members could interact at a daily basis discussing the operation of the BAC Secretariat as an independent unit;
- The BAC Secretariat is not entitled of the benefits of having its own budget for personal services, operating expenses and capital outlays;
- Custody and succession of documents are jeopardized if the BAC Secretariat’s structure is not professionalized; and,
- Either the function in the BAC Secretariat or the original function of its member, is sacrificed in case of work conflict -or even worse, both.
The only negative feedback we can possibly hear from BAC Secretariat members opposing the creation of a separate organic office is that they will no longer be entitled to claim for honoraria unlike when they are in “attending function”. But on the other hand and by doing it, we can separate those who are into service an those who are just into remuneration.
The risks are too high and an established system cannot be in place unless the foundation is laid. Now, there is that question “what will happen to the General Services Office(GSO)?”. It is either they join the BAC Secretariat, or a particular unit under GSO is assigned as the BAC Secretariat. Which way is it, merger between the GSO and BAC Secretariat is the next logical thing. The option of establishing a BAC Secretariat composing of “attending members” should be at a transition basis and not as a permanent option.
[Note: This article was first published in a local newspaper Operation: Expose” earlier this year.]