June 17, 2024

The provincial government of Benguet was told to impose sanctions on project contractors who have declared false information in their bid documents.
The Commission on Audit has recommended for the Bids and Awards Committee of the provincial government to initiate the suspension or blacklisting of contractors who misrepresented information in the documents they submitted during the competitive bidding of projects.
State auditors made the recommendation in their audit on the province for 2021, part of which involved a review of infrastructure contracts.
In the report, the auditors said no contractor was suspended or disqualified despite the fact the provincial government issued post-disqualification notices to 18 bidders, who submitted the lowest calculated bid.
The bidders were post-disqualified for their failure to declare all their ongoing government and private contracts and for providing false information in their eligibility requirements.
“Upon inquiry, we were informed that no contractor was suspended by the province during the year. A number of these contractors were even awarded other projects with the province,” the COA report stated.
It added three contractors have been post-disqualified more than once for non-declaration of ongoing projects and for submission of false information, but the procedures for their suspension and blacklisting were not conducted.
“These practices of contractors are not to be tolerated since it caused delays in the completion of procurement process and defeated the purpose of competitive bidding,” the COA report states.
Even the contractor who filed a complaint regarding the bidding of projects in Benguet – but was found to also have submitted dubious documents – was not sanctioned.
The case involving the contractor was contained in the report conducted by the COA Fraud Audit Office in July 2021.
“Ironically, the complainant was found to have submitted dubious bid documents during post bidding evaluation (as far back as) June 2017. However, the erring bidder was not subjected to further investigation by the Bids and Awards Committee and was not meted penalties or sanctions up to this writing,” the COA report added.
The COA asked the provincial government through the BAC Infrastructure, to initiate the procedures so that erring contractors would be imposed with sanctions pursuant to Republic Act 9184 or the Government Procurement Reform Act (GPRA).
Among other things, the implementing rules and regulations of the GPRA provide that bidders who submit documents containing false information or those who conceal information to influence the outcome of eligibility screening or any stage of the competitive bidding must be suspended for one year on first offense and two years and possible disqualification from participating in the bidding of government projects on second offense. – Jane B. Cadalig