by Karol Ilagan
Philippine Middle for Investigative Journalism
GOOD, wholesome procurement processes don't appear to define the Election Fee (Comelec).
In truth, poor planning, delivery delays, wastage and different irregularities that meant procuring goods and providers for the Might 2019 elections had already appeared in the agency's audit report a yr earlier.
The Audit Fee (COA) submitted Comelec's Audit Management Letter 2018, which expires in December. Also, on 31, 2017, 60 contracts value 60.58 billion PhP had been disputed by the inquiry body regardless of the shortage of a CAF.
There's extra there. Based on the COA, Comelec continues to pay month-to-month lease warehouse providers to another government company and not using a valid contract; provides bought that are significantly in excess of the approved three-month stocks per company; and stocked with copy paper, envelopes, cable wires, and metallic seals that had been uncovered to rain and parts after which allowed to rot and decay.
The CAF is meant to function affirmation that the workplace is ready to purchase. The CAF, signed by the company's accountant, ought to show that the cash distribution is on the market and that the resulting obligation could be effectively paid.
Without CAF, there was no affirmation that Comelec had the money to pay for the purchases. In addition, without the required CAF, contracts of PhP2.58 billion must be thought-about null and void, and Comelec's payments, unlawful or unlawful.
Contracts without CAF contravene numerous laws and tips, comparable to Chapter 37, Chapter I, Section 37 of the Government Accounting Guide (GAM), which states that "no funds shall be paid or paid to charge expenses or obligations to any body, office or agency without first obtaining a certificate from the chief accountant regarding the availability of funds and the availability of funds for which the expenses or obligations can be duly recovered. "
no contract masking using public expenditure 'shall be made until there’s an appropriation for which the stability not coated by other obligations is adequate to cover the expenditure proposed. “
Two different tons o f the same setting is related. Article 86 requires the CAF to be annexed to the proposed agreement and to turn out to be an integral half thereof, and 'the amount so established might not subsequently be used for other functions till the obligation beneath the contract of the State agency concerned has been extinguished. "
Article 87 is a strict sentence:" Any contract entered into in violation of the above provisions shall be null and void, and the contracting officer or officers shall be liable to the federal government or different social gathering. to the extent that the transaction would have taken place between personal events. '
' Clean, simple controls'
In a COA investigation, Comelec's chief accountant claimed that the CAF had not been issued by the Accounting Directorate for the contracts at problem. The Finances Controller replied that the CAF was issued only upon request. After certification, a certificates signed by the Finances Commissioner and duly taken under consideration by the Head of the Financial Providers Division (FSD) was discovered to be restricted to the supply of distributable funds.
In a letter dated April 11, 2018, the FSD Director said that Comelec administration agreed with the audit recommendations and would strictly adhere to varied laws to ensure that the funds are adequate to cover the expenses. The director also apologized for "any apparent deficiencies found in the implementation of the contract."
The report famous that there had been purely and simply oversight, notably because of the totally different considerations of Comelec and FSD, following the conduct of the national automated national and local elections in 2016. "
the Tender and Remuneration Committee now requests CPS from FSD earlier than signing the contract. In another remark, the COA also knowledgeable Comelec of insufficient procurement planning at PhP 404,655.31. Provide purchases exceeded the agency's three-month requirement, which subsequently led to over-storage and exposure to wastage and ageing dangers because of the weak state of Comelec's warehouse.
Paragraph three.2.A.1 of COA Circular No. 85. -55-A, dated September eight, 1985, states that the quantity of purchases shall be adequate to satisfy the requirements of the Company for 3 months, until service circumstances require in any other case. Nevertheless, purchases that meet the requirements of more than three months might not exceed the wants of the present yr, until permitted. The same circular additionally states that purchases in November / December are restricted to three-month deliveries.
Too Many Clips
The COA stock valuation showed that the appreciable stability of the out there stock and the precise points / consumption of provides and materials were not thought-about or taken under consideration when determining the quantity of subsequent purchases. Consequently, some of Comelec's stock purchases in 2017 exceeded the agency's three-month necessities by 5 to 30 months.
For example, Comelec bought 12,000 background clips, though 5,508 copies have been obtainable from stock – a adequate nine-month consumption based mostly on the agency's common monthly consumption of 591.5 copies.
The shortage of monitoring of inventory movements and the failure of the purchasing officer to think about obtainable inventory prior to purchase led to overstocking, the COA famous. The state of affairs has led to much less favorable outcomes, based on the COA, because of attainable waste and obsolescence of materials because of the poor condition of the Philippine Publish Workplace's (PhilPost) warehouse (where provides and distribution materials are stored) and better labor prices.  Through the bodily quantity of provides and supplies in 2017, the COA discovered holes in the roof of the PhilPost Warehouse that allowed rainwater to drip via the roof to the warehouse the place the provides and supplies have been stored. Paper, envelopes, cable wires and metallic seals have been soaked in rainwater. Animal waste was additionally found in many provides because stores were not correctly secured, permitting animals reminiscent of cats to enter. Inventories have been also not correctly maintained. Supplies have been coated with dust, wrinkled and cluttered. The supply of those materials remained questionable, COA stated.
The COA noted that the failure of the delivery officer on account of due diligence on statutory provides and consumables resulted in deterioration and wastage of paper, envelopes, cable wires, and metallic seals.
Inventory corrections have been alleged to occur, the COA said in its subsequent report.
Attention was also paid to the settlement with Comelec with PhilPost, where its warehouse is situated. There isn’t a contract between the 2 businesses. Payments to PhilPost for PhP 10.95 million for use of the warehouse in January-September 2016 were not supported by the agreement.
The COA said that the vouchers issued have been only supported by billing info on the rental of the warehouse. These billing statements, in turn, have been based mostly on a contract dated September 2, 2009 (MOA) between Comelec and PhilPost.
The MOA confirmed that Comelec and PhilPost signed a lease to make use of the voting body for the whole second flooring of the PhilPost FSMDC building, first flooring mezzanine and second flooring mezzanine, at a monthly lease of PH1 216 437.60 PhP for a period of six months. every month.
But the newest Comelec MOA that the COA acquired was dated February 4, 2012, which said the six-month lease time period. It included a clause that it could possibly be renewed each six months, however the COA said that the contract had to be renewed until the month-to-month rents have been to be raised in Comelec's discussions with PhilPost. In full, Comelec has paid Philpost's monthly lease nearly with out contract. Remuneration Committee January 21, 2019. The COA said that the agreement between the 2 businesses can be routinely renewed.
In one other case, the COA accepted £ 1.96 million paid for consolidated paper merchandise by Comelecin, Inc. to offer 300,250 spiral notebooks to be used by the Technical Working Committee in reference to the nationwide and local elections on Might 9, 2016. The acquisition was not included in Comelec's 2015 Annual Purchase Program or Supplementary Buy Plan for 2016.
The provider's spiral notebooks did not comply with the specifications contained in the contract. As of December 31, 2017, up to 95 %, or 284,580 laptops, have been unused.
Also, because of lack of planning, the printing providers of PhP72.3 million voter info and reference journal (VIIS) used in 2013. elections have been secured by "shopping" as an alternative of public presents. On this means, Comelec, a member of the COA, did not secure probably the most favorable worth for the challenge.
The COA urged Comelec's management to induce the property manager to improve the implementation of procurement insurance policies, tips, and practices to make sure that:
- procurement of goods and providers is carried out in probably the most competitive method attainable to advertise full and free competitors and greatest value; and
- all purchases are duly approved and are part of an up to date annual procurement plan, which ought to embrace efficient use of assets and availability of provides for foreseeable emergencies based mostly on historical info. – PCIJ, August 2019
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