COA questions province’s Bayanihan Fund spending

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    THE Commission on Audit has called out Mountain Province officials over the questionable spending of its P35.4 million Bayanihan pandemic grant.

    In the 2020 audit of the provincial government released yesterday, auditors reported procurement of items that were not covered by appropriation and incomplete documentation even for supplies considered urgently needed.

    The audit team said improperly documented transactions are violations of Government Procurement Policy Board (GPPB) Circular No. 01-2020 which prescribed the guidelines for emergency procurement under RA 11469 or the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act.

    While the GPPB recognized the need to speed up delivery and distribution of supplies, equipment, materials, utilities and critical services during the pandemic, it underscored the need for government agencies to observe necessary safeguards to prevent abuses and corruption in the procurement process.

    To simplify the procedure, the GPPB only required that for transactions worth P500,000 or below, the chosen supplier submit even a recently expired mayor’s permit or business permit and payment of application fees and license from the Philippine Contractors Accreditation Board (PCAB) if the contract involves an infrastructure project.

    For purchases worth over P500,000, the requirements are a mayor’s or business permit, copy of the supplier/contractor’s income tax return, an Omnibus Sworn Statement, and a Net Financial Contracting Capacity.