COA tells DOJ to pay for janitorial services

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    THE Department of Justice (DOJ) must pay the claim for compensation filed by a provider of janitorial services before the Commission on Audit regardless of the absence of a contract.

    Claimant Dearjohn Services Inc. (DJSI) stands to collect P655,052.40 as payment for sanitation and cleanup of the City Prosecutor’s Office of Quezon City from January 1, to May 15, 2016.

    The unbilled period covers four-and-a-half months, during which DJSI continued providing janitorial services even after the expiration of its contract with the DOJ on December 31, 2015.

    COA Chairman Michael G. Aguinaldo signed the ruling together with Commissioners Jose A. Fabia and Roland C. Pondoc.

    Without dispute from the DOJ, the contractor said it took the chance of continuing its janitorial service after the old contract signed by former DOJ Secretary Leila de Lima expired and despite lack of authority from the new Justice secretary or his authorized representative.

    DJSI sent collection letters to the DOJ on January 5 and October 18, 2017 for payment of unbilled months but was informed by DOJ Assistant Secretary Adonis Sulit that funds cannot be released in the absence of a proper appropriation and in the absence of a valid contract.

    However, the DOJ interposed no objection to the filing of the claim of compensation as it acknowledged that the DJSI’s services “redounded to the benefit of the Office of the City Prosecution-QC and the government and the public.”

    A June 19, 2018 certification issued by the DOJ through Chief Accountant Emmanuel Pandaan stated that DJSI was not paid for its services covering January 1 to May 15, 2016.

    The COA said the obligation is binding so that the contractor deserves to the compensated based on the original terms and conditions of the expired contract.

    “After a careful evaluation, this Commission grants the petition. DJSI rendered janitorial services to the DOJ and the DOJ chief accountant has certified that DJSI has not been compensated,” the COA said.

    It likewise took into consideration the favorable recommendations of the audit team leader, the supervising auditor, the Department of Justice and the director of the National Government Sector-Cluster 4.