Pangasinan State U officials face probe over procurement anomalies

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    PANGASINAN State University (PSU) officials are facing an investigation by the Office of the Ombudsman based on the recommendation of the Commission on Audit relative to procurement irregularities for office supplies amounting to P2.144 million.

    COA Chairman Michael G. Aguinaldo and Commissioners Jose A. Fabia and Roland C. Pondoc directed the COA Prosecution and Litigation Office, Legal Services Sector, to forward all audit records of PSU’s transactions covered by four notices of disallowance (NDs) issued on August 26 and 27, 2014.

    “The NDs were issued based on the irregularity of the course of funds used to purchase office supplies. (T)he Notices of Award (NOAs) for the procurement of supplies were not posted in the Philippine Government Electronic Procurement System (PhilGEPS) or in any conspicuous place in PSU,” government auditors said.

    They pointed out that RA 9184 or the Government Procurement Reform Act made it mandatory for the procuring entity like the university to post the NOAs on the PhilGEPs or in any conspicuous place in the campus.

    “In view of the failure to comply with the requirements of RA No. 9184, the case shall be referred to the Office of the Ombudsman for investigation and filing of appropriate charges against the erring officials, if warranted,” the COA said.

    The COA recommendation was contained in the decision issued last October 10, that denied the petition for review filed by PSU-Bids and Awards Committee member Reynaldo Dalisay.

    An earlier ruling dated September 19, 2019 likewise rejected the separate appeal of University Engineer and Physical Plant and Facilities director Isagani Victorio seeking relief from liability in the notice of disallowance concerning purchase of P177,088 worth of information technology equipment and kitchen wares.

    Victorio was identified in the decision as the vice chairperson of the PSU-BAC.

    “The posting of NOA in the PhilGEPS and in any conspicuous place and in the website of the procuring entity, if any, is a function of the BAC. Non-compliance with the requirement of posting the NOA in the PhilGEPS renders the transaction to which it relates illegal and void,” the COA stressed.

    Aside from having to face an Ombudsman investigation, members of the PSU-BAC who were held liable were also required to refund the disallowed sums in full to the state university.