IMPLEMENTING PARTNER: Procurement Watch Incorporated
YEARS: 2003 – 2004
THEME(S): Local Governance; Procurement
Problems of delays, collusion, lack of transparency, excessive use of discretionary criteria, and lack of competition have long plagued government procurement of goods, consulting services and infrastructure projects. These problems have led to rampant and extensive graft and corruption and have increased the costs of doing business for both the government and the private sector. Given the rising concerns over and pressing need to combat graft and corruption in the public sector, reforming the public procurement process is very timely.
PWI offered its services to the City Governments of Marikina, Quezon City and Manila to observe two public biddings each conducted by their respective BACs using as legal basis for the procurement the GPRA, and not the Local Government Code. The passage of Republic Act No. 9184 (RA 9184), also known as the Government Procurement Reform Act (GPRA), laid the legal foundation for overhauling the whole public procurement process. PWI helped secure the passage of the GPRA by providing policy analysis, technical assistance, advocacy support, as well as the conduct of information campaigns for both the private and public sectors. Upon approval of the GPRA by the President on 10 January 2003, the formulation of the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) by an Inter-Agency Technical Working Group immediately followed, of which PWI was a major player.
The standardization of the procurement procedures is expected to greatly lessen the confusion previously experienced by both agencies and bidders. Whereas a lot of agencies seem to have their own set of procurement rules, all government agencies should now follow the same procurement procedures prescribed under the GPRA.