IN THE FRONT LINES OF CHANGE
Tasha Arreza, Monitoring Group
The fight against corruption rests upon the shoulders of those in the front lines of procurement. Members of the Secretariat and TWG continually struggle with strictly upholding the rudiments and intricacies of RA 9184 while keeping it relevant to their day-to-day procurement activities.
Much of the discussion during the GPRA IRR consultation with the Secretariat and TWG members of national government agencies revolved around their everyday struggles. Most of the insights given stemmed from their direct experiences in the procurement process.
- Among their concerns was the delineation of the roles of the Secretariat and TWG. The participants proposed that a separate office dedicated only to procuring activities should be created.
- There was also a call to conduct more training so that heads of procuring entities, BAC members, end-users, bidders and other procurement practitioners would gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of the law. Participants hoped that this would lead to stricter compliance.
- The participants pointed out that delays occurred due to the bidders' inability to complete and submit requirements on time, and because of the constant difficulty to reach a quorum during meetings wherein approval from key members of the BAC is needed.
- The participants also lauded PhilGEPS, as well as the other provisions of the IRR that promoted the use of online facilities to streamline the procurement process. For them, this promoted transparency, efficiency and competitiveness in procurement activities.