NPM No. 149-2015
Requesting Entity: Commission on Audit - Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (COA-PCSO)
Issues Concern: Procurement by Lot; Single Largest Completed Contract; Repeat Order; Mandatory Timeline
Whether the procurement of ambulance units divided into four lots, as well as the procurement of additional 172 ambulance units by the PCSO through Repeat Order modality were in accordance with Republic Act (RA) No. 9184 and its Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR).
Procurement by Lot
Procurement of projects by lot is a recognized mechanism under existing government procurement rules. The Philippine Bidding Documents (PBD) for the Procurement of Goods, particularly Clause 1.2 of the Instructions to Bidders (ITB) and the corresponding Bid Data Sheet (BDS) provision, requires Procuring Entities (PEs) to provide the name, identification, and number of lots specific to the bidding.
Accordingly, the PE may identify - each item to be evaluated and awarded separately under separate contracts; or, several items grouped together to form one complete lot to be awarded to a single bidder to form a singular complete contract; or, similar items to be grouped into several lots, and evaluated and awarded as separate contracts. In these wise, bids shall be evaluated by the BAC depending on the packages or lots identified in the bidding document as above-mentioned vis-a-vis the application of the SLCC per item, per lot, or the entire package or lot, as the case may be. Consequently, depending on the requirements provided for under Section 28.3 of the ITB alongside specific instructions contained in BDS Clause 28.3 as to the manner for which a bidder should submit its bid: i) a bidder may be awarded a contract for an item; or, ii) a contract for a lot, or contracts for several lots; or, iii) a singular contract for all of the lots.
Single Largest Completed Contract
[T]he reference of the required minimum percentage of the amount of the SLCC to be complied with is the ABC. The reason behind such policy is that the ABC is a factor that appropriately reflects the magnitude and complexity of a contract, such that a bidder who has completed a similar contract of a reasonable percentage may be presumed capable of performing the obligations if awarded the contract. Thus, in the case of a procurement that is divided into several lots, where each awarded lot gives rise to a separate contract, the SLCC requirement shall be based on the ABC for each lot.
Repeat Order is one of the alternative modalities of procurement, it may be resorted to in the procurement of goods from the previous winning bidder, whenever there is a need to replenish goods procured under a contract previously awarded through Competitive Bidding if the conditions set forth in Section 51 of the IRR of RA 9184 exist.
Mandatory Nature of the Procurement Timelines
The Supreme Court in the case of Jacomille v. Abaya, et al. held that the different periods provided by RA 9184 within which certain stages of the procurement process must be completed is not merely directory but mandatory.
[A]lthough the periods of action under RA 9184 and its IRR are mandatory in character, penal sanctions or liability may not set in against the concerned public officers provided that justifiable causes exist to warrant delay in the conduct of the procurement activities, provided further, that the bid, including the bid security of the bidder remains valid.