By Charissa M. Luci-Atienza
Magdalo party-list Rep. Gary Alejano is proposing to enhance the transparency of the government’s procurement process by having all procurement-related conferences recorded on video.
He filed House Bill 7098 seeking to amend Republic Act 9184, otherwise known as the Government Procurement Reform Act of 2003.
“More than a decade since its enactment, however, the procurement system is still plagued with collusion, abuse of discretionary criteria, malfeasance, misfeasance and other forms of corruption, ” Alejano said.
“To further improve and address transparency of the country’s procurement system, or its lack thereof, it is imperative to strengthen public monitoring of the procurement process, ” he pointed out.
HB 7098 provides that the procuring entity shall keep a clear and close-up video recording of all procurement-related conferences, including but not limited to pre-procurement conference, pre-bid conference, bid opening and all meetings of the Bids and Awards Committee (BAC), for all procurement projects equal or exceeding the amount of P1 million.
All procurement-related conferences may not commence without a video recording initiated by the BAC chair, the bill provides.
There shall be three copies of the video recording for the perusal and/or record of the BAC, the Government Procurement Policy Board (GPPB) and the Commission on Audit (COA), according to the bill.
A copy of the video shall be made available to the public upon written request and payment of a specified fee, it said.
“The public deserves nothing less but the highest standards of transparency and honesty in the execution of government policies. This is consistent with Article II, Section 28 of the 1987 Constitution which declares that subject to reasonable conditiona prescribed by law, the State adopts and implements a policy of full public disclosure of all its transactions involving public interest, ” Alejano said.