CSC allows ‘virtual bidding’ under new normal

Published June 17, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Ellson Quismorio

The Civil Service Commission (CSC) will be using videoconferencing and similar digital tools in its bidding or procurement activities amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

This change in standard operating procedure was bared in a one-page announcement signed by Assistant Commissioner Ariel Ronquillo of the CSC-Bids and Awards Committee (BAC).

The June 4, 2020 directive covers “all prospective bidders, suppliers, service providers, contractors, and stakeholders of the Civil Service Commission.”

“In view of the ‘new normal’ and ‘work from home’ arrangement in the CSC in time of a state of calamity or community quarantine or similar restrictions, the CSC Central Office Bids and Awards Committee (CSC-CO BAC) will be implementing bidding or procurement activities through virtual meeting, videoconferencing, webcasting or similar technology via Microsoft Teams online conference,” the announcement read.

According to the Commission, the online platform may be used exclusively or in combination with face-to-face interactions for all procurement activities of the BAC, as the case may be.

“The CSC-BAC is also adopting relevant guidelines issued by the Government Procurement Policy Board (GPPB) of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) as well as the 2016 Revised IRR (implementing rules and regulations) of RA 9184 on the measures for the efficient conduct of procurement activities during the period of community quarantine/ similar restrictions,” it added.

Bidders, suppliers, service providers, and other concerned parties should contact CSC-BAC for their inquiries.

Chaired by Alicia dela Rosa-Bala, the CSC had earlier said that it would be introducing procedural changes in its functions as a result of the pandemic, where physical distancing has become the norm.

One of these is the way it conducts its Career Service Examination or CSE.

“There are two modes right now. The more intensive is the pen and paper career service examinations because we usually conduct [it] two times a year. But because of the physical and social distancing requirements as a mode to prevent the spread of COVID-19, we will be revisiting how we can ensure that this will be addressed,” Bala said during a House of Representatives hearing last month.

She said that computer-assisted CSE, which is the second mode, “would be fully implemented in our regional offices.”

The Commission also announced a planned revamp of its Omnibus Rules on Appointments and Other Human Resource Actions (ORAOHRA) in light of the public health crisis.

“We will allow the use of online platforms in the recruitment processes and appointments in the Bureaucracy,” said the CSC chief.