PITC hit for delayed delivery of NBI's 'state-of-the-art' clearance processor

Published July 15, 2021, 7:15 PM

by Ben Rosario

The modernization program of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) has been unduly delayed by the Philippine International Trading Corporation (PITC) which has failed to deliver “state-of-the-art” equipment required by the bureau.

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In its 2020 NBI Annual Audit Report that was released recently, the Commission on Audit (COA) disclosed that the PITC received P103,705,799 from the NBI for the purchase of much-needed equipment for its Clearance Processing System (CPS). However, only P7.81 million or 7.54 percent of the total amount was spent.

The failure of PITC to purchase and deliver the “state-of-the-art” equipment caused “undue delay in the modernization program” of the NBI, the COA said.

Headed by President and CEO Dave Almarinez, the PITC is the government’s trading arm for imports and other trade services. It was established under the Department of Trade and Industry supposedly to ensure the “most efficient and cost-effective procurement services” for government agencies.

In the audit report, COA lamented that the NBI entrusted a portion of its modernization fund to the PITC after the two agencies signed a memorandum of agreement for the purpose in 2017.

The P103.75 million was transferred by NBI to the PITC for the purchase of one lot Fingerprint Verification System, P71.83 million; 14 units 7.5 Tonner Floor Mounted Non-Inverter Air-conditioning unit, P4.60 million; one lot Face Recognition System, P17.10 million and one lot High-end Server for Data Center, P10,15 million.

COA revealed that the PITC supplied, delivered and installed one set of Rockmount Server for Data Center and spent just P7.81 million for it.

The rest of the NBI orders were not delivered as of the end of 2020, state auditors said.

“The delay in the delivery of various machinery and equipment for ICT requirements of the Bureau may affect its performance in meeting the needs of the stakeholders,” the audit report stated.

Further, COA auditors noted that the PITC has failed to return to the NBI P19,494.82 interest from the unspent funds and the P2,339,669 in savings from the purchase of a less expensive data server.