CAPITOL’S COA ELEVATING CISA CONTRACT ISSUE TO REGL OFFICE

march 24-30,2011

The team leader of the Commission of Audit (COA) audit team for the Davao del Norte Capitol will be elevating to the regional office the audit case involving the security services contract between the provincial government and the Christian Investigation Security Agency (CISA) that has become controversial when Vice Governor Victorio “Baby” Suaybaguio Jr was allegedly bypassed when the contract was suddenly implemented on January 1, 2011.
COA audit team leader Susan Querequincia said in an interview that after she and her supervising auditor Vivien Jumaoas have recently discussed issues relating the controversial contract they have “decided to elevate it to our regional office for resolution.”
She added that COA’s audit findings in their level are not jibing with the explanations made by the management of the provincial government to the audit questions raised relating to the bidding and awarding of the contract to CISA.
“Di talaga magkatugma,” she said.
Again she did not say what are those issues they found inconsistent with the earlier COA’s audit memorandum.
Querequincia earlier sent her audit memorandum for the office of the governor to explain. The Capitol management replied with the explanation letter dated February 16, 2011.
She said in earlier interview that in her evaluation, “if di magkatugma (the explanations and her evaluation findings would not jibe), we’ll elevate it to our regional office.”
She said that specifically the matter would be first referred to the legal department of the COA-XI.
She also earlier said that she would have “to check and study yet the signatory, legality and scope of the contract”.
On the other hand, asked on the reported transaction of P4.5-worth of lechons procured by the provincial government during the time of late provincial administrator Rufo Peligro, she said that in her verification of official records since 2010 there no such reported lechon transaction.
“Wala akong nakita na ganon as far as the records would show,” she said.
She said that she heard only of that issue over the media as she heard also of a certain supplier who is not yet paid by the provincial government.
“Nabalita lang, but wala na ako doon,”she said adding that COA only deals with what is in the records.
The Capitol’s P6.3 million security services contract with CISA has become a running controversy when issues came up that it was allegedly rushed by executive department officials in the remaining days of last December while Vice Gov. Suaybaguio and the Sangguniang Panlalawigan were reportedly bypassed of their respective functions and authority to first approve a contract before it would be implemented.
Suaybaguio was the sitting acting governor at that time in view of the US travel of the governor.
The P6.3-million security services contract was awarded by the Bids and Awards Committee chaired by provincial general services officer Samson Sanchez to CISA last December 28 and four days after, on January 1, 2011, had the CISA guards already securing the Capitol complex, replacing the over 60 contractual security personnel even without the required Notice to Proceed supposedly to be issued by the acting governor.
The governor re-assumed office on January 8, 2011. He left the country on December 20, 2010.
After his arrival in the province, he later signed the contract.
Earlier, Sanchez said that the BAC duly followed the bidding processes for the security services and that its documents and legality of the BAC actions were scrutinized and cleared by the provincial legal officer Atty. Jennifer Namoc, who is also a BAC member.
He also said that based on Republic Act No. 9184, or the Government Procurement Reform Act procuring security services is like procuring goods and services and does not require the prior approval of contract by the SP.
But the law says that in such case there is still a need for a Notice to Proceed to be issued by the head of the agency within seven days after the contract’s approval.
CISA is the second lowest bidder of the transaction following the Butuan City-based United Field Sea Watchman and Checkers Agency (UFSWCA), which won the bidding but was knocked out by the BAC for failure to submit final bidding requirements making it an unresponsive bidder.
The vice governor was not furnished with the bidding and award papers although he was promised to be given instead a report on the chronology of the transaction which did not materialize at all during the time when he sit as the acting governor.
(Rural Urban News/Cha Monforte)

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