Two of the accused members of the Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) got away from the nine-month suspension imposed by the Ombudsman on their colleagues for lack of substantial evidence.
Charges for conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service, gross neglect of duty and inefficiency and incompetence in the performance of official duty against BAC members in 2009 Greg Julius Sodusta, Provincial Health Officer, Reynard Namocatcat, Legal Officer lV, Laura Saramosing-Boloyos,Â Supply Officer lV, Felix Mejorada, Administrative Officer and Abraham Clarin, Head of the Provincial Motorpool were dismissed for lack of substantial evidence.
The charges stemmed from the purchase of 26 units of heavy equipment in 2009 awarded to five winning bidders with the lowest calculated and responsive bid and the issuance of the notices of awards by the BAC.
In their defense, the BAC members argued that nowhere in the BAC resolution did they recommend that charges for the opening of the letter of credit (LC) shall be shouldered by the provincial government.
Memorandum Order 2013-2006 signed by former President Gloria Macapagal ArroyoÂ allowed the use of LC’s as a mode of payment but expressly prohibits the cost for the opening of the LC’s charged to the government but shall be credited to the account of the local or foreign supplier.
The BAC members also maintained that the procurement process ended upon the issuance of the Notices of Award and the approval of the contracts.
As for the alleged violation of payment made before completion of delivery, the Ombudsman said that this is no longer the responsibility of the BAC since this happened outside the procurement process.
The Ombudsman decision also stressed that no document would show that the payment term and delivery schedule of Civic Merchandising Inc. (CMI) as presented to the BAC during the opening and evaluation of bids violated section 42.5 of the IRR-A of RA No. 9184.
The collection or imposition of liquidated damages for delay of delivery of the heavy equipment is not the function of the 2009 BAC members, according to the Ombudsman decision.
As for the charges of inefficiency in the performance of their duties, the 2009 BAC Â members contended that based on the total contract amount of PhP163.2 million, the province was able to save PhP5,046,500.00 out of the approved budget of the contract of PhP168.3 million.
The three BAC members – Boloyos, Mejorada and Clarin were found liable for conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service in the procurement of one unit backhoe/hydraulic excavator with breaker in 2006 as requested by former governor, the late Erico Aumentado.
The 2006 BAC members were suspended for nine months without pay together with six members of the SP.Â (Chito M. Visarra)