Philippine Information Agency’s (PIA) under the previous administration of BS Aquino is now being questioned by the Commission on Audit (COA) upon the use of P104.4 million in public funds for television, radio and newspaper advertisements last year without conducting public biddings in violation of the procurement law.
The then secretary Herminio Coloma Jr, heading the Presidential Communications Operations Office said in a statement that they already explained the said matter to the COA’s resident auditor.
Moreover, PIA management affirmed adherence to government policies and rules on procurement as specified by the GPPB (Government Procurement Policy Board) and that the COA resident auditor has taken cognizance of PIA’s manifestation.State auditors, in a 2015 report released Wednesday, were dismayed and surprised at home media contract did not observe the requirements of the Government Procurement Reform Act (Republic Act 9184).
Citing an April 2015 Supreme Court ruling, the audit team said that the expenses of the PIA should undergo through competitive bidding.
PIA then said that media entities were not willing to undergo rigorous public bidding process.
However, auditors emphasized that the justification of PIA is still unacceptable.
The audit team said,
Jurisprudence declares that the law on public bidding is not an empty formality. It is based on the principle that under ordinary circumstances, fair competition in the market tends to lower prices and eliminate favoritism.On the COA report, it said that PIA should follow the law or “provide clearer, verified and competent justification for availing alternative mode of procurement such as direct contracting.”
Source: Philippine Star