Wednesday, March 28, 2007

GPPB issues guidelines on procurement during election period

The election fever is heating up and has not only occupied politicians and the electorate but procurement activities as well. Of late, we have received various queries on how to go about the conduct of bidding or other alternative mode of procurement for the duration of the election period.

To help procurement officials, this is what I have gathered from the GPPB website. Resolution No. 01-2007 dated 23 February 2007, but published in the web site only last March 28th, prescribes the guidelines on the conduct of procurement activities from March 30 to May 14, 2007 (the election ban). The Resolution, in effect, reconciles and clarifies COMELEC Resolution No. 7707 (prohibited activities during the election period) with the provisions of RA 9184. In summary:

Reminder: Election ban is not designed to paralyze the operations of the government but to insulate government procurement from political partisan activities, usually in the form of new projects, which are designed to influence the public during the elections.

In general: Procuring entities can go on with the procurement whether public bidding or alternative mode (posting/advertising, pre-bid conference, bid opening, post qualification) but cannot issue the Notice of Award for the duration of the election ban (March 30, 2007 until May 14, 2007. This holds true for procurement of public works, social projects and housing-related projects.

What are allowed: The GPPB Resolution also clarifies that complete procurement activities is allowed for:

- Maintenance work involving maintenance of existing and/or completed public works projects;
- Contract entered into or awarded either through public bidding or negotiated procurement, provided it is reported to the COMELEC;
- Preparatory works like payment of preparation cost for drawings, bill of materials, etc. including purchase of materials and other incidental expenses;
- Calamity involving restoration of damaged facilities;
- Ongoing projects both locally funded and foreign-assisted that has commenced before March 30, 2007, provided this was reported to the COMELEC;
- Routine and normal expenses; and
- Expenses covered by COMELEC exemption

For better understanding, the subject Resolution can be downloaded here.

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