Commentary: Procurement transparency bodies
By Renee F. De Guzman
San Fernando City, La Union (17 September) -- Amid the brouhaha over the ZTE national broadband network deal controversy which is now affecting the Cyber Education Project of the Department of Education, President Arroyo has created two new bodies, to ensure transparency and good governance in government's massive public investments.
The President announced the creation of the Procurement Transparency Board (PTB) under the Government Procurement Policy Board, and a Pro-Performance Infrastructure Monitoring Group (PIMC), during the launching ceremony of the Bishops – Ulama Conference (BUC) Armed Forces of the Philippines, Philippine National Police (AFP-PNP) Forum for Peace held at Malacanang recently.
The PTB which was approved by the Cabinet will be chaired by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) and have members from the Department of Justice (DOJ), the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), and the economic planning departments, plus representatives of civil society organizations for procurement reform, which trains and fields external observers in government and awards committee nationwide.
Mrs. Arroyo stressed before the BUC-AFP-PNP group that the transparency body shall "monitor procurement bidding and report anomalies to agency heads as well as governance bodies like the Ombudsman and the Commission on Audit."
The President added that the Cabinet also approved the creation of a separate infra monitoring group "which shall also harness civil society and the private sector in ensuring that public works projects serve the needs and objectives for which they are undertaken, and contract terms and timetables are complied with." (PIA La Union) [top]