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P4.3B NIA deals given to ‘ineligible’ contractors

The National Irrigation Administration (NIA) awarded 106 contracts to “ineligible” contractors, the Commission on Audit (CoA) said in its audit report on NIA for 2018 and 2017.

Based on the audit report, the P4.3 billion contracts were awarded by NIA’s central office and seven regional offices.

Commission on Audit. JUDGEFLORO VIA WIKIMEDIA COMMONS


These contracts were awarded by the Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) and Technical Working Group to contractors with the lowest bids. But these contractors did not pass the eligibility requirements due to incomplete documents and questionable availability of resources.

There were also inadequate evaluation procedures during the bidding itself.

In one observation, there was a “[f]ailure to post performance security (PS) by the awarded contractors within the prescribed period/prior to the signing of the contract” such as that of the Chico River Pump Irrigation Project where the PS was posted six days after the contract was signed.

The commission urged the NIA to require the BAC to ensure that the documentary requirements and procedures are strictly followed to ensure the contractors will comply.

It also prodded NIA to direct its Internal Audit Services to conduct an investigation to determine the liability of the contractors for submitting deficient documents and the possible collusion of NIA officials, and file the appropriate charges against them.

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