Manila (Philippines), 26 October 2022 - Corruption risks can be found at every stage in the procurement process, from tender to delivery. In emergency contexts such as the COVID-19 pandemic, regular, competitive procurement processes are often suspended to provide rapid assistance to those in need. Without measures to ensure proper due diligence, however, unqualified suppliers providing substandard products, or companies colluding to set higher prices, may skew the market and waste essential resources.
To ensure increased accountability in public procurement in the Philippines, UNODC collaborated with The Department of Budget and Management (DBM), along with the Government Procurement Policy Board (GPPB) on developing automated procurement reports. The pilot testing of the new reports took place in Manila in October 2022.
The objective of the pilot testing was to follow-up on the workshop conducted by UNODC on 2-3 November 2021 to provide technical advice to GPPB in revising procurement reports forms to ensure compliance with the Open Contracting Data Standard (OCDS), which enables disclosure of data and documents at all stages of the contracting process by defining a common data model. OCDS was created to support organizations to increase contracting transparency and allow deeper analysis of contracting data by a wide range of users.
The pilot testing gathered several Procuring Entities (PEs) to determine the usability and interoperability of the revised procurement forms, and the roles and responsibilities of procurement officers in completing the procurement forms and the constraints and concerns of PEs in the implementation of the revised Procurement Reports.
Participating in this meeting were representatives of the GPPB, Open Contracting Partnership, UNODC, the Department of Information and Communications Technology, the National Housing Authority, the National Parks Committee, the Philippine National Police, the Philippine Space Agency, the Philippine Veterans Affairs Office, and West Visayas State University. “The implementation of the revised Procurement Reports and the Data Sharing Agreement with SEC will be a game-changer not only in the field of planning and monitoring but on the procurement operations as a whole,” DBM Secretary Amenah F. Pangandama stated.
Throughout the workshop, groups participated in validation exercises for the automated procurement reports and discussed feedback with stakeholders. The validation exercise further underscores the roles and responsibilities of procurement officers; constraints and concerns of PEs in the implementation of the revised Procurement Reports; and effectiveness of the forms and accessibility of relevant data.
This initiative was part of ongoing support to establish national anti-corruption procurement platforms in nine countries, including the Philippines, with the support of the Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) under the COVID-19 Anti-Corruption Response and Recovery Project. These platforms act as coordinating hubs to bring together anti-corruption authorities, oversight institutions, and procurement bodies to strengthen public procurement transparency and whistle-blower protection and better address national anti-corruption challenges related to crisis recovery.
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