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PPADB inundated with lawsuits

ISAAC PINIELO
John
The Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Board (PPADB) was faced with nine lawsuits during the 2016/17 financial year involving tender adjudication decisions.

The Board’s latest annual report shows that PPADB lost one case, while two cases were withdrawn by the complainants, and six are ongoing.

According to PPADB’s executive chairperson, Bridget John, a total of seven cases were carried forward from the previous years, four of which were completed and ruled in favour of PPADB, while two were settled out of court and one ongoing. “The cases were initiated by bidders who lost tenders due to disqualification at compliance stage,” she said.

She said the Board has since allowed bidders an opportunity at evaluation stage to submit compliance information within two to five days and this disposition is disclosed in the tender documents thus improving competition. Moreover, during the year under review, the PPADB’s suspension and delisting disciplinary committee handled 11 cases, six of which were carried forward from the 2015/16 financial year.  John indicated that some cases are still under investigation, while others are pending for contractors to answer for the alleged breach.

She said the Committee also embarked on the amendment of guidelines for suspension and delisting of contractors, which were approved by the Board during the period under review. During the year, she said, the committee received six complaints, adding that the Independent Complaints Review Committee (ICRC) dismissed four complaints; one was upheld in favour of the contractor while the other was directed

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to the Board for reconsideration based on the new information that was subsequently submitted by the procuring entity.

“In the ultimate, the Board lifted its initial decision on the basis of new information received and the procuring entity was able to proceed with project implementation,” said John.

Meanwhile, the executive chairperson stated that there was a total of 22 retroactive requests that were submitted to the Board during the year under review, showing an increase in the number of retroactive requests by procuring entities from 11 requests submitted during the 2015/16 financial year. John said the Board approved only two requests, noting that the Ministry of State President submitted the largest number of requests at nine, followed by the Ministry of Education and Skills Development, and Ministry of Health at four each. The Ministry of Finance and Economic Development and the Ministry of Infrastructure, Transport and Communications submitted one each, while the Ministry of Labour and Home Affairs submitted three requests.

“Eleven ministries did not submit any retroactive request during the 2016/17 financial year,” she said.

The total value of retroactive requests amounted to P12.2 million which was significantly lower when compared to the previous year’s value of P24.1 million. The Board approved retroactive requests amounting to P350, 887.80, which represent approximately three percent of the total value for the retroactive requests.



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