CSO/NGO Module in the PhilGEPS - Technical Assistance Consultant's Report

 
CSO/NGO Module in the PhilGEPS - Technical Assistance Consultant's Report
Technical Assistance Consultant’s Report

Project Number: 42537
June 2012

CSO/NGO Module in the PhilGEPS
(Financed by PATA 7244-PHI: Strengthening the Philippine
Government Electronic Procurement System

Prepared by Transparency and Accountability Network
Philippines

The views expressed herein are those of the consultant and do not necessarily represent those of ADB’s
members, Board of Directors, Management, or staff, and may be preliminary in nature.
DISCLAIMER

The views expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the
views and policies of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) or its Board of Governors or the
governments they represent.

ADB does not guarantee the accuracy of the data included in this publication and accepts no
responsibility for any consequence of their use.

By making any designation of or reference to a particular territory or geographic area, or by
using the term “country” in this document, ADB does not intend to make any judgments as to
the legal or other status of any territory or area.

ADB encourages printing or copying information exclusively for personal and noncommercial
use with proper acknowledgement of ADB. Users are restricted from reselling, redistributing, or
creating derivative works for commercial purposes without the express, written consent of ADB.
CSO/NGO Module in the PhilGEPS
User definition and requirements

1.                 Introduction

The participation of non-state actors in monitoring public procurement has been in
place prior to Republic Act 9184 or the Government Procurement Reform Act
(GPRA) of 2003. The Local Government Code (LGC) in 1991 for example require
non-government organizations (NGOs) to be voting members of the pre-qualification
bids and awards committee (PBAC), a local special body in the local government
units (LGUs) that procures for that LGU (provinces, cities, and municipalities).1 The
GPRA shifted the role of NGOs from being members to observers that are mandated
to submit reports to the head of procuring entity (HOPE) as well as to other offices.2
Aside from the observer role of NGOs, the IRR of the GPRA also recognized NGOs
as possible service providers under negotiated procurement (Sec. 53.11). The
government also identified under Administrative Order No. 17 series of 2011 the
development of monitoring tools within PhilGEPS for CSOs as a means to improve
procurement services.

Defining civil society organizations/non-government organizations (CSOs/NGOs)

Civil society can be seen as that space between the state, family, and market where a
mélange of autonomous organizations are formed by people with common interests.
The Asian Development Bank defines civil society to “refers to groups distinct from
the government and the private sector who operate around shared interests, purposes,
and values. Civil society organizations (CSOs) encompass a wide range of
organizations, including nongovernment organizations (NGOs); community-based
organizations (CBOs); and people’s organizations (POs), mass organizations,
professional associations, labor unions, private research institutes and universities,
foundations, and social movements.”3

In the Philippines, the more common terms like NGOs, people’s organizations (POs),
sectoral organizations, and CBOs are all examples of CSOs. For this report, the term
CSO/NGO will be used to capture the nuance between: first that CSOs cover a wide
range of autonomous organizations outside the state, market, and families which
includes NGOs; and second, the legal or those that Philippine laws recognize as
NGOs, which are important stakeholders in government operations.

The “users” for a proposed CSO/NGO module in the Philippine Government
Electronic Procurement System (PhilGEPS) would refer to all types of CSOs with a
special attention given to NGOs’ needs in participating, monitoring and/or observing
public procurement. Under Philippine laws, these NGOs are those that are non-stock,
	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  
1
  Aside from the LGC, there is also the Presidential Decree No. 1594 and Executive Orders No. 262
and 40 series of 2000 and 2001 respectively.
2
  Some of the reasons cited for the shift include the need to give full independence to the NGOs, shield
them from harassment, and also to reduce concerns about “familiarity” of NGOs to the PBAC or BAC
members.
3
  ADB, http://www.adb.org/site/ngos/overview.

                                                                                                                                                                                                Page 2 of 13	
  
non-profit voluntary organizations/domestic corporations registered with the
Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) or a cooperative registered with the
Cooperative Development Authorities (CDA) that are committed to socio-economic
development.4

This report will be divided into the following parts:
       1. Proposed objectives of a CSO/NGO module
       2. User requirements/definition
       3. Issues and concerns
       4. Conclusion and recommendation

2.                                                    Proposed objectives of a CSO/NGO module in the PhilGEPS

Consistent with the GPRA’s declared policies, the CSOs/NGOs in the PhilGEPS
should be created to increase transparency, accountability, and public monitoring of
public procurement. Specifically, it should help in ensuring transparency in the
process, improve the integrity of the process and competition, and serve also as an
accountability mechanism. Consequently, the module would have features that allow
access to procurement information required by law to be posted publicly, follow the
procurement activities online, access as an observer documents posted by bidders,
post observers report as a feedback to the HOPE and other relevant government
agencies, and an ability to contribute in the exchange and sharing of information for
policy improvements.

3.                                                    User requirements/definition

The Transparency and Accountability Network (TAN) in 2009 commissioned the La
Salle Institute of Governance (LSIG) to develop a deployment matching software for
CSO monitors in public procurement. The software matches the government’s
bidding activities with observer’s interest and schedule that generates for the
government a list of CSOs to invite and to the CSOs a list of procurement relevant to
their advocacies, interest, and availability. The software module was pilot tested but
was not continued for lack of funding support for further development. For the
proposed CSO/NGO module in the PhilGEPS, the following suggestions come from
the experience of TAN in developing the software, interview with an e-governance
expert, a focus group discussion with CSOs that have observed public procurement,
meetings with PhilGEPS, CSO observers report templates used, and desk researches
on electronic procurement.5

	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  
4
  The Government Procurement Policy Board’s “Guidelines on Non-Government Organization
Participation in Public Procurement” define NGOs as “A Non-Governmental Organization or NGO
refers to a non-stock, non- profit domestic corporation duly registered with the Securities and
Exchange Commission (SEC) or a cooperative duly registered with the Cooperative Development
Authority (CDA) committed to the task of socio-economic development and established primarily for
providing goods and services to the public.” Annex “A” of GPPB Resolution No. 12- 2007, dated 29
June 2007.
5
  Mr. Sherwin Ona of the DLSU College of Computer Science which lead the team that developed the
deployment matching software in 2009 was interviewed. The FGD participants included TAN, the

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Page 3 of 13	
  
This section is mainly divided into two parts: the information requirements during
registration in the PhilGEPS and those that CSOs would like to have access to; and
the different functions that such a module should have. This will cover information
needed for the registration of CSOs in the PhilGEPS, the information that CSOs see
as important to have access to in public procurement, and the different functionalities
that help CSOs’ work in monitoring public procurement.

A.                 On information requirements/definition

Access to information is still an obstacle for many CSOs who wish to monitor the
procurement activities of government agencies. For them, if more procurement
information are posted in the PhilGEPS, then access to information posted by buyers
and suppliers would be one of the main reasons why they would register in a
CSO/NGO module. They imagine the module helping them in observing specific
procurement, as well as to monitor the performance of government agencies using
procurement information. All the information though should be open to the public
with a CSO/NGO module providing value-adding tools to better monitor a
government agency.

CSO/NGO module registration

Organizations that wish to register in the CSO/NGO module can be further
categorized to three (3) main types: NGOs, POs, and CBOs. Associations of
professional individuals/groups, corporate foundations, private research centers, and
the like can be classified as NGOs with many of these possessing SEC registration.
These NGOs often operate at the national, local, and even international levels
providing specific services including support to POs and CBOs. People’s
organizations on the other hand are often sectoral in nature and operate at the local
level. These POs are often accredited/registered with LGUs and NGAs in the
implementation of programs and projects or to represent their sector in special bodies.
At the community level, there are also loosely organized groups of individuals
advancing their interests and recognized by barangays.

            Table 1. Minimum registration requirement for different types of CSOs
             Categories of CSOs Minimum registration requirement*
             NGOs                     SEC or CDA
             POs                      NGAs or with LGUs
             CBOs                     LGUs
               * Can be a required field in the module

During the registration process in the CSO/NGO module, the corresponding proof of
registration based on the table above can be required to complete their registration in
PhilGEPS. The different CSOs will have to indicate their corresponding registration
numbers or possibly attach a scanned copy of their certificate of registration with
government agencies.
	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  
Ateneo School of Government’s G-Watch, the Institute for Political and Electoral Reforms (IPER), and
the Affiliated Network for Social Accountability in East Asia and the Pacific (ANSA-EAP).

                                                                                                                                                                                                   Page 4 of 13	
  
Aside from those required above, the regular organizational profile requirements can
be part of the registration process. These information includes the name of the
organization, name of the authorized representative and head of agency, mailing
address, telephone number, email address, and if available the website of the agency.
Further sub-categorization can include an indication whether they operate at the
national, regional, or within a specific LGU only. A brief description of the CSO can
also be a field during the registration in the module.

The CSOs indicated also that the registration process should include a process by
which CSOs can identify the agencies and type of procurement that they would like to
focus on. The CSOs can also indicate their schedule and availability to observe
procurement activities. From this registration alone, the public agency would be able
to generate a list of CSOs that they can invite to observe their procurement.

CSO access to PhilGEPS information

For CSOs, there are important documents they need to be able to effectively observe
and monitor a public procurement. These are obtained either through the BAC of the
procuring entity, desk research (e.g. newspapers, websites of procuring entity,
PhilGEPS, other websites), field research (i.e. SEC or online for supplier/s
information), or those shared by other sources. Some of the key documents that
CSOs already try to obtain are the following:

        •   Minutes of the BAC meetings;
        •   Bid notice abstract;
        •   Bid Bulletin/s;
        •   Post qualification summary report;
        •   Annual Procurement Plan (APP) and Project Procurement Management
            Plan (PPMP);
        •   Opened proposal;
        •   Notice of Award; and
        •   Contracts

Specifically, CSOs gather detailed information from the above documents to
effectively assess the procurement. The information gathered are recorded in an
observer’s report that are submitted to the Head of Procuring Entity (HOPE), and
other government agencies like the GPPB and Ombudsman. The table below shows
some of the information gathered by CSOs for their observer’s report:

Table 2: Information gathered by CSOs for observer’s report
                       Detailed information
Procurement profile    1. Name of procuring entity
                       2. Project name
                       3. Purpose
                       4. ABC
                       5. PhilGEPS Reference number
                       6. PhilGEPS Posting date
                       7. Type of procurement
                       8. Method of procurement

                                                                         Page 5 of 13	
  
Pre-procurement        9. Funding source
                       10. Specifications
                       11. Project plan information (e.g. target schedule, objectives, expected outputs
                           and outcome, etc.)
                       12. Criteria for eligibility screening, evaluation, and post-qualifications
Pre-bid conference     13. Bidders that attended
                       14. Bidders that bought bid documents
                       15. List of documents to be submitted
                       16. Submission requirements (i.e. date, time, place, manner, etc.)
Submission of bids     17. Bidders that submitted bids
                       18. Whether the submitted bids complied with the requirements for
                           submission
Opening of bids        19. Name of bidder whose bids where opened
                       20. BAC decisions on each opened bid (pass/fail on requirements)
Bid evaluation         21. Name of bidder and amount of bid
                       22. Reasons for disqualifications
                       23. Name of bidder that intends to file a motion for reconsideration
Post-qualification     24. Proof of validation of the requirements (i.e. licenses and permits,
                           competence, experience, equipment, testing, financial capacity, bid
                           security, etc.)
                       25. Reasons for disqualification
Awarding of contract   26. Compliance with requirements for awarding (i.e. BAC resolution, notice
                           of award, posting of performance security)
                       27. Name of winning bidder and reason
                       28. Contract implementation details (i.e. cost estimates, target dates/schedule,
                           quantities, etc.)

Within PhilGEPS, there are information that are openly available to the public
without the need to log-in. The abstract of bids posted already contain all the basic
procurement information needed by CSOs while the award notices contain the basic
information on the winning bidder, important dates associated with the procurement
activity, contract amount, and dates of implementation.

More information can be accessed once registered in the PhilGEPS system. Attached
documents to bid and award notices can be downloaded after log-in, more query
functions can also be performed to better locate a particular procurement, and an
auditor accounts allows access to a detailed tracking report (DTR) of a particular
procurement. The DTR contains the history of all the activities registered with the
procurement in the system including their dates, statistics, names of suppliers that
participated, postings, and attachments.

B.       On functionalities

The CSOs identified the following three functionalities that they would like to see in a
CSO/NGO module in the PhilGEPS.

     • Matching and notification – this would allow the CSO to focus on the agency
       and procurement that they would like to monitor and be notified of the
       activities.
     • Exporting and searching the database - involves an ability to query the database
       of agencies (buyers), their procurement and its activities, and the suppliers, and
       to export the results for CSOs researches and reports.

                                                                                       Page 6 of 13	
  
• Feedback – CSOs would also like to be attach/generate/send their observer’s
    report in the system.

Matching and notification

In 2009, a Deployment Matching Software was developed and pilot tested by TAN as
an independent platform to match CSOs’ preferences in monitoring procurement and
the available procurement information (see figure below). The main objective of the
software is to assist in improving the deployment of CSOs as observers while at the
same time helping public agencies readily generate a list observers that they can
invite. The software was developed independent of the PhilGEPS with the software
notifying CSOs of procurement activities inputted in the system. For the CSO/NGO
module in PhilGEPS, the CSOs see the value of having a similar matching and
notification functionality that would benefit both the public agencies and the CSOs in
terms of increasing participation.

                TAN’s	
  Deployment	
  Matching	
  Software	
  	
  
                model	
  (Powerpoint	
  presentation,	
  March	
  
                13,	
  2009)	
  

The registration process for the CSOs would involve CSOs identifying their focus
agency, ABC, location, type of procurement, and availability. The CSO/NGO
module would then return to the CSOs through email notification any procurement
activity that matches their preference. For the buyers (government agencies), this
functionality would allow them to check (or generate) a list of CSOs with knowledge,
expertise, and time vis-à-vis the procurement.

This functionality would notify CSOs through email or an inbox in the system of an
activity match in the CSOs preference. Once CSOs have decided to monitor a
particular procurement, the CSO/NGO module would also notify them of
procurement activities like pre-bid conferences, opening of bids, post-qualification,
and awarding, among others.

                                                                          Page 7 of 13	
  
Database query and Exporting data

Visitors to the PhilGEPS can query the open opportunities and awards posted using
keywords and/or by indicating the location, type, and date of posting. The directory
of suppliers can only be accessed if the user is logged-in. Attached documents to bid
notices and awards are also only available once registered. For CSOs, a more open
framework in accessing information is preferred (i.e. without the need to register). If
registration is required, such a CSO/NGO module should have value-adding functions
that can help ease querying the database like more query options and the ability to
export the results. Off hand, the CSO/NGO module should allow access to and query
of registered suppliers in the PhilGEPS. Access to the attached documents and DTR
of each procurement should also be included in the CSO/NGO module.

Presently, the government requires that all opportunities, notices, awards, and
contracts be posted in PhilGEPS.6 If complied with, the CSO/NGO module should
allow access to these documents and if included, notices like bid bulletins,
supplementary bids, and contract’s program of works and cost estimates. In the
future, a more comprehensive electronic procurement system should allow CSOs to
access APPs and PPMPs, BAC minutes, requirements submitted by suppliers, and
opened proposals.

Feedback

CSOs record their observation in a report and submit this to the HOPE and if needed
to the GPPB and the Ombudsman. The CSO/NGO module should be a tool that can
help CSOs access information for this report and submit the same. The observer’s
report can be uploaded as an attached document to a particular procurement. It can
serve as an input to the BAC and HOPE before a contract is awarded/approved.

It is also helpful to CSOs if the module can serve as a platform for CSOs to better
coordinate procurement monitoring work by allowing each access to a history of
procurement observation work conducted by each CSO. This platform can also
generate insights on the most common procurement observation and help improve
procurement processes.

The next section presents how the CSO/NGO module and its possible features can
assist CSOs in monitoring procurement through the observer’s report.

C.                                                    Observer’s report

The following are sections of template observer’s report being developed by the
Government Procurement Policy Board-Technical Support Office (GPPB-TSO) and
TAN for a Procurement Observers Guide under a World Bank project.7 The tables
contain the information that CSOs currently need to observe public procurement. The
	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  
6
 Administrative Order 17, series of 2011.
7
 “Improving the Quality and Responsiveness of Public Spending in Poor Communities through
Localized Procurement Reform”, Grant No. TF 093563.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Page 8 of 13	
  
CSO/NGO module feature refers to functions that are desirable8 to have to easily fill-
up the observer’s report. Although it is possible to have an observer’s report template
in the system that is automatically filled-up by the system, for now the
recommendation vis-à-vis the observer’s report, is for PhilGEPS to allow and aid
access to information needed in accomplishing this report.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     CSO/NGO Module
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          feature/s
        Procuring Entity:                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Query the database
        Project Name:                                                                                                                                                                                                                based on buyer name,
        Purpose:                                                                                                                                                                                                                     procurement title,
        ABC:                                                                                                                                                                                                                         ABC, PhilGEPS
        PhilGEPS Reference Number and Posting Date:                                                                                                                                                                                  reference number, and
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     date of posting
        Type of procurement:                                                                                                                                                                                                       • Query the database
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     based on the type of
        [ ] Goods and Services [ ] Infrastructure [ ] Information Technology [ ]                                                                                                                                                     procurement and
        Consulting                                                                                                                                                                                                                   method of
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     procurement
        Method of procurement:

        [ ] Public Bidding [ ] Shopping [ ] Negotiated [ ] Direct Contracting [ ]
        Limited Source [ ] Repeat Order

From the table above it is important for CSOs to be able to query the PhilGEPS
database based on the name of the procuring entity, the name of the project, purpose,
ABC, the PhilGEPS reference number, date of posting, type of procurement, and the
method of procurement.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     CSO/NGO Module
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         feature/s
        Stage of Procurement
        (1) Pre-Procurement                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Access to APP and
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     PPMP
                                   Funding Source:                                                                                                                                                                                 • BAC Minutes
                                   Are the specifications clear and generic?
                                   Are the project plans complete?
                                   Are the criteria for eligibility screening, evaluation, and post-
                                   qualification clear?

Access to the PPMP or APP of the agency if available in the PhilGEPS would help
the CSOs determine whether the procurement is consistent with the development
plans (i.e. for LGUs) and approved budget of the agency. It will inform the observer
of any changes made especially in the method of procurement while the BAC minutes
would provide information about the reasons for the changes.

	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  
8
  Some if not many of the information needed in the report are not provided by the buyers and sellers
and are not yet part of those gathered by the system.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Page 9 of 13	
  
CSO/NGO Module
                                                                                   feature
 (2) Pre-Bid Conference                                                  •   Access to detailed
                                                                             tracking report
 Date:                                                                   •   Access to BAC
  Bidders Present                        Bought Bid Docs                     minutes
                                                                         •   Access and query the
                                                                             database of suppliers
                                                                         •   Access to bid notices

                                                                             CSO/NGO Module
                                                                                   feature
 (3) Submission of Bids                                                  •   Access to detailed
                                                                             tracking reports
 Date:                                                                   •   Access to BAC
  Name of Bidder       Submitted Bids     Passed / Complying                 minutes
                      Yes       No       Yes        No                   •   Access to bid
                                                                             bulletins
                                                                         •   Access and query the
                                                                             database of suppliers

The BAC minutes and DTR would be able to provide information about the bidders
as well as the history of any notice issued under the procurement. It will help CSOs
identify the bidders that are participating/buying/accessing bidding documents and
conduct additional research. Access to these documents would also provide insights
into possible irregularities in the bidding documents (e.g. tailor-fitting,
appropriateness of method of procurement, etc.). The information accessed can help
in conducting field research (i.e. SEC and DTI papers, BIR, etc.).

                                                                           CSO/NGO Module
                                                                                 feature
 (4) Opening of Bids                                                     • Access to detailed
                                                                            tracking report
    Name of Bidder         Passed       Failed                           • Access to BAC
                                                                            minutes
                                                                         • Access and query the
                                                                            database of suppliers

                                                                             CSO/NGO Module
                                                                                   feature
 (5) Bid Evaluation                                                      •   Access to opened
                                                                             proposals/bid
                                     Reason(s) for      Intent to file   •   Access to BAC
    Name of         Bid Amount      Disqualification     Motion for          minutes
     Bidder                                            Reconsideration   •   Access and query the
                                                        Yes        No        database of suppliers
                                                                         •   Access to detailed
                                                                             tracking report

                                                                                  Page 10 of 13	
  
If BAC minutes are posted online as well, this would help CSOs understand why
bidders are disqualified/failed during the opening and evaluation of bids. CSOs can
conduct additional background checks on the bidders including possible
misrepresentation and conflict of interests.

                                                                           CSO/NGO Module
                                                                                 feature
 (6) Post-Qualification                                                •   Access to opened
                                                                           proposals/bid
     Requirements         Validated   Reason(s) for Disqualification   •   Access to BAC
  Bidder:                                                                  minutes
  Licenses & Permits                                                   •   Access and query the
  Competence                                                               database of suppliers
  Experience                                                           •   Access to post-
  Equipment                                                                qualification
  Product Testing                                                          summary report
  Bid Security                                                         •   Access to detailed
                                                                           tracking report
  NFCC

                                                                           CSO/NGO Module
                                                                                 feature
 (7) Awarding of Contract                                              •   Access and query
                                                                           notice of awards
  Requirements                                 Submitted               •   Access to contracts
  BAC Resolution Recommending Award                                    •   Access and query the
  Abstract of Bids                                                         database of suppliers
  Program of Works and Cost Estimates                                  •   Access to detailed
  Posting of Performance Security                                          tracking report
  Joint Venture Agreement, if applicable

Access to the supplier’s information in the PhilGEPS, post-qualification report, and
DTR can help CSOs determine whether the procurement followed the right process
and calendar. It will also help in conducting an independent post-qualification of the
winning bidder and determine any conflicts of interest, possible collusion, and
incorrect declaration of capacity (e.g. equipment, financial, etc.). Access to contracts
will also help CSOs who wish to conduct contract implementation monitoring.

                                                                                Page 11 of 13	
  
4.      Issues and concerns

The following are the issues and concerns raised regarding a CSO/NGO module in the
PhilGEPS:

     1. Institutionalizing access to information – political changes affect access to
        information and whether registered or not in the PhilGEPS, the political
        dispensation of the government affect compliance of agencies to posting
        information. CSOs stress the need to institutionalize access to information
        and if a CSO/NGO module in the PhilGEPS is implemented, a mechanism that
        will institutionalize access should be put in place at the start of its
        implementation. One of those identified is the passage of a Freedom of
        Information Act, another is a similar legal mechanism that would ensure CSOs
        access to procurement information in the PhilGEPS. A more open data
        framework is preferred by CSOs with the module providing additional value-
        adding functions like notifications and report generation.

     2. Availability of information – many of the procurement documents that are
        required to be publicly available are not posted in the PhilGEPS. Procurement
        information is available from different sources and many of the government
        agencies (i.e. NGAs, cities, SUCs) also have their own websites where
        procurement activities and documents are posted. Compliance to PhilGEPS
        posting is still an issue with many of the notices of awards still not posted.
        The government is currently exerting efforts to increase compliance and until
        such time that more information becomes available in the PhilGEPS, a
        CSO/NGO module might be scarcely used for the purposes that CSOs want it
        to be.

     3. Evolving PhilGEPS’ knowledge management capacity – CSOs expressed the
        need for PhilGEPS to continue evolving from being a repository of
        procurement information to one that improves procurement processes using
        ICT. Currently, there is still a need to evolve the intuitiveness of the different
        functions in the PhilGEPS so that it can facilitate efficiency of access. For
        CSOs, if more information are posted in the PhilGEPS, this would not just
        help them in their monitoring work but also help them in generating
        researches that can contribute in improving procurement policies towards
        more transparency, accountability, efficiency, and participation.

                                                                            Page 12 of 13	
  
5.                                                    Conclusion and recommendations

A CSO/NGO module in the PhilGEPS has the potential of increasing CSO
participation in procurement. CSOs that currently monitor procurement see the value
of such a module especially if there is increased compliance and more information are
posted in the system. CSOs observe the different stages of procurement and many of
the information from the different stages are not yet covered by the currently
deployed system.9 Concurrent with the development of the CSO/NGO module, the
government needs to continually improve the capacity of its agencies in
using/maximizing the system, enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of the
procurement processes, increase the credibility of public procurement to suppliers,
and institutionalize access to information.

Similar to other IT systems, the implementation of a CSO/NGO module based on the
requirements of CSOs can be accomplished incrementally. After sufficient user
acceptance tests and bug fixes, PhilGEPS can roll out the different features of the
CSO/NGO module based on the following:

                           1. All features currently available for non-registered users, registration of CSOs
                              with menus to filter preferred agencies, type of procurement, ABC, and
                              geographic area/s (i.e. provinces) together with the notification function for
                              any matching procurement activity.
                           2. Access and query of the directory of buyers and suppliers, registered CSOs,
                              attached documents, and PhilGEPS reports including the DTR
                           3. Posting of observer’s report in the PhilGEPS and exportable query results
                           4. User page for each CSO containing a calendar that matches their availability
                              with procurement activities including the notification function
                           5. User interface for the online fill-up of observer’s report, generation, and
                              submission

	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  
9
  Other e-procurement systems (e.g. e-payment, e-bidding, e-bid submission, among others) are either
in the testing stage or still limitedly rolled out.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Page 13 of 13	
  
ANNEX

     Sample	
  diagnostic	
  report	
  template	
  
     	
  
 Procuring Entity:
 Project Name:
 Purpose:
 ABC:
 PhilGEPS Reference Number and Posting Date:
 Type of procurement:
 [ ] Goods and Services [ ] Infrastructure [ ] Information Technology [ ] Consulting
 Method of procurement:
 [ ] Public Bidding [ ] Shopping [ ] Negotiated [ ] Direct Contracting [ ] Limited Source [ ]
 Repeat Order

Stage of Procurement                                              Observer Observations Date
                                                                            [Cite RA
                                                                              9184
                                                                           provision/s]
(1) Pre-Procurement

    Funding Source:
    Are the specifications clear and generic?
    Are the project plans complete?
    Are the criteria for eligibility screening, evaluation, and
    post-qualification clear?
(2) Pre-Bid Conference
Date:
 Bidders Present                      Bought Bid Docs

(3) Submission of Bids
Date:
  Name of     Submitted    Passed /
   Bidder        Bids     Complying
              Yes No      Yes No

      	
  
ANNEX

(4) Opening of Bids
   Name of Bidder        Passed        Failed

(5) Bid Evaluation
                                     Reason(s) for        Intent to file
   Name of                          Disqualification       Motion for
    Bidder                                               Reconsideration
                  Bid Amount                              Yes        No

(6) Post-Qualification

                                          Reason(s) for Disqualification
   Requirements

                        Validated
 Bidder:
 Licenses & Permits
 Competence
 Experience
 Equipment
 Product Testing
 Bid Security
 NFCC

(7) Awarding of Contract

 Requirements                                Submitted

 BAC Resolution Recommending Award
 Abstract of Bids
 Program of Works and Cost Estimates
 Posting of Performance Security
 Joint Venture Agreement, if applicable

     	
  
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