Auditors hit Iloilo Capitol on P185-M parking building project

By: Gerome Dalipe

The Iloilo Provincial Government failed to submit on time copies of contracts and other supporting papers of government-funded projects, such as the multi-level parking building worth P185.19-million in 2018.

The Commission on Audit (COA) revealed this practice by the Iloilo Provincial Government in its 2018 annual report.

This act violated COA Circular 2009-001, which prescribes the revised documentary requirements for common government transactions.

Auditors said the practice delayed and limited the contract review and prompt detection and rectification of possible defects or deficiencies.

“Furthermore, it exposed the Iloilo Provincial Government to the risk of incurring damages if the contract will be later found defective, deficient and could not be rectified, hence will be rendered totally or partially void,” read the COA report.

Item 3.1.1 of COA Circular 2009-001 provides that agencies or instrumentalities, including government-owned and controlled corporations are given five days to furnish the auditors all the documents relating to the contracts.

These documents include the eligibility requirements, minutes of the pre-bid conference, bidding documents, bidders’ technical and financial proposal.

For instance, the contract awarded to DCMS Trading and Construction for the design and build of the Capitol’s six-story multi-level parking building along Bonifacio Drive, Iloilo City amounting to P185,194,660.60 was filed on April 05, 2018.

But a copy of the contract and its supporting documents were submitted to the auditors for review only on May 16, 2018, or 41 days from its execution.

The contract and supporting documents were submitted only on July 2, 2018, or 88 days after the execution of the contract, thus delaying the start of the technical review.

Since the notice to proceed provides that the contract will commence effective five days after the receipt of the notice on April 5, 2018, the design and build started when the contract and its supporting documents were completely submitted.

“Therefore, defects/deficiencies, if there are any, will only be rectified during the execution or implementation, with the risk that the same may no longer be feasible,” read the COA report.

In the report, the auditors asked the governor to direct the internal audit services to coordinate with the concerned Capitol, departments head to formulate policies and procedures.

This is to ensure that contracts or purchase orders along with all the necessary documents are timely and completely submitted, the auditors said.