PNP assures Senate of reforms in procurement process
MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine National Police assured senators on Thursday that reforms in its procurement system for crime-fighting equipment were underway following its purchase of second-hand helicopters made to appear as brand new in 2009.
PNP Director General Raul Bacalzo said a technical working group has been tasked to improve the structure of at least three committees involved in the purchase of costly equipment such as helicopters.
“Changes are now being made in the structure of the bids and awards committee [BAC] and a new procurement manual has been submitted for approval to the [National Police Commission],” Bacalzo told the Senate blue ribbon committee.
Bacalzo said the PNP was now training logistics officers in the technical requirements for purchases.
One specific improvement would be the hiring of full-time committee members who will focus only on equipment procurement.
At present, Bacalzo said, members of the BAC, negotiation, and inspection and acceptance committees were taken from various units and selection was based on rank.
Former PNP Director General Jesus Versoza lamented that present procedures date back to the time of the institution’s precursor, the Philippine Constabulary.
“We need to have a manual in which the duties and functions of the different committees in the procurement system are spelled out clearly and disseminated to those in the negotiation, BAC and inspection and acceptance [committees],” Versoza told senators.
“Other problems emanate from [these defects]. If there is no clear manual, we open the door for misdemeanors or corruption,” he added.
Senator Gregorio Honasan welcomed the announcement, noting that defects in the present system have allowed for “abuse of authority and discretion.”
“We have heard many of you [PNP officers] explaining that you were just ordered [to authorize or sign purchase papers] for the helicopters,” he said.
Honasan asked that the PNP implement the improvements in the purchase system before the Senate begins deliberations on the agency’s budget for 2012.
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