DOJ finds P336-M driver’s license deal above board
THE DEPARTMENT of Justice (DOJ) has found no legal obstacle to the Land Transportation Office’s buying driver’s license cards under a P336-million contract after a competitive bidding for the project was questioned in the courts.
In a legal opinion dated April 5 and addressed to the LTO chief, Assistant Transportation Secretary Roberto Cabrera III, Justice Secretary Emmanuel Caparas said that under Executive Order No. 423, the head of the procuring entity may use alternative forms of procurement other than a public bidding to negotiate contracts under P500 million.
The contract may be approved by the head of the entity even without an opinion from the Government Procurement Policy Board (GPPB) that the contract fell within the exemptions from public bidding and approval by the National Economic and Development Authority, Caparas said.
Caparas, however, said the LTO may still ask seek the GPPB’s opinion “for further guidance” since under Republic Act No. 9184, the Government Procurement and Reform Act, the board has the rule-making power and primary competence and jurisdiction to interpret rules concerning public procurement.
The contract was awarded in June to the winning bidder, AllCard Plastics Philippines Inc., which would have supplied up to 5 million driver’s license cards for one year.
But in May and July last year, complaints contesting the bidding procedures’ compliance with RA 9184 were filed in the regional trial courts of Manila and Quezon City. Jerome Aning
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