Integrity on paper

Schools have their annual allocation for their maintenance and other operating expenses. Most schools receive their quarterly allotment while some schools with big allocations receive their allotment bi-monthly. These funds are released to the school through downloading of the funds in their respective checking accounts.

Usually, the biggest chunk of the school’s fund is intended for the procurement of office and school supplies. These supplies are determined after the School Improvement Plan has been prepared and approved.

To initiate the procurement of these supplies and materials, school heads will purchase all supplies and materials available at the Procurement Services (PS) – a government agency mandated to implement an integrated procurement system. Whatever goods are not available at the Procurement Service can later be purchased from other suppliers within the locality provided they are PhilGEPS accredited.

The RFQ is the intermediary between conducting a purchase from the government’s procurement servicing agency and the allowable acquisition of goods from private business entities. With the consent to procure from private suppliers is the government’s confidence that the process will follow proper procedure.

It is at this point that the school canvasser proceeds to deliver the Request for Price Quotation (RFQ) to three different suppliers selling the needed items. Ideally, this form should be individually given to the authorized store representative who indicates the prices they are offering for the items reflected on the RFQ.

The purpose of canvassing is to obtain supplies and materials at a cost most advantageous to the government. It is usually the way to determine which supplier offers the lowest prices for the goods. It also provides equal opportunity for private entities to participate in a competitive form of trading.

The RFQ may only be one of the several steps in the procurement process but on these papers can be seen the integrity of the whole procurement method employed. The procedure may be done with ease when the RFQ is accomplished by only one supplier, filling up the other two forms with false prices and fictitious names of store representatives.

This fault has been met more than few times in the Accounting Section of the Division Office during the checking of liquidation for school MOOE. Though it may be considered as a slip without any purposeful intention, it helps to be aware that such deed would not come unnoticed. It defeats the purpose of having an open and fair competition for private suppliers. Furthermore, it means that school funds are utilized through improper method of procurement.

This, once more, touches the matter on frugality and on proper utilization of government funds. Lastly, following the proper method of canvassing demonstrates a “win-win” situation between government and private business sectors and most of all for the students and teachers who are the rightful recipients of these resources.

        Administrative Assistant III