NPM No. 114-2015
Requesting Entity: Aspen Multi-System Corp.
Issues Concern: Attendance during Bid Opening and Bidder's Access to Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) Resolutions
1. Whether the Procuring Entity (PE) can bar non-bidders from observing its scheduled opening of bids
[I]t is clear from the public nature of the bidding process, particularly the opening of bids, that the PE cannot bar non-bidders from observing its scheduled opening of bids. Accordingly, the public is entitled to observe the bid opening subject to the sound, regulatory discretion of the procuring entity. Hence, the PE can set the rules on the conduct of its bid opening pursuant to the provisions of the IRR of RA 9184, which should be made available to bidders, and to the public at large.
2. Whether a disqualified bidder may be asked to leave the bid opening
If the public is entitled to observe the bid opening, as in the case of non-bidders, more so is the disqualified bidder who has an interest in the outcome bidding process, particularly the opening of bids. Corollarily, the PE can set the rules on the conduct of its bid opening, and regulate the manner by which the bidders, prospective bidders, disqualified bidders, non-bidders, and the general public will participate in the bid opening pursuant to the provisions of the IRR of RA 9184.
3. Whether the bids and awards committee (BAC) can refuse to provide a copy of the BAC Resolutions/ Bid Evaluation to the concerned bidder
In as much as the public cannot be prohibited from attending and observing the PE's bidding process, more particularly, the opening of bids, on the basis of the constitutionally enshrined principle on the right of the people to information of public concern, it is in the same vein that a bidder may not be denied access to BAC Resolutions or Bid Evaluation results.
Nonetheless, reasonable regulations may be imposed by the PE in the manner in which bidders may access information or acquire copies of BAC Resolutions or results of the Bid Evaluation.