Requesting Entity: Metro Cotabato Water District
Issues Concern: Composition of the Bids and Awards Committee
1. Whether or not the Finance Department Manager, a second (2nd) ranking permanent official who supervises the budget, finance and accounting sections of the Finance Department of the MCWD, is covered by the prohibition on the Chief Accountant and any personnel of the Accounting Unit of any agency to become regular members of the BAC, brought about by the Commission on Audit (COA) Circular No. 2003-004 dated July 30, 2003.
The only personnel from the finance area who are prohibited to be designated as members of the BAC are the Chief Accountant and any personnel of the Accounting Unit of the procuring entity concerned. Clearly, the position of the Finance Department Manager is different from that of the Chief Accountant; neither can the former be considered as a personnel of the Accounting Unit who is under the control of the latter. In fact, it is the Chief Accountant who is under the supervision of the Finance Department Manager, who, based on your letter and the Position Description Form attached therewith, directly supervises the operations of the budget, finance and accounting Sections of the Finance Department and evaluates the performance of the personnel thereof.
Hence, we believe that the Finance Department Manager is not prohibited from being designated as a regular member of the BAC.
2. Whether or not the Department Manager for Administrative Services, a second (2nd) ranking permanent official who is also the Head of the MCWD-BAC Secretariat, be validly designated as a regular member of the MCWD-BAC, at the same time.
Although we agree with your observation that under R.A. 9184 and its IRR-A, the Head or any member of the BAC Secretariat is not prohibited to become a member of the BAC at the same time, it is highly advised that procurement officials should avoid holding concurrent positions in the BAC and its Secretariat in accordance with the thrust to professionalize the procurement organization geared towards strengthening the procurement functions to increase operational effectiveness and efficiency. This is in view also of the possible conflict in the delineation of functions of the BAC under Section 12.1 of the IRR-A of R.A. 9184 and its Secretariat under Section 14.1 of the same IRR-A.