Requesting Entity: Odin Security Agency, Inc.
Issues Concern: Validity of the LBP-BAC's Ground for Disqualification
Seeking opinion on the validity of the decision rendered by the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) in disqualifying Odin Security Agency, Inc. (OSAI), on the ground that it submitted a Notarized Certification and a Monthly Disposition Report (MDR) as of 31 July 2011 instead of the required cut-off date of 31 December 2010.
[O]ne of the powers granted to the BAC under Section 12 of RA 9184 and its IRR is to determine the eligibility of prospective bidders. Such determination is conducted using non-discretionary "pass/fail" criterion wherein the BAC merely checks whether a particular requirement is present, missing, incomplete, or patently insufficient which makes the process very simple and efficient. Accordingly, the GPPB does not dictate upon, nor interfere with the functions of the BAC since these solely fall within their authority as sanctioned by law for as long as the BAC observes its concomitant responsibility to perform such functions with judiciousness, adhering to the principles of transparency, accountability, equity, efficiency, and economy in the procurement process that it carries out for the procuring entity.
x x x the ambiguous instructions between the Bid Documents and the Bid Bulletin, it is OSAI’s responsibility to clarify such with the procuring entity. Bid Bulletin No. 1 was issued by the LBP-BAC after acting on some clarifications raised by the bidders during the pre-bid conference. Thus, it cannot be claimed that OSAI was unaware of the changes made as regards the Notarized Certification. If it was confused as to the actual cut-off date to be followed (31 December 2010 v. 31 July 2011) or as to any other specific requirements, then OSAI was not barred to clear this fact with the LBP-BAC. Section 6.5 on the Bidder’s Responsibilities under the Philippine Bidding Documents provides that:
The Procuring Entity shall not assume any responsibility regarding erroneous interpretations or conclusions by the prospective or eligible bidder out of the data furnished by the procuring entity.
Based on the foregoing, we defer to the decision of the LBP-BAC relative to the determination whether participating bidders complied with the legal, technical and financial requirements of the bid as this is within the purview of its mandated functions under the law and the rules.