CoA asks Cavite gov’t to explain hiring of consultants for P4.95M

THE Commission on Audit has asked the Cavite provincial government to explain why it hired 24 consultants for P4.95 million in 2018.

The CoA said the nature of the jobs of the hired consultants and what they are expected to accomplish were not defined properly making the appointment  questionable.

According to the CoA, the hiring of consultants without proof that they are rendering technical or professional expertise that are beyond the capabilities of regular personnel of a government agency is a violation of Implementing Rules and Regulations of RA 9184 or the Government Procurement Reform Law and COA Memorandum 2005-027.

Under the memorandum, the government agency is required to state clearly the scope of work, expected outputs/deliverables, terms of reference and time frames in the consultancy contract.

These were not complied with in any of the contracts for the consultants hired as the documents only stated their educational attainment and work experiences as well as their fees ranging from P10,000 to P30,000 per month.

“Absence of clearly defined scopes of work, terms of reference, time frames, and expected outputs/deliverables gives no assurance that their services were beyond the in-house capability of the province thus, the incurrence of P4,945,909.09 for consultancy services was not justified,” the CoA said.

Likewise, state auditors noted another questionable practice in the hiring of consultants by the province.

A review of the transactions of the provincial government showed that there were four consultants who have been hired repeatedly since 2010, one was first hired in 2013, nine since 2016, eight since 2017 and two in 2018.

The memorandum for hiring consultants states that the maximum contract was only for one year.

Governor Jesus Crispin Remulla’s office was furnished a copy of the audit report on May 31.