Manual on Community Participation in Government Procurement

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ABOUT THE MANUAL

This Manual sets guidelines for community participation in government procurement. It primarily takes off from the Local Government Code (LGC), and the Revised Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of the Government Procurement Reform Act (GPRA), specifically Section 53.12 on Community Participation.

According to the LGC, agencies and offices should conduct consultations with appropriate local government units and community organizations before any project or program is implemented in their jurisdiction.1 It also requires the formation of a Local Development Council (LDC) that shall have among its functions, the mobilization of people’s participation in local development efforts, assist the Sanggunian in the development of a multi sectoral plan, and shall set the economic and social development direction of the Local Government Unit (LGU). At least 25% of the members of the LDC should be representatives of non-government organizations (NGOs).

On the other hand, the GPRA or Republic Act No. 9184 includes as its governing principles transparency and public monitoring in the procurement process and implementation of contracts. 2 Further, Section 53.12 of the GPRA IRR includes community participation as one of the instances by which negotiated procurement can be implemented.

This Manual sets guidelines for community participation in government procurement drawing lessons from experiences in community-based/community driven development (CDD) projects. It focuses on how the community can participate in managing procurement by being involved in planning, procurement, and implementation, and on how the community can participate as contractors or service providers under negotiated procurement through community participation. Suggested procedures put forward in this Manual takes inspiration from lessons garnered from the KALAHI-CIDSS3 project, good LGU practices, and from existing laws and guidelines.

The community may also be involved as observers4 of the procurement process. The requirements and responsibilities for such role may be found in a separate manual – the Procurement Observers’ Guide.

Chapter One provides an introduction of the Manual. It lays down the scope and limitations, and puts forward important concepts, definitions, and legal tenets that shall be used.

Chapter Two discusses the general procedures for procurement under Negotiated Procurement-Community Participation provided in Section 53.12 of the GPRA IRR. This chapter guides the procuring entity on the conditions that must be met to justify the use of Negotiated Procurement-Community Participation as a procurement method. It also describes how the community can be involved in project procurement at the local government level (e.g., project identification, planning, and monitoring). It lays down the roles and responsibilities of different community agencies (committees) in ensuring transparency, public monitoring, equity, and value for money in procurement.

Chapter Three provides the guide in establishing committees necessary for the barangay’s and community’s implementation of projects procured through Negotiated Procurement-Community Participation. It proposes the formation of community committees under the Barangay Development Council (BDC) and Barangay Assembly (BA) in ensuring community participation. It discusses how the community can organize themselves and participate to ensure that the procurement achieves its intended social objectives and increase project sustainability.

Background

This Manual is part of the project entitled “Improving the Quality and Responsiveness of Public Spending in Poor Communities Through Localized Procurement Reform” supported by the Japan Social Development Fund (JSDF) through the World Bank (WB).

The project aims to further enhance the impacts of participatory approaches by promoting the participation of volunteers from poor communities in the regular activities of barangay Bids and Awards Committees (BAC), among others. Community members and local CSOs are expected to be involved in key elements of procurement planning, actual procurement, and contract implementation processes, e.g., public biddings, canvassing, bid award, contract monitoring, reporting, and oversight. The development of an enabling partnership between the community members/NGOs and the LGUs for procurement reform is the key innovative feature of the project.

This Manual was developed in partnership with the following agencies and offices:

  • Department of Budget and Management;
  • Government Procurement Policy Board – Technical Support Office;
  • Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), including the National Barangay, Operations Office, Local Government Academy, and the Bureau of Local Government Supervision;
  • Department of Social Welfare and Development; and
  • The World Bank.

CHAPTER I: INTRODUCTION

In the past, procurement transactions and basic service delivery belonged to the exclusive domain of the government with the community as passive recipients. Recent trends toward participatory governance and community empowerment have enabled ordinary members of the community to have a more active role in procurement planning, actual procurement and contract implementation processes. With community participation, transactions between the government and third parties such as suppliers and contractors or service providers have become more transparent. Where there is transparency, holding public officials to be accountable for their actions in the use of public resources can be ensured. There is also efficiency in the use of resources when beneficiaries of projects are engaged not just in determining their actual needs, but also in project procurement and implementation. This in effect guarantees that the government only procures what is needed. If the community can be involved in any or all of the stages of project planning, procurement, and implementation, there would be greater ownership of the project.

The principle of community participation is embodied in and supported by the 1987 Philippine Constitution, the LGC, and the GPRA. Sections 15 and 16 of the Constitution recognize the role of People’s Organizations to “effective and reasonable participation” in decision-making processes. The LGC reinforced the roles and rights of these organizations and provided the mechanisms for their participation in local government units.5

Strong community participation is a key ingredient in the sustainability of projects. It aims to increase the inclusion of local expertise, generate local employment, and promote the use of local materials and indigenous technology, among others. It enhances community capacity and directly impacts on improving the lives of community members. It also contributes in increasing the trust and confidence of communities in the government.

Community participation is most appropriate for community-based or community driven development (CDD) projects where community members are partners in the search for sustainable solutions to development challenges. This approach gives control over planning decisions and investment resources to community groups and local governments. It adheres to community involvement in all stages of the project, from start to finish.

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