Scrapping of $3.2-M airport deal sought

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06:57 AM February 2nd, 2013

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February 2nd, 2013 06:57 AM

MANILA, Philippines—An anticorruption advocacy group has called on Transportation Secretary Jose Emilio Abaya to immediately call for a new bidding of the $3.2-million contract for the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) Information Technology System for Terminal 1 and 2, which expired in April and is being renewed on a monthly basis with a US firm recently debarred by World Bank.

Former National Treasurer and Kaakbay party-list chair Leonor Magtolis-Briones said Abaya should immediately order MIAA to conduct a new bidding for the IT system for both terminals in accordance with the government procurement law, instead of renewing and extending the contract of Arinc Inc. on a monthly basis, a practice he inherited from his predecessor, now Interior Secretary Mar Roxas.

She said that the World Bank Group recently debarred 80 individuals and companies under its antifraud and corruption policy. The list includes Arinc Inc., a US-registered engineering and systems integration company, for a period 33 months following the company’s acknowledgment of a violation of the Bank’s procurement guidelines in the World Bank-financed airports development project in Egypt.

Immediate rebidding sought

“With the World Bank’s disqualification on Arinc companies worldwide, DOTC and MIAA should automatically conduct an immediate rebidding and to disqualify outright the debarred US firm in line with President Aquino’s ‘Daang Matuwid’ policy,” Briones said in a press statement.

Kaakbay president Alain Pascua cited DOTC’s manual of bidding procedures barring any firm due to “inclusion in a blacklist issued by any governmental agency of the Philippines or in the Debarred and Cross-Debarred Firms and Individuals listed posted in the World Bank website (www.worldbank.org/debarr), whether as individual contractor, partnership, corporation, or any other juridical entity, or as member of a joint venture or consortium or involvement in any corrupt, fraudulent, coercive, undesirable or restrictive practice or having conflicts of interest.”

“It’s about time Secretary Abaya corrected two existing major violations at MIAA: one, that of coddling a World Bank debarred firm, and, second, continuing an expired contract without the process of public bidding. Both make a mockery of President Aquino’s anticorruption, transparency and public accountability policies,” Pascua said.

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