LGU performance on procurement, financial management under HSRP validated

PRIMEX completed and submitted its First Assessment and Verification Report on the reported performance of provincial local government units (LGUs) on their financial management and procurement practices as targeted under the World Bank/European Union-assisted Health Sector Reform Project (HSRP).

The amendment to the HSRP in 2007 to the expansion of its coverage to include the provision of local health system reform grants to the provinces of ARMM, Isabela City, Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga del Sur, Zamboanga Sibugay, Lanao del Norte, Davao Oriental, Sarangani, Sultan Kudarat, and Compostela Valley. More financing for these areas were then provided vis-à-vis their Province-wide Investment Plans for Health (PIPHs).

A recent appraisal of the HSRP, however, presented concerns about the fiduciary management and monitoring and evaluation (M&E) capability of these new areas. Performance reports submitted by LGUs needed to be evaluated and authenticated by a independent third party because they would form the basis for them to access available grants. PRIMEX had won the bid to verify LGUs’ reported data on behalf the World Bank.

LGU performances were evaluated based on their (i) deliverables in their service level agreements (SLAs), (ii) planned inputs in their annual operations plans (AOPs) and provincial or regional IPHs, and (iii) financial and procurement management performance in the selected Project sites.

The first assessment report submitted on 31 October 2011 focused on the financial and procurement management system performance of a sample of the above Project areas in Mindanao. Another round of verifications is being undertaken to cover the LGU scorecards.

A list of recommended actions that need to be undertaken to improve financial and procurement management under the Project was among the highlights of the Report. Dr. Florante Magboo, Team Leader and PRIMEX’s Vice President for Technical Services and Business Development, earlier led the consultant team in prioritizing the conduct of various batches of trainings for the field auditors (FAs) and regional coordinators (RCs) in the surveyed provinces.