OFFICIALS designated as officer-in-charge (OIC) of a government agency cannot enter into long- term agreements or high-value contracts on behalf of the government, if the proposed measure filed by Senator Francis “Tol” Tolentino is enacted into law.
Tolentino filed Senate Bill 2434, which seeks to amend the provisions of Executive Order No. 292 or the Administrative Code of 1987 on OICs.
Tolentino said the measure stemmed from the Blue-Ribbon Committee hearing on the 2020 Commission on Audit report on the Department of Health and other issues related to the utilization of the national budget in the fight against COVID-19.
Based on the COA report, an OIC of the Procurement Service-Department of Budget and Management (DBM) signed billions of pesos’ worth of contracts involving medical supplies during the pandemic.
According to Tolentino, his measure aims to expressly define and limit the powers and functions that an OIC may exercise.
Based on Tolentino’s measure, the powers of OICs are confined only to functions of administration and ensuring that the office continues its usual activities. Also, Tolentino said the designation of the OIC should not exceed six months.
“Since OICs are only designated to ensure that the day-to-day operations of the office will not be hampered, and they lack the authority to exercise discretionary powers, it is incumbent upon the appointing authority to fill the position with permanent appointments as soon as possible,” said Tolentino.
The aim is to prevent temporary appointees from holding the position for a long period of time to ensure efficiency in government operations.