04 October 2007 | Paul Snell
The government of the Philippines has set up two new organisations to improve the clarity and fairness of public procurement.
President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has introduced the Procurement Transparency Board and the Pro-Performance Infrastructure Monitoring Group to "ensure transparency and good governance in our massive public investments".
The Transparency Board will monitor bids and report suspicious behaviour to the Philippines' Commission on Audit and Ombudsman. The group will be led by the Department of Budget and Management and will include representatives from government departments and procurement reform groups.
The Monitoring Group will ensure public projects are completed on time, contracts are adhered to and projects achieve their intended outcomes.
Last month the government suspended a deal to provide broadband services across the country because of bribery allegations. However, Macapagal-Arroyo said allegations had not been corroborated, and the government may miss out on P3 billion (£33 million) of potential savings a year if the project is not completed.
The Philippines is ranked 131 out of 180 countries in the Corruption Perceptions Index (see news story
), where a lower rank denotes higher levels of perceived corruption. It has a score of 2.5 out of 10, indicating perceived widespread corruption.