THE Commission on Audit (CoA) said the National Printing Office (NPO) conducted unauthorized transactions last year amounting to P121 million, and improperly recorded outsourced printing agreements as equipment leases.

According to CoA’s audit report for 2018, NPO continued to engage private printers to augment its printing capacity limitations without valid contracts.

“The Production Report disclosed that in 2018, NPO accepted from procuring entities and accomplished 249 work orders for the printing of accountable forms under “Leasing” amounting to P121,691,215.37.

However, based on records, NPO did not have any valid Lease or Rental Agreement for 2018 nor did it conduct public bidding for the lease of printing equipment; thus, the work orders under “Leasing” amounting to P121,691,215.37 were illegal,” CoA said in the report.

The state auditors noted that the equipment lease agreements of NPO with private printers had expired by September 30, 2017.

Further, CoA said NPO continued to subcontract printing services while entering them into the books as leases.

“NPO paid 12 private printers in 2018 for the alleged rental fee of leased printing equipment in the total amount of P120,927,408.00, although documents show that the amount paid was (equivalent) to the production cost; therefore, it was a subcontract,” CoA said in the report.

CoA recommended that NPO “enter into a valid Equipment Lease Agreement through competitive bidding in accordance with the IRR of RA No. 9184, and strictly implement its provisions.”

CoA also recommended that NPO issue waivers in case it cannot accommodate any printing requirements.

“[The Management should] issue a certification/waiver in cases where NPO cannot accommodate the printing requirements of requisitioning agencies due to time constraints and/or equipment limitations,” CoA said. — Vince Angelo C. Ferreras