A former lawmaker on Thursday asked the government to double down on due diligence on potential government contractors amid the booming financial technology industry.
“The accelerated digital transformation requires the government to be more prudent and thorough in conducting due diligence on its potential partners. The government must ensure that the contractors and partners that it takes in are credible and have a clean track record that proves their capability to bring essential and critical government services closer to Filipinos,” former PBA Partylist Rep. Jericho Nograles said in a statement.
Nograles said he was wary of agencies that contracted out digital transaction services to fintech players and digital banks as they could have monetary repercussions and involve personal data.
Nograles dealt with fintech companies and line agencies that by-passed required procurement processes and charged hefty prices to Filipino consumers in his stint as a lawmaker in the last Congress.
He led the Congressional inquiry on the irregular contract between the Bureau of Quarantine and a fintech startup that focused on remittance and money transfer transactions in November 2021.
Nograles and other lawmakers revealed in a series of congressional inquiries that the company did not undergo the required bidding process and lacked the financial capacity to enter contracts with the government.
This led to the BOQ dropping the contract. BOQ earlier contracted the company to help the agency in the issuance of the International Certificate of Vaccination or the “yellow card,” a requirement for outgoing overseas Filipino workers.