Philippines’ government office embarks on IT project

The Philippines’ Office of the Ombudsman (OMB) has shifted its computerization efforts into high gear after it awarded Fujitsu Philippines Inc. (FPI) the task of developing software applications that will strengthen the capacity of the OMB to investigate and prosecute corruption cases.

Financed by a grant from the World Bank-ASEM Trust Fund, the OMB and FPI will co-develop a Case Monitoring System (CMS) for the Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) and a Statement of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth (SALN) Database System.

The OMB awarded a contract of consulting services to FPI after it bested several foreign and local IT companies through competitive bidding and agreed to develop the CMS and SALN Database System in five months.

Specifically, FPI will develop a system with a workflow engine to track and access more than 2,000 active cases at the OSP; a document management system; and a database system to track the SALN submissions of all government officials. It shall provide hardware to facilitate the scanning and storage of documents into digital form and easy access through computer terminals.

Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez underscored the importance of the two systems. She emphasized that “by strengthening the capacity of the OMB to investigate and prosecute corruption cases, it will be at the forefront in guarding the citizenry against graft and corruption.”

Similarly, Overall Deputy Ombudsman Margarito P. Gervacio, Jr. said “these two systems will cut down substantially the number of man-hours needed for tracking and accurately reporting the status of corruption cases, enable prosecutors to file pleadings in a timely manner, and equip investigators with leads on the assets, liabilities, and net worth of government officials.”

World Bank portfolio and operations manager Christopher Hoban agreed about the benefits of the two systems and expressed his continued support in strengthening the OMB towards good governance.

“We are glad to be granted this opportunity to provide the technology and solutions expertise needed by the Office of the Ombudsman,” said FPI president and CEO Peter G. Tan. “Since the 1960’s, FPI has been successful in delivering IT systems and services to the Philippine government. We would like to see the same result in the OMB.”

The CMS and SALN Database System are envisioned to enhance the capacity of the OMB to prosecute graft cases by improving the preparation and management of cases and to investigate corruption by government officials and employees.

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