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Comelec relaxes terms for poll automation

Posted on: March 27, 2009

Comelec relaxes terms for poll automation

By Anna Valmero
First Posted 15:26:00 03/27/2009

Filed Under: Elections, Eleksyon 2010, Technology (general)

MANILA, Philippines—The Commission on Elections (Comelec) Special Bids and Awards Committee (SBAC) relaxed an eligibility requirement for bidders to join the 2010 poll automation project, an official said.

SBAC chairman Ferdinand Rafanan said the SBAC issued a ruling that firms could join the poll automation bid if they have three projects in the last three years with total amount equal to half of the P11.3 billion contract.

Originally, only bidders who have one previous projects amounting to 50 percent of the P11.3 billion would be eligible to join the poll automation biding, Rafanan said.

Speaking before the 10 potential bidders during the pre-bid conference on Friday, Rafanan said the “relaxed” eligibility requirement, as promulgated in Comelec Resolution 8589, would pave the way for more eligible bidders for the project and likewise, prevent monopoly.

Responding to this, Indra Sistema S.A. counsel Aris Batuhan urged the SBAC to request for a formal ruling from the Government Procurement and Policy Board (GPBB), supporting the amendment to prevent future legal cases, which could derail the procurement process.

Rafanan said the SBAC has conferred with the Comelec en banc to seek a formal advice from the GPBB on the amendment published in its third bid bulletin.

Only one question was raised during the pre-bid conference.

Eric Coomer, Sequoia vice president of technology, asked the SBAC to clarify the term “half-shading” of the special ballots. To this, SBAC said it meant partial shading or incomplete shading of ballots.

After this, Rafanan said queries on the terms or reference and request for proposal (TOR/RFP) for the P11.3 billion poll automation project should be submitted not later than April 17, in written form, and addressed to the SBAC.

Rafanan also said representatives of the 10 companies that have secured bid documents to submit queries via e-mail.

The SBAC would meet again to discuss and clarify the queries submitted by bidders after the pre-bid conference. They are expected to issue clarifications and answers in the form of supplemental bid bulletins through the Comelec and Government e-Procurement System websites, the official said.

The pre-bid conference adjourned at 11:30 a.m Friday.

The 10 firms that bought bid documents from March 18 to 25 are:

1. Smartmatic-Total Information Management
2. Avante International Technology Inc.
3. Syrex Corp.-Scantron
4. DVS Philippines-Samsung
5. Indra Systems S.A.-Hart Intercivic-Sitel-Sahi
6. Sequoia-Universal Storefront Services Co.
7. All Data International Inc.
8. Gilat Satellite Networks Ltd.
9. AMA Group Holdings Corp.-Election Systems and Software International Inc. consortium
10. Mega Data Corp.

The presence of all potential bidders during the pre-bid conference indicated strong interest and faith in the Comelec and the viability of automating the 2010 elections, Rafanan added.

Copyright 2009 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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