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Comelec adopts transparent bid guidelines

Posted on: March 29, 2009

Comelec adopts transparent bid guidelines

By Anna Valmero
INQUIRER.net
First Posted 19:52:00 03/27/2009

Filed Under: Eleksyon 2010, Elections

MANILA,Philippines—The Commission on Elections (Comelec) Special Bids and Awards Committee (SBAC) has decided to adopt bidding guidelines proposed by the Comelec Advisory Council (CAC), an official said.

“The SBAC decided to adopt in toto the guidelines for the procurement process promulgated in the CAC Resolution released in February. The recommendations are good and will promote transparency of the procurement process,” SBAC chairman Ferdinand Rafanan told bidders during the pre-bid conference Friday.

CAC chairman Ray Anthony Roxas-Chua III, for his part, said he was “extremely pleased that the Comelec SBAC has adopted our recommendations on transparency.”

“This is necessary to help ensure a successful bidding and help protect Comelec from potential legal challenges later on,” he added.

Roxas-Chua III said the CAC recommended that bids and BAC decisions should be published immediately.

It also recommended to let the public observe the committee meetings and bar BAC members from making any contact with prospective bidders after the procurement process has started.

Roxas-Chua III said the resolutions aim to prevent questionable bids and make BAC decisions transparent.
Rafanan added the SBAC crafted its own guidelines for the code of conduct of the SBAC members.

Under the guidelines, SBAC members are prohibited from any unofficial dealings with the bidders or any representatives. Any violation would result to the resignation of the member.

Rafanan said Jane Ramos, an SBAC member, has volunteered to resign from her post during their meeting Thursday night because she has a relative working with Total Information Management, partner of bidder Smartmatic.

“The public can expect that SBAC will be fair and will not favor anyone of the bidders–no secret dealings and we will guard against graft and corruptio,” said Rafanan.

In a separate interview, Comelec chairman Jose Melo said the SBAC has the full authority to oversee the procurement process, adding the Comelec en banc would only be observing.

As part of its goal to be transparent, Rafanan said the SBAC would publish clarifications on the bid documents as bid bulletins posted on the Comelec and the Government E-Procurement System websites.

Bidders can post their queries until April 17 or 10 days before the opening of financial and technical bids.

The SBAC is expected to award the contract on or before May 22.

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