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Comelec readies for poll machine testing

Posted on: April 6, 2009

Comelec readies for poll machine testing

By Anna Valmero
INQUIRER.net
First Posted 17:05:00 04/06/2009

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

MANILA, Philippines—The Commission on Elections (Comelec) Special Bids and Awards Committee (SBAC) is preparing for the technical evaluation of vendor poll machines on April 27, an official said.

SBAC chairman Ferdinand Rafanan said the poll committee is studying and reviewing the terms of reference/request for proposal (TOR/RFP) thoroughly to prepare for the upcoming technical evaluation, where bidders would demonstrate the end-to-end capability of their poll automation system.

Rafanan noted that most members of the SBAC are “new to the task but are working together to study the bid documents and pertinent laws on government procurement” to implement the bidding process with fairness and transparency.

“It is a bid task for us to head the procurement process for the P11.2 billion automation project for the 2010 elections and the SBAC will perform its task with just and transparency,” said Rafanan.

Rafanan added SBAC and representatives of the Comelec Advisory Council are working together to answer the queries of vendors regarding the technical evaluation, such as demonstration of transmission and types of shading recognized by the poll machines.

SBAC is expected to answer in a bid bulletin the queries of vendors during the first pre-bid conference held on March 27 10 calendar days after.

Quoting bid documents, SBAC said that transmission from poll machines must pass through a public telecommunication network during the technical evaluation and technology demonstration on April 30 to May8, said Rafanan.

The poll official added four types of marks must be recognized by the poll machines: checkmark, cross (or “x”), half shaded oval and full shaded oval.

The technical working group composed of IT experts would test the precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines during the technical evaluation.

In an earlier report, Rafanan noted the SBAC plans to get at least four additional technology experts from the Department of Science and Technology and National Computer Center to help in the evaluation of PCOS machines.

Rafanan added a bidder formed by a consortium of companies would have joint and separate liability to account for the technology and implementation of its poll automation system.

He added this would prevent failure of the projects like what happened with the 2004 Mega Pacific consortium machines, now gathering dust in the Maxi-Lite warehouse in Manila.

Ten bidders bought the bid documents and attended the first pre-bid conference, namely Smartmatic-Total Information Management, Avante International Technology Inc., Syrex Corp.-Scantron, DVS Philippines-Samsung, Indra Systems S.A., Sequoia-Universal Storefront Services Co., All Data International Inc., Gilat Satellite Networks Ltd., AMA Group Holdings Corp.-Election Systems and Software International Inc. and Mega Data Corp., SBAC documents showed.

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