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Comelec group answers queries on bid

Posted on: April 10, 2009

Comelec group answers queries on bid

By Anna Valmero
INQUIRER.net
First Posted 16:59:00 04/09/2009

Filed Under: Elections, Technology (general)

MANILA, Philippines—The Commission on Elections (Comelec) Special Bids and Awards Committee (SBAC) has answered in a bid bulletin queries on the bid documents for the automation project, an official said.

SBAC chairman Ferdinand Rafanan said the committee deliberated on the queries posed by prospective bidders on the terms of reference and request for proposal (TOR/RFP) for 2010 poll automation project and issued answers in a bid bulletin, which becomes part of the bid documents.

Rafanan noted most of the questions refer to preparation of the bid documents for the opening of bids on April 27 and some for the technical evaluation set on April 30 to May 8.

These include:

* To gain bid eligibility, vendors must have a single largest contract or three contracts similar in nature to Comelec’s P11.2 billion automation project, with a total amount of P5.6 billion at least. The “similar contract” in the requirement could be any public election-related project or any IT project of the same complexity—nationwide or statewide in scope, involved multiple hardware and software integration, transmission and deployment, SBAC said on the bid bulletin. Examples of IT projects are those that could be similar in nature are but not limited to telecommunications, transportation, utilities, and banking and finance.

* The SBAC would not require bidders to submit a credit line in addition to the Net Financial Contracting Capacity (NFCC) requirements. A bidder could submit either an NFCC, a credit line or a cash deposit certificate as stated in the Republic Act 9184 or the government procurement law.

* The bank issuing the NFCC, credit line or cash deposit certificate should be a local bank or a local branch of a foreign bank both of which are licensed by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.

* For a bidder composed of a consortium of companies, the provider of precinct count optical (PCOS) scan machines must submit an ISO 9000 certificate and a certification from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

* The warranty period requirement stated in the RFP begins from the date of acceptance of the PCOS units by Comelec.

* The PCOS machine should be able to handle all errors that would deter its continuous operation such as but not limited to scanning errors (skewed ballots, paper jamming) and other operational and user errors. The system must alert the operator in case of errors.

* The battery for the PCOS machine does not have to be built in and can be externally connected to the unit.

* Apart from English and Tagalog, the ballots must have a format with Arabic characters, which would be issued in areas where Arabic is of general use, like the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

* A “partial shade” of the ballot means half shading, that is upper half shade, lower half shade, left half shade or right half shade.

* The PCOS machine must be able to read any of these four ballot markings: checkmark, cross (or “x”), half or partial shade and full shade.

* Pencils would be allowed for ballot marking.

* Balot printing would be done either by the National Printing Office or the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas but the vendor should be responsible that the ballots are printed according to specifications.

* There should be three separate transmission of precinct results: to the city or municipal board or canvassers (BOC), to the central server of Comelec and to the server for political parties, accredited citizens’ arms and Kapisanan ng mga Broskaster ng Pilipinas.

* Transmission of city or municipal results should be to the provincial BOC and to the central server, while transmission of provincial results should be to the national BOC and central server; the national BOC should transmit to the central server. For the transmission of results during the technical evaluation, vendors could use any communications technology, as long as transmission passes via a public telecommunications network.

* Under Section 10 of Republic Act 9369 or the poll automation law, once the automated election system technology is selected for implementation, the Comelec should promptly make the source code of the technology available to any interested political party or group, which may conduct their own review. The parties mentioned do not include bidder’s competitors.

The SBAC, said Rafanan, would release answers to the vendor queries at least 10 calendar days after receipt of the questions but not later than April 20, or one week before the opening of bids.

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