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More queries on P11-B poll bid answered

Posted on: April 14, 2009

More queries on P11-B poll bid answered

By Anna Valmero
INQUIRER.net
First Posted 11:28:00 04/14/2009

Filed Under: Elections, Eleksyon 2010, Government Contracts

MANILA, Philippines— (UPDATE) As the bidding for one of the world’s biggest election automation contracts draws near, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) continues to clarify technical details about the P11-billion deal.

The Comelec Special Bids and Awards Committee (SBAC) on Monday afternoon issued its sixth supplemental bid bulletin containing clarifications on the project, SBAC chairman Ferdinand Rafanan said.

The bids of 10 participating companies are scheduled to be opened on April 27.

Rafanan said vendors can submit questions until April 17, and the SBAC will answer these queries in supplemental bid bulletins no later than April 20.

“We have answered about 70 percent of bidder queries on the terms of reference and request for proposal (TOR/RFP),” he said, noting that bid bulletins become part of the P1-million bid documents.

To prepare for the opening of bids and technical evaluation of machines, the SBAC is also studying laws and procedures on government procurement.

At the same time, Rafanan said the bids committee “will issue in a bid bulletin the checklist of documents and requirements for the opening of bids, to be released hopefully before April 17. Vendors must follow the checklist we will issue to facilitate the bidding process.”

After the bids are opened, the vendors will demonstrate to Comelec how their machines work end-to-end—from counting to electronic transmission to consolidation to canvassing. This demonstration from April 30 to May 8 will help Comelec evaluate the bids.

The nine-page sixth bid bulletin (http://www.comelec.gov.ph/invi2bid/2009/Bid_Bulletin_No6_041309.html) also contains the following clarifications:

* The Comelec requires 82,200 units, of which 80,136 units will be deployed in various precincts nationwide and 2,064 units for standby.

* Although the machine allocation provided in the RFP does not cover the overseas absentee voting areas, the system must accommodate configurations for participating OAV countries if Comelec decides to implement the same system there.

* The machine must reject fake, spurious, and previously scanned ballots, including other sheets of paper without the required security features.

*Once the machine has read and scanned 1,007 ballots allocated for one precinct (1,000 from voters clustered in a precinct plus seven for the BEI members), the unit must refuse to accept additional ballots and a message on the unit screen should indicate such.

* The machine must have error recovery features, such as full system recovery without data loss from an unexpected system shutdown. This includes the ability to continue where the system left off after system re-start, with appropriate instruction to the user.

* The bidder must include an uninterrupted power supply (UPS) for each canvassing unit.

* Alternative power sources should be made available for all units in case power failure occurs.

* The machine needs to have multiple data storage devices to function as backup in case of transmission issues. The vendor can include in its unit any removable data storage device, provided it is closed from further write operations.

* The electronic transmission service has to be above 99 percent of the time. For areas without power and telecommunications facilities, the winning bidder has to provide for these required facilities and include them in the proposal. Communications coverage should be 100 percent.

* The data from the machines such as election results, must have three transmissions: to the server for city or municipal board of canvassers for canvassing; to the server for central server for backup and monitoring purposes; and to the server for the Kapisanan ng Brodkaster ng Pilipinas—to be made accessible to an accredited citizen’s arms and political parties—as mandated by Republic Act 9369 or the poll automation law.

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