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Smartmatic has lowest automated polls bid

Posted on: May 18, 2009

COMELEC BID BODY SAYS
Smartmatic has lowest automated polls bid

By Anna Valmero
INQUIRER.net
First Posted 18:35:00 05/18/2009

Filed Under: Eleksyon 2010, Elections, Computing & Information Technology, Technology (general)

MANILA, Philippines—(UPDATE) The Commission on Elections said on Monday that Smartmatic/Total Information Management consortium is the lone qualifier for the final leg of bidding for the P11.2 billion automation contract.

Smartmatic and local partner TIM, which pegged its financial bid for the automation contract at P7,191,484,739.48 or about P4 billion below than the total contract amount, is the only qualifier for the last leg of the automation bidding.

For this, the Comelec Special Bids and Awards Committee (SBAC) declared the Smartmatic consortium as bidder with the lowest calculated responsive bid that “complied with the set requirements of Comelec,” according to SBAC vice chairman Adolfo Ibanez.

“With the evaluation report on the Smartmatic consortium, at this part of the bids process, the SBAC declares Smartmatic/TIM a complied bidder. The evaluation of the financial bid proposals will not mean that they have already bagged the award. To get the contract, the bidder must still pass the technical evaluation of PCOS machines set this week,” said Ibanez.

Ibanez invited Smartmatic to setup their poll machines for the bid evaluation.

“Looking for the bidder with lowest calculated responsive bid does not necessarily mean selecting a bidder with the least expensive proposal. We have to strike a balance between the bidder’s eligibility to handle the project, their technical capacity to comply with requirements of the Comelec for the automated election system, and financial proposal that should not exceed the total contract amount,” added SBAC chirman Ferdinand Rafanan.

Before making a recommendation on the lowest bid, Rafanan said SBAC would be conducting post-qualification or post-evaluation of the documents simultaneously with the technical demonstration and evaluation of machines.

Earlier today, the consortium of Indra Sistemas, SAHI and Hart Intercivic was disqualified for having a bid that failed to comply with required number of deliverables or components of the automation system. These include units of precinct count optical scan (PCOS) units, canvassing units, battery devices and digital keys for use in the encryption of voting system results and operation of PCOS machines.

The consortium of Indra Sistemas, SAHI and Hart Intercivic offered a proposal worth P11,223,307,799–a bid lower by P310, 609 from the contract amount.

SBAC said the P11,223,618,400 total contract amount covered the following: P10.923 billion for the automated election system, including the lease amount for 80,000 precinct count optical scan machines (P8.22 billion); canvassing units (P140 million) and related services (P1.563), P200 million for transmission costs and P100 million for project management costs.

The financial proposals were calculated on Monday by the technical working group (TWG) to check if they did not exceed the amounts allocated per subcomponent, and if they fulfilled the required automation system subcomponents, said Rafanan.

By end of May, the poll body will award the contract and “hopefully, have a poll automation bidder that will work for the automation of the 2010 elections,” Rafanan said.

Meanwhile, SBAC will make the ruling on Tuesday regarding the motion for clarifications of Sequoia Voting Systems-USSC consortium and other pending bid appeals, without entertaining verbal manifestations from other bidders.

Regarding the appeal of Avante International/ES&S, the SBAC junked its motion for reconsideration for failure to submit certificate of acceptance regarding contracts with the States of Michigan and Minnesota.

At this point in time, Rafanan said bidders are barred from communicating with any SBAC member or official observer outside of the bidding proceedings.

The SBAC is almost on the final stage of evaluating bid proposals.

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