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Comelec ready with contingency plans–exec

Posted on: May 19, 2009

IF BIDDING FAILS
Comelec ready with contingency plans–exec
By Anna Valmero
INQUIRER.net
First Posted 12:16:00 05/19/2009

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

MANILA, Philippines–With just one bidder left after the evaluation of bid proposals, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) denounced fears of failed bidding, stressing that it has three contingency plans in case bidding fails, a poll official said.

“We are ready for any eventuality and we have until Plan D. Right now, we are implementing Plan A which is full poll automation. We are almost there so let us not talk about failed bidding. We are opting for a successful full poll automation for 2010,” Special Bids and Awards Committee (SBAC) Ferdinand Rafanan said Tuesday.

Asked what these contingency plans are, Rafanan declined to give details but told reporters that the Comelec en banc headed by Chairman Jose Melo would announce the plans in case of a failed bidding.

“The en banc will announce them in case there is need for them. But right now, we are focused on full poll automation,” said Rafanan.

SBAC ruled on Monday that Smartmatic/Total Information Management consortium was 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 at P7,191,484,739.48 or about P4 billion below than the total contract amount, was the only qualified group left standing as the bidding process enter the final leg.

The Smartmatic consortium “complied with the set requirements of Comelec,” said SBAC vice chairman Adolfo Ibanez on Monday, but “it has to pass first the technical evaluation of machines to qualify for the title of bidder with lowest calculated responsive bid.”

Rafanan stressed that pending motions for reconsiderations filed by at least three bidders–the consortium of Sequoia Voting Systems-USSC, AMA Group Holdings-ES&S and the Gilat consortium—are currently delaying the post-qualification of Smartmatic consortium.

If the pending motions are granted, the SBAC will continue opening the remaining bid documents.

“The make or break for the competing bidders will be passing the 26 criteria for technical evaluation during the demonstration of machines simultaneously held with the post-qualification or investigation of the veracity of documents,” said Rafanan.

The consortium of Indra Sistemas, SAHI and Hart Intercivic was disqualified earlier from the bidding after it failed to comply with the required number of deliverables for the automation system.

Comelec required 82,200 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. However, Indra consortium’s bid only provide 57,231 units, Rafanan said.

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.

The Comelec aims to award the contract by end of May, said Rafanan.

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