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‘Single complying calculated’ poll bid known

Posted on: May 26, 2009

COMELEC
‘Single complying calculated’ poll bid known

By Anna Valmero
INQUIRER.net
First Posted 16:25:00 05/26/2009

Filed Under: Government Contracts, Internet, Elections, Technology (general)

MANILA, Philippines—(UPDATE)The Commission on Elections (Comelec) announced Tuesday afternoon that the consortium of Smartmatic and Total Information Management (TIM) was the “single complying calculated bid.”

While it has not fully declared that the group has won the bid, the Comelec Special Bids and Awards Committee said that the poll body would now start post-qualification proceedings, which was a closer step to bagging the P11.2-billion automation contract.

“Smartmatic/TIM has submitted the single complying calculated bid. Thus, it will undergo post qualification proceedings immediately and its machines will be tested to determine compliance with the criteria set for the automation contract,” the Comelec SBAC said in a resolution.

SBAC chairman Ferdinand Rafanan was careful in saying that the Smartmatic consortium has not yet won the contract since it would still undergo technical evaluation.

“Declaring Smartmatic/TIM as the lowest calculated bid is not applicable since all other bidders except Smartmatic complied with all our requirements, they were disqualified for having noncompliant bids and inadequate documents. This however does not mean that they are the winner, they have to pass first the post qualification which is ongoing now and the technical demonstration which will be set Wednesday,” Rafanan explained.

The ruling was made at around 3p.m. Wednesday.

Representatives of the Smartmatic consortium have setup the test ballots and the poll machines for the technical demonstration and evaluation slated.

According to procurement laws, a government agency can declare a bidder as “single complying calculated bid” if no other bidder complied for the evaluation of the eligibility, technical and financial proposals, Comelec Advisory Council member and lawyer Ivan Uy, who observed the bidding procedures from the side lines.

Smartmatic and local partner TIM pegged its financial bid for the automation contract at P7,191,484,739.48—about P4 billion below than the total contract amount.

The Smartmatic-TIM consortium was the lone qualifier for the final leg of the automation bidding when SBAC declared on May 17 the bid of Indra Sistemas, Strategic Alliance Holdings (SAHI) and Hart Intercivic as non-compliant for offering a partial bid or insufficient supply of poll machine units worth P11.2 billion.

Other bidders were disqualified for having noncompliant bids and inadequate documentation that is required by the SBAC.

“We proceed with the post qualification and technical evaluation of machines of Smartmatic and TIM without prejudice to the pending appeal of another bidder, AMA Group Holdings and Electronic Software and Systems International. We have been delayed for two weeks due to the pending appeals of other bidders,” Rafanan said in an interview with INQUIRER.net.

The poll executive said the awarding of the contract is still “subject to the result of the motion of AMA-ES&S.”

The disqualified bidder has said late Monday that it would file a motion for reconsideration.

The poll executive said that if AMA-ES&S would be readmitted in the bidding, SBAC would have to open its technical and financial proposals.

If the bid of AMA-ES&S is lower than that of Smartmatic-TIM but the technical evaluation for the latter’s poll machines has started, Rafanan said, “it would be no problem and would be beneficial to the public because they will see two systems for poll automation.”

However, if Smartmatic-TIM comes out with the lowest bid compared with the AMA-ES&S group, and passes post qualification and technical evaluation, Rafanan said the SBAC will recommend the bidder as the one capable of supplying the Comelec the poll machines for the upcoming 2010 elections.

The Comelec hopes to award the contract by first or second week of June, added Rafanan.

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