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POLL CHIEF SAYS Comelec eyes partial automation if bid fails

Posted on: May 27, 2009

POLL CHIEF SAYS
Comelec eyes partial automation if bid fails

By Anna Valmero
INQUIRER.net
First Posted 14:51:00 05/27/2009

Filed Under: Technology (general), Elections

MANILA, Philippines–Commission on Elections chairman Jose Melo said on Wednesday that if the current bidding for the P11.2 billion automation project fails, his agency would consider partial automation.

Melo said “partial automation through the use of central count optical scan machines (CCOS)” will be a “likely option” should the single complying calculated bid from the consortim of Smartmatic and local partner Total Information Management fail the post qualification of documents and technical evaluation.

The CCOS is similar to the precinct count optical scan (PCOS) in terms of being able to scan ballot marks, consolidate votes and transmit results electronically from the voting precinct to Comelec-designated servers, Comelec executive director Jose Tolentino added in a separate interview.

The only difference is the location of the machine. A PCOS is deployed in polling precincts while the CCOS will be housed in a central canvassing center, he said.

Melo said partial automation would most likely be considered if the first bidding failed and the winning bidder for the second bidding would not be able to supply the 82,200 poll machines required due to “lack of time.”

If a second bidding is held, the bids committee will need to draft another set of terms of reference, hold a pre-bid conference and proceed to actual bidding, which will take another one or two months, Melo said.

The bids committee is currently conducting post qualification of documents and poll machines of Smartmatic-TIM consortium, which pegged its bid at P7.2 billion.

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