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Comelec awards P1.6B biometrics deal

Posted on: September 7, 2009

Comelec awards P1.6B biometrics deal

By Anna Valmero
First Posted 13:15:00 09/07/2009

Filed Under: Technology (general), Elections

MANILA, Philippines—The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has awarded the P1.6 billion project for cleansing the computerized voters’ list to the Unison joint venture, an official said.

The lowest calculated responsive bid was submitted by Unison, a joint venture composed of Unison Computer Systems, NEC Philippines and Lamco Paper Products, said Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez.

In a resolution ( promulgated on August 25, the Comelec en banc
confirmed the resolution of the regular bids and awards committee (BAC) to award the contract to Unison after it passed the technical and legal requirements, including the post qualification of documents submitted to the body.

The bid covers the provision of automated fingerprint identification system (AFIS) to detect multiple records in the CVL and an additional 2,000 biometrics machines to be deployed in election offices to
augment the 600 units available nationwide, Jimenez said.

Under the project, Unison will also provide the setup of a transmission infrastructure; the renovation of Comelec’s IT department data center; and a centralized printing facility for generation of voter’s IDs, the official added.

Such infrastructure would provide real-time transmission of captured biometrics from Comelec election offices nationwide to the Comelec main office in Intramuros, which will facilitate printing of voter’s IDs.

Technical support for the overall services will be
provided for a year, said Jimenez.

Comelec BAC earlier “post-disqualified” Strategic Alliance Holdings Inc. (SAHI) and Tiger IT’s bid of P1.2 billion after its proposed system failed the post qualification stage.

Comelec previously used algorithmic matching to purge the CVL by matching the voter’s name and birthday records, but a change in surname for women upon marriage or even misspelling in encoded data
made it difficult for Comelec to detect multiple records.

Jimenez noted the shift to biometrics matching would solve this problem.

The P1.6 billion CVL cleansing project includes: validation of existing registration records using biometrics worth P300 million; online data submission and synchronization system at P50 million; AFIS matching and AFIS server applications at P1 billion; and the voter ID generation at P250 million.

On January, Congress ordered the cleansing of the CVL before the 2010 automated elections but Jimenez said this will be “realistically done before the 2013 elections” because 25 million of the 48 million voters
in the 2007 polls have yet to submit their biometrics that will be used to purge the CVL.


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