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Review of automation code set in February

Posted on: October 14, 2009

Review of automation code set in February

By Anna Valmero
INQUIRER.net
First Posted 15:14:00 10/14/2009

Filed Under: Eleksyon 2010, Elections

MANILA, Philippines—The Commission on Elections (Comelec) will hold a source code review of the 2010 automation software in February next year after the system gets tested by an international agency, according to Comelec chairman Jose Melo.

Melo clarified allegations of political watchdog Center for People Empowerment in Governance (CenPEG) that the automation source code should be opened for review right after the P7.2 billion automation project was awarded to Smartmatic-Total Information Management (TIM).

The Technical Evaluation Committee (TEC), a body created by Republic Act 9369, or the poll automation law, shall certify through an established international certification entity chosen by Comelec that the poll automation system is operating properly and securely according to provisions of the law, no later than three months before election day.

Comelec, through Resolution 8677, awarded the software certification project to Systest Labs after it tendered a bid of P70.04 million, said Melo. (To view resolution, visit http://www.comelec.gov.ph/modernization/2010_natl_local/resolutions/res_8677.html)

The automation software contains source code or programmable instructions that will be installed on poll machines to define operations such as counting, canvassing and electronic transmission of voting results from precincts to canvassing centers, said Melo.

“Interested local developers and political parties can join the source code review for the automation software in February after it gets certified. The law requires that the automation software has to be first tested and certified as functional by an international agency,” he added.

Melo said the source code review will be done under a controlled environment to prevent leakage of the materials and to protect the intellectual property rights of Smartmatic-TIM.

A team of 15-20 IT personnel will test and certify the automation source code of Smartmatic-TIM over the next four or five months, said Mark Philipps, vice president for compliance services of Systest Labs.

Systest Labs will issue weekly progress reports of the testing and certification process while carrying out necessary tweaks on the software if weaknesses or bugs are identified, said Philipps.

In a separate interview, Smartmatic-TIM spokesman Gene Gregorio said Smartmatic will work closely with the certification agency and will turn over its automation software to Systest Labs on Friday.

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