Comelec: Smartmatic bags P1.7-B PCOS deal(The Philippine Star) | Updated July 30, 2015 - 12:00am
MANILA, Philippines - Smartmatic-Total Information Management (TIM) Corp. is getting a P1.7-billion contract for the supply of 23,000 new precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines for use in the 2016 elections.
Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Andres Bautista told congressmen yesterday that they have decided to award the contract to Smartmatic-TIM, the poll body’s automation service provider in the 2010 and 2013 polls.
“We made the decision just this morning after dismissing the motions for reconsideration of two bidders questioning the recommendation of the special bids and awards committee to give the contract to Smartmatic,” Bautista said.
He said the poll body is scheduled to issue the Notice of Award to the winning bidder today.
The bids committee earlier disqualified Smartmatic but the Comelec reversed its disqualification.
Bautista said the commission is already behind schedule in its preparations for next year’s elections.
“I hope that we do not encounter further delay,” he said.
Comelec Commissioner Robert Christian Lim said aside from the 23,000 new PCOS units, they are looking to either refurbish the 80,000 automated voting-counting machines used in the 2010 and 2013 polls or lease 71,000 new machines.
Lim said the refurbishment with upgrade option would cost P3.1 billion, while the lease option would cost P6.3 billion.
He said the budget for the refurbishment deal was initially pegged at P2.1 billion before it was increased to P2.8 billion and then to P3.1 billion because prospective bidders claimed the initial estimates were too low and they did not want to participate in the bidding.
He added that in case there is a failure of bidding for the two options, the Comelec would resort to negotiating the contract or to direct contracting.
Lim also said between August this year to February next year, the Comelec has scheduled various activities, which include the reception, testing and verification of PCOS units, testing of all software and mock elections.
After completing all these activities, he said the poll body should be ready for the combined presidential, congressional and local elections in May next year.