Comelec disqualifies bidders Smartmatic-TIM, Indra Sistemas SA
MANILA, Philippines—The Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Wednesday ruled out the participation of two technology providers in the bidding for the P2.5-billion contract involving the lease of 23,000 new voting machines for the 2016 elections.
The Comelec bids and awards committee (BAC) announced that Smartmatic-TIM and Indra Sistemas S.A. had been disqualified for failing to meet requirements in the second stage of bidding for the lease of optical mark reader (OMR) machines, which will supplement the refurbished 80,000 precinct count optical scan machines during next year’s presidential elections.
Smartmatic and Indra were the only bidders for the project.
Comelec-BAC chairperson Helen Flores said the two bidders were disqualified for submitting “non-responsive” financial proposals.
Flores said Smartmatic-TIM failed to completely fill up certain portions required by the Comelec in its Terms of Reference, and left blank such items as “Other Requirements,” “Risk Management and Contingency Planning,” “Change Management,” and “Quality Control and Quality Assurance.”
The Comelec official said it was considered “non-responsive” when a required item is provided but no price is indicated.
“But specifying a ‘zero’ in the said item would mean that it is being offered for free to the government,” Flores added.
Rival provider Indra meanwhile proposed a budget exceeding the approved amount by not including the “Option to Purchase” in their total bid proposal, an item that will cost another P1.18 billion.
In its financial proposal, Indra pegged the cost of the OMR lease contract at over P2.5 billion, or P2,503,518,000, the exact budget set by Comelec, which Flores described as “excessive” and “non-responsive,” as it exceeded the maximum cost of the project.
Records showed that Smartmatic proposed a budget of P1.72 billion for the lease of the OMR machines and an extra P505 million for the “Option to Purchase.”
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.