Comelec refurbish bid fails yet again
The Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Saturday declared a failure of the second bidding for the refurbishment of the 81,000 precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines it owns after the lone bidder was found ineligible for submitting a noncompliant bid.
In a resolution, Comelec special bids and awards committee 2 (SBAC 2) declared the joint venture of Dermalog, Avante and Stone of David ineligible.
It then declared a failure of bidding for the “supply and delivery of the refurbishment (with systems upgrade) of the existing PCOS machines, its consumables and ballots for the May 9, 2016, national, local and ARMM elections.”
Earlier, on June 30, the Comelec declared a failure of bidding for the refurbishment of the PCOS machines because “nobody submitted a bid. Three companies bought bid documents but none of them submitted a bid. Under the rules, that’s equivalent to a failure of bidding,” said the SBAC 2 at the time.
The three companies that had purchased bid documents were Smartmatic, Indra Sistemas S.A. and Vertex Business Applications Inc.
SBAC 2 chair Jubil Surmieda told reporters on Saturday that Dermalog had been given three days to file a motion for reconsideration. He said the SBAC 2 would have seven days to resolve the motion before it submits a report to the Comelec en banc.
During the open bidding, only the Dermalog et al. joint venture submitted a proposal, although two other companies—PCOS manufacturer Smartmatic-Total Information Management (TIM) Corp. and Miru Systems Co.—had also bought bidding documents.
Smartmatic pulled out of the bidding, citing doubts about the project’s feasibility due to lack of time, while Miru cited the tight timetable that constrained it from submitting a bid proposal.
The SBAC 2 found that the German-based Dermalog failed in several areas of the technical proposal it had submitted for the P3.1-billion project.
These include the firm’s lack of specifications on its personnel services and incomplete samples of polling paraphernalia, among other things.
The reuse of the 81,896 PCOS machines, to be supplemented by 23,000 Optical Mark Readers (OMR), is one of two options being considered by the Comelec for the 2016 polls.
The other option is to use all-new OMR units by combining the 23,000 and another new batch of 70,977 OMRs.
The Comelec sees the reuse of the PCOS machines as the most cost-effective option.
Miru Systems said that had it not been constrained from submitting a bid because of the tight timetable, it would have been capable of handling the project, citing its experience in South Korea.
Smartmatic, in a letter to the SBAC 2, said the refurbishment process, although cheaper, was even more complex than producing new machines.
“It entails stripping, retesting of all parts, procurement of new parts, reassembly and final testing quality assurance,” Smartmatic said, adding that the schedule set by the Comelec to deliver the machines was no longer achievable because of the numerous delays.
The Comelec on Wednesday announced it was set to issue a notice of award to Smartmatic-TIM, which had won the bidding to supply 23,000 OMR machines for P1.7 billion.
Smartmatic-TIM also won the bidding in late June to supply another batch of 70,977 new OMR machines that would be needed if the all-new option was adopted.
SBAC 1 has already passed a resolution to issue a notice of award to Smartmatic–TIM for the delivery of 70,977 OMR machines with a budget of P7,867,298,140.
But Comelec Chair Andres Bautista said the poll agency would not act just yet on the notice of award for the 70,977 OMR machines until after the bidding for the refurbishment of the PCOS machines is finished.
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