Comelec taps US firm to review source code in 2016 automated polls | Inquirer News

Comelec taps US firm to review source code in 2016 automated polls

By: - Reporter / @santostinaINQ
/ 08:28 PM August 02, 2015

While it has yet to decide on which voting machines to use in the 2016 polls, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) has already tapped a company that will review and certify the source code of the automated election system (AES).

Comelec Commissioner Christian Robert Lim said the Comelec has decided to again tap SLI Global Solutions (also known as Systems Lab, Inc. / Systest Labs) to conduct the required review and certification of the source code for the 2016 AES.

“The commission en banc approved the recommendation of the Technical Evaluation Committee (TEC). They have recommended the choice of Systems Lab, Inc., which will be conducting the source code review abroad. That will be the international certification entity,” said Lim, chair of the poll body’s Steering Committee for the 2016 elections.


The source code is the program instructions that will define how the AES will operate.


The poll body also tapped SLI Global Solutions for the same task during the 2010 and 2013 elections.

Lim explained that the US-based company was chosen among the four companies recommended by the Comelec Advisory Council (CAC) and TEC.

“What happened was a limited source bidding…only two responded (but) one lost its license. Also, between the two, we compared the prices and based on the recommendation, Systems Lab offered the cheapest price for its services, which is $743,000,” said Lim.

Under the Government Procurement Act (Republic Act No. 9184), limited source bidding is a “method of procurement that involves direct invitation to bid by the Procuring Entity from a set of pre-selected suppliers or consultants with known experience and proven capability relative to the requirements of a particular contract.”

The source code review will start as soon as the Comelec selects the voting machines it will use in the May 2016 elections, according to Lim.

“The vendor (service provider) will be the one to release the source code to the international entity,” he added.


Lim said the source code review of Systems Lab would run for five months.

He added that they would like to make the source code available early to political parties for their own scrutiny during the review by the international entity.

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.

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The other option is to use all-new OMR units by combining the 23,000 and another new batch of 70,977 OMRs.

TAGS: Commission on Elections, INC, Source Code, technology

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