Comelec opts for negotiated bidding on transmission of 2016 poll results
MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has decided to directly negotiate with prospective providers of the election results transmission services that will be used in the May 2016 polls following two failed public biddings.
“We had two failed biddings. And therefore, we thought the prudent recourse of action to take is to directly meet with telco providers,” said Comelec Chair Andres Bautista in a press briefing.
The electronic results transmission service (ERTS) is the system used in the city/municipal, provincial, and national canvassing centers to send and receive transmitted results of voting.
The service provider will be the one to supply the system, equipment, and services of the ERTS.
Bautista said they have been eyeing the Globe Telecom and Smart Communications, among other firms, as service providers for the P558-million project.
He said the poll body would directly dealing with the top two telecom companies to ensure better transmission rate in 2016.
Republic Act No. 9184 provides that the negotiated procurement method, wherein the Procuring Entity directly negotiates a contract with a technically, legally, and financially capable supplier, is allowed in case of two failed biddings.
Bautista said that going through a direct contracting would allow the Comelec to minimize the intervention of a foreign entity.
Smartmatic – Total Information Management (TIM) Corporation was the service provider for the election results transmission during the 2010 and 2013 elections.
Meanwhile, the De La Salle University (DLSU) has agreed to host the forthcoming source code review for the 2016 automated election system (AES), the Comelec said.
The source code review will start on October 1 and will involve the analysis of the Election Management System (EMS), Consolidation and Canvassing System (CCS), and the Optical Mark Reader (OMR) machines, according to Bautista.
“This is a seven-month process… the base source code review will start on October 1… The customized source code review is scheduled to be undertaken in February 2016,” he said.
The base source code is the one to be submitted by the winning service provider for the 2016 AES while the customized source code is the one that will include the inputs from the Comelec.
The source code review at the DLSU in Manila is parallel to the one to be conducted by SysTest Labs Inc., which is the independent, third-party reviewer tapped by the Comelec.
He said the venue for the source code review would be a 200-square meter area inside the DLSU campus that would be equipped with 15 computers and covered by closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras.
The source code review at the DLSU is open to political parties, information technology experts, members of the academe, and civil society organizations.
“It is the responsibility of the Comelec to educate and try to get the people to understand the process because if we build confidence in the process, I think it will be more accepted,” said Bautista. SFM
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