Smartmatic-TIM bags another Comelec deal
Smartmatic-Total Information Management (TIM) Corp. has won another contract for the May 2016 polls, this time to provide election results transmission services (ERTS).
Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez on Thursday said the Commission on Elections (Comelec) awarded the P558-million ERTS contract to Smartmatic.
“Of the four bidders, Smartmatic submitted the lowest bid” of P507,718,000, Jimenez said.
“Based on the timeline submitted, it is ready to undertake the project,” he added.
Smartmatic beat three other bidders: Ezcom Telecommunications Service and Solutions Corp., Edgecomm Inc. and SOG Philippines Inc.
“The other bidders submitted incomplete eligibility requirements. There were some that failed to properly present their technical capabilities. There were also those that did not have plans for integration, others did not have a timeline… very incomplete so we were not really able to gauge their capabilities,” Jimenez said.
2 failed public biddings
He noted that with Smartmatic’s bid, the government will be saving P50,282,000 in the project.
The ERTS is the system that transmits the election results from the polling precincts to the canvassing centers and the Comelec’s central server.
Smartmatic’s latest contract was the product of a negotiated bidding following two failed public biddings.
Republic Act No. 9184 provides that the negotiated procurement method—where the procuring entity directly negotiates a contract with a technically, legally and financially capable supplier—is allowed in cases of two failed public biddings.
Aside from presenting the lowest bid, Smartmatic also had the best technical capability compared to the three other firms, the Comelec said.
These included a proposal to undertake site surveys of areas with a history of failed transmission within a period of three to four weeks, as well as its experience in providing transmission services in the 2010 and 2013 elections.
Complete within 24 hours
Comelec Chair Andres Bautista said the terms of reference for the ERTS project requires the service provider to complete the transmission of election results (TOR) within 24 hours from the time voting closes.
“Right now the TOR provides for 100 percent transmission within 24 hours,” Bautista said.
But back in 2013, Smartmatic was able to attain only a 76-percent transmission rate by the time the Comelec began proclaiming the winning candidates.
“The point of our bidding now is that the bidders should be able to show that the problems encountered in previous polls would be prevented from happening again,” Jimenez said.
Smartmatic is the longtime supplier of electronic voting machines to the Comelec. It has drawn much controversy for the quality and features of the machines it has supplied, amid yet unproven allegations that these could be used to cheat by those who know how to manipulate the machines. The Venezuelan company has continually denied any discrepancies in its products.
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