DOTr, LTO ink phase-out deal with Stradcom to end dispute
MANILA — The Department of Transportation and Land Transportation Office sealed a so-called phase-out deal with the IT company Stradcom, ending a multi-year dispute and paving the way for better public services.
The DOTr said in a statement that it signed the agreement with the company that has been used by LTO since 1998. The one-year period will also allow a proper transition, pending the setting of bidding terms for a new LTO IT system, according to the DOTr.
“The new LTO-IT system aims to provide a sustainable solution to address the current system’s issues,” the DOTr said.
The department said the new system would “interlink” with the automation system of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB).
As such, the government will be able to eliminate cases of public utility vehicles securing an LTFRB franchise without LTO registration, as well as PUVs that are registered with the LTO but do not have an LTFRB franchise.
It will also make it easier for authorities to recover stolen vehicles, trace smuggled vehicles, prevent double registration and monitor unregistered vehicles.
DOTr said the agreement was done to allow LTO to subscribe to a new IT service provider covering “hardware, software, and data component requirements of the agency, and to give Stradcom time to turn over the source code and database to the government.”
The DOTr also agreed to settle the P8 billion debt of the government to Stradcom “given that Stradcom shall properly observe payment rules set by the Commission on Audit.” It said Stradcom would also be allowed to join the new bidding exercise.
The procurement of the P8.2-billion LTO IT system was ordered in 2011. The following year, the Department split the contract into two, due to the bidders’ failure to qualify for the project’s broad scope. The contract for software and data components was worth P3.4 billion, while the hardware component contract was for P4.8 billion.
But the bidding was delayed when the Quezon City Regional Trial Court issued a temporary restraining order due to internal ownership disputes in Stradcom.
In February 2013, Stradcom’s contract expired while the TRO was still in effect. To avoid disruption of transactions and reversion to manual operations, the government extended Stradcom’s contract through emergency procurement under the provisions of Republic Act 9184 or the Government Procurement Reform Act.
The court lifted the TRO in the same year and ruled that the government could proceed with the bidding for a new IT service provider. The Court of Appeals upheld the lower court’s decision in March 2016. SFM
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