2 groups bid for touchscreen voting system contract
MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Saturday, December 6, opened the bids for a touchscreen voting system for the 2016 national elections.
The Comelec Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) started evaluating the bids and eligibility documents of a joint venture led by Smartmatic-Total Information Management (TIM) Corporation and of another joint venture between Scytl Secured Electronic Voting and Vibal Group Inc.
The companies were among the 6 prospective bidders that signified a wish to join the two-stage competitive bidding for the lease of a direct recording electronic (DRE) voting system.
The Smartmatic-TIM and Scytl-Vibal groups were the only ones that submitted eligibility requirements and initial technical proposals on time.
The Smartmatic-TIM joint venture includes Smartmatic International Holdings BV and Jarltech International Inc. Meanwhile, Scytl and Vibal separately bought bid documents to join the bidding, but jointly submitted one bid proposal.
The Comelec seeks to lease 410 units of precinct-based DRE voting machines, which use touchscreen technology. These machines will be involved in a pilot project to explore the use of touchscreen voting in future automated elections.
The approved budget for the contract of the DRE election system is P32.6 million. It includes the procurement of touchscreen voting machines and ballot boxes, as well as the hiring of technical support personnel.
No ballots will be procured, because the touchscreen feature of DRE machines will do away with it.
On Thursday, the Comelec BAC also opened the bids of Smartmatic-TIM and Indra Sistemas for the lease of additional optical mark reader (OMR) voting machines for the 2016 polls.
A total of 23,000 OMR machines will be leased by the Comelec to augment the existing 82,000 precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines, which also use OMR technology, in the poll body's inventory.
These PCOS machines were supplied by Smartmatic-TIM for the 2010 and 2013 polls. Smartmatic became the subject of a blacklist petition by poll watchdogs due to issues surrounding the company and their PCOS machines. The Comelec BAC junked their complaints on Thursday.
The Comelec bids committee hopes to award the contracts for both the OMR and DRE election systems by February 2015. – Rappler.com