IT firm seeks TRO vs SEA Games organizers over bidding mess

Beatrice Go
IT firm seeks TRO vs SEA Games organizers over bidding mess
The 2019 SEA Games gets entangled in a legal controversy just a month before the country hosts the regional biennial meet


MANILA, Philippines – Information technology company Atos filed for a temporary restraining order against the Philippine SEA Games Organizing Committee (PHISGOC), Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) and the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) over a controversial bidding on the Games’ information system management.

Atos questioned the validity of the public bidding held last August 2019 for the event’s technical services – claiming that the Southeast Asian Games Information Systems (SEAGIS) project had already been awarded to the company as the winning bidder on January 16, 2019.

The company, a global business unit of the Atos Group, has handled the information system service of major sporting events, including the Olympics, the Asian Games, and the 2015 SEA Games in Singapore. 

The development unfolded just a month before the Philippines hosts the 30th SEA Games from November 30 to December 11.

Atos, through its lawyer Jared Amoroso, said it’s no longer commenting on the matter since it’s “already pending in court.” The TRO was filed on October 14, 2019. 

PSC chairman William “Butch” Ramirez clarified with Rappler that he’s not a signatory in the contract while POC president Bambol Tolentino said he had no involvement in the transaction. 

Rappler has reached out to PHISGOC, but officials have yet to comment. 

Last February 2019, PHISGOC inked a memorandum of agreement with Atos which was signed by chairman Alan Peter Cayetano while former POC president Ricky Vargas and Ramirez were present to witness the signing. 

PHISGOC allegedly instructed Atos to commence work on the SEAGIS project and follow the timelines and deliverables. 

Atos claimed that the SEA Games organizing committee has already used and signed off 6 different services that were already rolled out this year – live system operation; game management system; result distribution system and integration; timing, scoring and results; infrastructure and venue inspections; and project management services. 

According to Atos, PHISGOC has already registered 13,000 participants from the 11 countries in its accreditation system and has 2,200 entries across all sports in its live system operation. 

Atos has already incurred expenses worth at least US $3 million for the work it has so far accomplished. 

But on August 23, 2019, PHISGOC through Carlo Marcelo asked Atos to hold off any shipments – particularly the equipment from Peru –  “until they have all the information and procedures in place.”

This was followed by the announcement of Public Bidding 19-276-PSC, which Atos also applied for eventually “to preserve its remedies within the DBM structure.” However, Atos was disqualified on September 17, 2019. – 








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Beatrice Go

More commonly known as Bee, Beatrice Go is a multimedia sports reporter for Rappler, who covers Philippine sports governance, national teams, football, and the UAAP. Stay tuned for her news and features on Philippine sports and videos like the Rappler Athlete’s Corner and Rappler Sports Timeout.