Citing transparency, a poll official on Wednesday said the Commission on Elections (Comelec) should have conducted a public bidding for the refurbishment of Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines that will be recycled for the 2016 elections.
“Transparency is key to gaining public trust and confidence in elections. Public bidding affords the public the opportunity to observe the procurement phase of election preparations. Certainly, a credible procurement procedure brings more trust and confidence in the electoral process itself, which in turn, results (in) better public acceptance of election results,” Comelec Commissioner Luie Guia said.
Comelec Commissioner Arthur Lim also did not favor the decision of the Comelec en banc to award the diagnostic phase of repairs of the PCOS machines to Smartmatic-TIM.
Smartmatic-TIM is the owner of the 80, 000 PCOS machines procured by the Comelec and used in the 2010 and 2013 elections.
The Comelec en banc earlier explained that the timeline of preparations for the 2016 polls would be greatly affected if a public bidding were to be conducted for the diagnostics of the 80,000 PCOS machines
“Indeed, timeline (is) important, especially in preparing for (elections) with fixed date … equally important, however, is public trust and the credibility of the electoral process,” Guia said, apparently unconvinced by the en banc’s reason for opting to give part of the P1.2-billion refurbishing contract to Smartmatic-TM.