THE Commission on Elections (Comelec) disqualified the joint venture bid of technology provider Smartmatic- Total Information Management (TIM) Corp. for the supply and lease of 23,000 units of counting machines that will be used in the national and local elections next year.
The contract is worth P2.503 billion.
The Comelec’s Bids and Awards Committee said Smartmatic failed to submit valid Articles of Incorporation. Also, the machines used in the demonstration did not meet the required technical specifications.
With its decision, the poll body had to declare a failure of bidding because no valid bid proposal was tendered. Another bidder, Indra Sistemas, S.A., was disqualified earlier for submitting non-responsive bids.
The BAC ruled to conduct a mandatory review for the lease of election management system and precinct count optical mark reader or optical scan system and to pursue a second bidding for the 23,000 units of precinct-based optical mark reader (OMR) counting machines. The Comelec said these machines should have at least two storage devices and capable of writing to the same all data/files, audit log, statistics and ballot images simultaneously.
The OMR machines were supposed to augment the 82,000 units of precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines, also supplied by Smartmatic, but the use of the latter was sidetracked by a Supreme Court decision that voided the P268-million “midnight deal” between the Comelec and Smarmatic for the diagnostics, repair and refurbishments of the PCOS machines.
Comelec spokesman James Jimenez on Monday said Smartmatic-TIM filed a motion for reconsideration.
The BAC disqualified Smartmatic-TIM after the bidding procedure. The bids committee dismissed the joint venture’s motion for reconsideration. However, the Comelec en banc reversed the committee’s ruling, leaving Smartmatic-TIM Corp. as the lone bidder.
Smartmatic, being the lowest calculated bidder, underwent a post-qualification evaluation prior to the awarding of the contract to determine if Smartmatic complied with all legal and technical requirements.
Failure to pass the legal and technical requirements shall be ground for the forfeiture of the bid security and disqualification of the bidder.