OMRs ready by January – Comelec

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THE Commission on Elections (Comelec) is confident that all 93,977 Optical Mark Reader (OMR) machines will have been delivered for inspection and testing even if it has yet to sign a contract with technology provider Smartmatic Corp.

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Comelec Chairman Andres Bautista on Tuesday said negotiations for the first lot of 23,000 OMRs is ongoing. The contract may be signed either on Wednesday or Thursday.

“After that we’re looking to issue a notice of award. With respect to the (second lot of) 70,977, the contract negotiations for that would not be as difficult as the first because we have already a template,” Bautista said.

Senior Commissioner Robert Christian Lim said the machines will be delivered in several phases and the last delivery will be on Jan. 16, 2016.

For the 23,000 units, the first five machines will be delivered in September, 200 in October, 6,000 in November, 6,000 in December and the rest in January 2016.

“For the 70,977 units, we expect the same proportional delivery,” Lim said.

He said Smartmatic will be penalized if it fails to meet the delivery deadline.

“We will deduct from their contract the total penalty which is equivalent to one-fourth of 1 percent of the contract price for every day of delay,” Lim explained.

The Comelec’s approved budget contract for the 23,000 OMR units was P2.5 billion. The contract for the 70,997 OMR machines is P9.7 billion.

Bautista said delivery of the machines should not be delayed so that the commission will have time to test them to ensure that they are in accordance with the required specifications. Also, Comelec field personnel will demonstrate to teachers the use of the machines.

The counting machines will be manufactured in Sho Tzu, China. Some Comelec officials will go to the manufacturing site to inspect the machines, Bautista said.

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