Poll bid winner faces disqualification


THE company that won the P727.2-million Voter Verification System (VVS) project—Safran Morpho and Comfac Corp. Joint Venture (Safran-Comfac JV)—faces disqualification for non-compliance with requirements and rules of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) Bids and Awards Committee (BAC).

The disqualification was sought by Indra Sistemas S.A., the second lowest bidder, in an 11-page motion for reconsideration (MR) filed over the weekend before the Comelec.

“Indra prays that the Honorable Committee reverse its Resolution No. 1 dated March 11, 2015 and declare the Safran-Comfac Joint Venture as ineligible to participate in the instant bidding,” it said.

Resolution No.1 declared Safran-Comfac JV as having the lowest calculated bid for the lease of 23,000 VVS units to be used in the 2016 national and local elections.

Safran-Comfac JV submitted a bid of P470,910,720 compared to Indra’s P581,672,000.

In its motion, Indra claimed that Safran-Comfac JV failed to submit a VVS demo unit during submission of bids in violation of the Comelec-BAC’s requirement.

“In light of its failure to include a demo unit of its VVS machine in its bid submission, the non-discretionary ‘pass/fail’ criterion should have applied, and accordingly, the joint venture’s first envelope should have been marked as ‘failed’ and its financial bid should not have been considered,” Indra said.

It added that Safran-Comfac JV also failed to submit a soft copy of the technical documentation and of the source code as required by the BAC.

“The importance of a soft copy of the source code cannot be overlooked. Once an Automated Election System technology is selected for implementation, the Comelec is mandated to make the source code available and open to any interested party or group, which may conduct its own review,” Indra said.

Aside from the absence of a demo unit and source code soft copy, Indra also underscored the failure of its rival firm to indicate the contract amount and value in the Sworn Statement of All Ongoing and Completed Contracts; submission of a “patently false and erroneous” calculation of their Net Financial Contracting Capacity (NFCC); their Bid Security not being executed in the proper form; and their Omnibus Sworn Statement not being in the prescribed form.

“Indra Sistemas prays that the Honorable Committee consider the foregoing observations regarding the bid documents submitted by the Safran-Comfac Joint Venture, and apply the non-discretionary ‘pass/fail’ criterion, and declare the absence, incompleteness or patent insufficiency of requirement ‘fail’,” it said.

As the lowest calculated bidder, the joint venture still needs to undergo the post-qualification evaluation to verify that it has 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 for the award.

In case of disqualification of the winning bidder, the second lowest bidder will be the one to undergo post-qualification evaluation.

The VVS units will be pilot-tested together with the optical machine reader (OMR) in the 2016 elections, which will be supplementing the old Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines.

The VVS will serve as additional security measure to ensure that the voter has complied with the biometric requirements under Republic Act (RA) 10367.

RA 10367 mandates that the records of voters who fail to have their biometrics taken will be deactivated.

It requires that all new and existing voters should have their biometrics taken.


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