Smartmatic-TIM Corp. has again bagged another multi-million deal from the Commission on Elections (Comelec)—the transmission solution and management service contract for the 2016 elections.
Under the P558 million deal, Smartmatic will transmit the result of the national and local elections.
The election service provider also won the bidding for the supply of 93,977 units of brand new optical mark reader or vote counting machines (VCMs) worth P10.37 billion. It will also provide an additional 3,540 VCM worth P133.466 million, including a corresponding number of ballot boxes to be used next year.
Smarmatic was the supplier of the discredited 82,000 units of precinct count optical scan (PCOS) counting machines which the Comelec acquired for P9.32 billion. The machines were used during the 2010 and 2013 elections.
Comelec Chairman Andres Bautista said Smartmatic offered the lowest negotiated responsive bid of P507.718 million.
The company eased out three other bidders—Ezco Telecommunications Services and Solutions Corp. with a P505 million bid, Edgecomm Incorporated, P549.415 million, and SOG Philippines, Inc. P555 million.
Bautista said the commission resorted to negotiated procurement following two failed regular biddings.
He said Ezcom offered the lowest bid of P505 million but it does not have the expertise of Smartmatic.
“They submitted P505 million but Ezco has no track record. The Bids and Awards Committee found several deficiencies in respect to their bid and therefore they said that from a technical standpoint they are not recommending Ezcom. Smartmatic gave the second lowest financial bid and they have track record,” Bautista explained.
Under the terms of reference (TOR) of the contract, Smartmatic will provide “100 percent” transmission within 24 hours from the closing of the voting.
“I will ask and make sure that Smartmatic will provide us with a detailed roadmap as to how we will improve our transmission performance in 2016. As I said, this is one of the more critical areas of this election,” Bautista pointed out.
“We’re looking to improve on the performance of 2010, 2013 in 2016. As you know one of the more critical areas during elections is transmission and we’re looking for ways to enhance the transmission so that we will have a higher grade of 76 percent (transmission) in 2013,” he added.
Senior Commissioner Richard Christian Lim explained that it is mandatory for Smartmatic to submit 100 percent transmission in 24 hours from the close of voting.
According to Lim, one of the important factors in the awarding of the contract was the site survey in areas with failed transmissions.
“Smartmatic proposed one month to conduct the site survey bu Edgecomm proposed two to three months to conduct site survey. It’s a big factor, it affects our timeline,” he said.