Technology provider Smartmatic Corp. held a demonstration at the Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Tuesday to prove that the upgraded scanning system of its machines is compliant with the poll body’s technical demand.
The company hopes that by presenting the upgraded version of its precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machine, the Comelec will reverse its disqualification from supplying 23,000 brand new optical mark reader (OMR) units to be used in the elections next year.
Smartmatic demonstrated that the upgraded PCOS machine, the brand name of its scanning system, is capable of simultaneously saving on two storage devices as demanded by the Comelec, according to James Jimenez, the commission’s spokesman.
Smartmatic’s compliance with this technical requirement will “certainly” reverse its disqualification, said Jimenez, adding that in Smartmatic’s old PCOS, a back-up data is stored only after every important data is entered on the main storage device.
Meanwhile, Smartmatic president Cesar Flores said his company has presented conclusive evidence that its upgraded PCOS system is 100 percent compliant with Comelec’s demand.
“I hope this is the last hurdle we need to pass to show that this system is 100 percent compliant with all the technical requirements of the Comelec,” he said, adding that the demonstration was also a form of “protest because we won this bid fair and square (last March).”
“We also have the most economical proposal at P1.7 billion, which is about P800 million below the Comelec’s P2.503 billion approved budget contract,” said Flores. “We have given the best price in the worldwide market when it comes to (offering the best) voting machine,” he added.
Reacting to competitor Indra Sistemas S.A., and its proposed bid of more than P1 billion, Floers said, “The difference in price is huge.”
The Comelec scheduled on June 30 the second opening of bid proposals for the supply of 23,000 OMR worth P2.503 billion, alongside with the bidding for the supply of another 80,000 units of OMR worth P7.867 billion.
Smartmatic won the OMR project in March but it was disqualified in a post-qualification process for failing to submit valid articles of incorporation and for the failure of its machine system to have two storage devices, and to simultaneously write (on the storage device) all data/files, audit log, statistics and ballot images.
But Flores said his company’s disqualification was a “silly misunderstanding.”