• Smartmatic foe upbeat about OMR bid success


    While Smartmatic-TIM eyes winning the lease of 23,000 Precinct Count Optical Scan machines, its rival Indra Sistemas S.A. on Tuesday said it is confident about bagging the deal for Optical Mark Reader (OMR) technology that will augment the 82,000 PCOS machines in the inventory of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) for use in the 2016 polls.

    In an interview with reporters, Javier Moreno, Indra spokesman on technical matters, noted that they have submitted all the requirements that the Comelec needed in order to be declared eligible to bid for the P2.5-billion contract.

    Also, he said, the Comelec had unanimously declared that Indra Sistemas is eligible to vie for the project.

    Moreno added that the machines that Indra presented before the Comelec are more advanced in terms of image and security features.

    He said image quality is important because the higher its resolution is, the more accurate the counting of the votes will be.

    Moreno also noted that in previous elections, there were issues about some marks in ballots that cannot be read because of poor scanned image and presence of digital lines.

    Also, he said, in the 2010 and 2013 elections, results were transmitted without being encrypted or without being digitally signed.

    As a result, Moreno added, the results that were sent to canvassing centers were not authenticated.

    The Comelec’s Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) had also unanimously gave Indra Sistemas the thumbs-up, citing compliance with eligibility requirements and presentation of an initial technical proposal.

    Meanwhile, Smartmatic-TIM was declared eligible by the five-man BAC, via a 3-2 vote, after its eligibility was hampered by questions on its tax clearance certificate and Articles of Incorporation.

    Only Indra Sistemas and Smartmatic-TIM submitted bid proposals for the lease of 23,000 units of additional OMR machines, which will be used to complement the old PCOS machines deployed by Smartmatic-TIM in the 2016 polls.


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