Automated poll contract signing on June 10
No less than Commission on Elections chairman Jose Melo has confirmed that the consortium of Smartmatic/Total Information Management (TIM) is on its way to bagging the P11.2 billion contract that would fully automate the 2010 elections.
Melo said the chances of rejecting Smartmatic/TIM—the lone bidder that remained standing after a month-long bidding process—is “practically nil.”
Melo’s statement came two days after the Special Bids and Awards Committee (SBAC) recommended to Comelec en banc the award of the contract to the consortium which submitted a P7.2 billion tender or P4 billion less than the contract price. Six other consortia had been disqualified during the stringent process of establishing bidders’ eligibility, technical and financial capabilities.
JOSE MELO: It’s all over
The Comelec chair’s statement also echoed that of SBAC chairman Ferdinand Rafanan, who said earlier there was zero chance that Comelec would reject the Smartmatic/TIM, which emerged as the remaining bidder for the contract.
Rafanan on Tuesday submitted the SBAC recommendation along with the report of the 57-member SBAC Technical Working Group and the Comelec Advisory Council. The report was backed up by separate reports from election watchdogs, members of the academe and experts from the information technology industry.
According to Melo, he would invite former Supreme Court colleagues consitutionalists and associate justices Hugo Guttierez Jr. and Vicente Mendoza to lead a panel that would conduct a review of the contract.
Comelec is set to sign the contract with Smartmatic/TIM on June 10. Comelec said the House resolution approved Tuesday night setting up a constituent assembly would not lead to postponement of the elections.
We cannot postpone the elections just because of it. The resolution will not affect our preparations for the 2010 elections, said Melo.
The Dutch firm and local partner TIM is majority stockholder of a Taiwan-based firm that could produce 82,000 precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines that would be used to electronically count and transmit votes in the coming 2010 polls.