MANILA - The Commission on Elections (Comelec) bids and awards committee has declared a failure of bidding for the lease of additional optical mark reader (OMR) and precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines, as well as the new direct recording electronic technology (DRE) machines.
This, after bidders Smartmatic and Indra Sistemas were disqualified for submitting non-responsive bids in their financial proposals presented to the committee on Wednesday morning.
The Comelec has an approved budget of P2.5 billion for the contract. This should be the maximum amount, according to the rules.
Indra Sistemas appeared to have overshot the budget when it proposed a P2.5-billion total lease price with an additional P1.1-billion total purchase option.
The BAC reiterated that it was clear in their notice to eligible bidders that the approved budget for the contract is the maximum cost considering the option to purchase and not just the lease.
Smartmatic, meanwhile, presented a much lower proposal of P1.7 billion for the lease price and an additional P505-million total purchase option.
But the poll body called out the incomplete items in its proposal documents when Smartmatic did not indicate the price of several of their services.
No price or at least a zero was placed in the items of other requirements, including items for risk management and contingency planning, change of management, quality control and quality assurance.
Because of the same reason, Smartmatic was also disqualified in its separate bid for the provision of over 400 direct recording electronic or touch screen machines.
The BAC will immediately conduct a mandatory review for the two-stage competitive bidding and proceed with the next cycle of competitive public bidding that will be opened to other bidders other than Smartmatic and Indra Sistemas.
Had this not happened, the original schedule would be to award the winning bidder by the middle of March and then proceed to the required preparations for the 2016 elections.
Atty. James Jimenez earlier assured that despite the delay, there will still be enough time for the preparations, as they were able to start the bidding process late last year.