Comelec’s SBAC denies Gilat bid

May 22, 2009 9:44 pm 

MANILA, May 22 — The Special Bids and Awards Committee (SBAC) of the Commission on Election (Comelec) denied with finality the appeal of Gilat Sattlelite Network Ltd./F.F. Cruz and Co. Inc./Filipinas (prefab building) Systems, Inc. to acquire the government's P11.3-billion poll automation project.

The committee, headed by lawyer Ferdinand Rafanan, said Gilat failed to submit the missing documents, which were essentials for its compliance with the bidding requirements under the pass/fail criteria imposed by R.A. 9184 and its Implementing Rules and Regulations..

“Hence, the Motion for Reconsideration is denied. No additional Motion will be entertained by the Committee,” the decision reads.

The company can elevate its appeal before the commission en banc, but has to shell out P112 million, or 1 percent of the total project cost, as protest fee.

With Gilat’s denial, only three companies — Smartmatic/Total Information Management Corp., Indra Sistemas (Strategic Holdings, Inc./Hart Intercivic) and AMA group of companies/Election System and Software — still have the chance to acquire the automation project.

Smartmatic was the first to pass the three stages of the bidding, eligibility, technical and financial steps. The two others remain under scrutiny.

After ruling on the appeals, the SBAC will proceed to the demonstration of the machines and the post qualification proceedings.

The committee said it expected to announce the winning bidder before the end of the month.

The Comelec is looking to lease more than 60,000 machines with Precinct Count Optical Scan technology that will be utilized in the May 10, 2010 national and local elections.(PNA)

RMA/FGP/rsm

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