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Comelec: Lone bidder in 2025 automated poll system deal 'ineligible'

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) said the lone bidder in the 2025 automated election system (AES) is "ineligible" on Thursday.

The Comelec Special Bids and Awards Committee declared the first "failure of competitive bidding" for the lease of the AES which will be used for the 2025 national and local elections (NLE).

Comelec spokesperson Rex Laudiangco said the lone bidder for the contract, a joint venture of Miru Systems Co. Ltd., Integrated Computer Systems, St. Timothy Construction Corporation and Centerpoint Solutions Technologies, Inc., the lone bidder for the project, was not able to meet the legal requirements of the lease contract.

The first failure of competitive bidding was declared the same day the Comelec SBAC opened the bidding process for the lease of Full Automation System with Transparency Audit/Count (FASTrAC) on Thursday.

"Dulot ng ineligibility ng MIRU-ICS-STCC-CPSTI Joint Venture, pati na rin ang pagiging lone bidder nito, ay nagdeklara ang SBAC-AES ng unang failure ng competitive bidding para sa Lease ng FASTrAC para sa 2025 NLE," Laudiangco said.

(Due to the ineligibility of the joint venture, as well as the fact that it is the lone bidder for the project, the SBAC-AES has declared the first failure of competitive bidding for the lease of FASTrAC for the 2025 NLE.)

Laudiangco said the SBAC declared the joint venture "ineligible" for the lease contract due to its failure to follow the requirements provided under the Government Procurement Reform Act.

The following deficiencies are the lack of english translation in the documents and the incomplete undertaking to enter into a joint venture agreement where the lone bidder only indicated the word "jointly" and not "jointly and severally liability". 

Laudiangco said that the SBAC immediately conducted a mandatory review of the procurement project after the proceedings, a requirement under RA 9184 before starting the second cycle of competitive public bidding.

The Comelec official said the SBAC might open the bid anew on January 4, 2024 should the notices for bidding be posted within the day.

"Time is of the essence po kaya tinapos na din po kanina ang mandatory review," Laudiangco said.

The Miru-led  joint venture lcan still join the second round of bidding for the FASTrAC as long as the "deficiencies and defects" of their bidding documents are "cured," Laudiangco said.--RF, GMA Integrated News