Group questions Comelec on flash card deal
Sheila Crisostomo (The Philippine Star) - January 11, 2013 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Civil society group Center for People Empowerment in Governance (CenPeg) yesterday questioned the Commission on Elections (Comelec) for awarding a contract to supply compact flash (CF) cards for the 2013 polls to Smartmatic International Corp.

Bobby Tuazon, CenPeg director for Policy Studies, said the Comelec should not have given the contract to Smartmatic “considering its dismal and disastrous performance in 2010” polls.

“We question that. How was the contract for CF cards awarded to Smartmatic, the same company that mishandled the CF cards in 2010? What is the legal and moral basis for that?” he added.

The contract involves 82,200 CF cards worth P550 each or a total of P45.21 million.

The 2010 polls were delayed after Smartmatic had “misconfigured” many CF cards used in the precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines.

Each card contains specific pre-programmed information like precinct number, number of registered voters and names of candidates, so it cannot be used in other precincts.

To address this blunder, the Comelec and Smartmatic scrambled to retrieve, replace, and reconfigure the affected CF cards.

Aside from CF cards, Smartmatic was also awarded a P154.576-million contract to supply 15,000 units of transmission modems. Each modem is worth P10,305.12.

Smartmatic was also given the contract to conduct electronic transmission of election results, a contract amounting to P486,507,840.

 

BOBBY TUAZON CARDS COMELEC COMELEC AND SMARTMATIC CONTRACT PEOPLE EMPOWERMENT POLICY STUDIES POLLS SMARTMATIC SMARTMATIC INTERNATIONAL CORP
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