A quick update on automation: Last monday, 14 January 2008, the COMELEC received a draft terms of reference and request for proposal (TOR/RFP) from the Advisory Council. The document was vetted by the AC and found to be consistent with its recommendations – that the ARMM polls be automated; and that the solutions offered could be direct recording electronic (DRE) or based on optical mark reader (OMR) technology. The TOR/RFP has since been reviewed by the COMELEC for consistency with the governing law (RA 9369) and existing policy – mostly to do with period for doing things, especially in relation to the timetable for counting and canvassing.
Last friday, 18 January, the reviewed TOR/RFP was returned to the AC and the Technical Evaluation Committee (TEC) for its consideration of the suggestions made by the COMELEC senior staff. We expect that the AC will then finalize its recommendations and submit a completed final draft TOR/RFP to the Commission en banc. When the en banc approves it, the TOR/RFP gets sent out and will hopefully attract bidders.
The AC is composed of representatives from the Commission on Information Communication Technology (CICT), the DOST, the DepEd, the UP, and various representatives from the private sector including people from the ICT industry and from civil society, such as PPCRV. The AC also sits in the Bids and Awards Committee as a non-voting member.