Smartmatic International has maintained that it has exclusive rights over the precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines, which gives it sole authority to refurbish the equipment for the 2016 presidential balloting. Cesar Flores, the Venezuelan firm’s president for Asia, said the Commission on Elections (Comelec) should award the contract to repair and upgrade 80,000 PCOS machines to Smartmatic as it owned the rights to its parts. “If you open this to other bidders, the other bidders will try to [get into the] parts, which they cannot [do so] because we have exclusivity on those parts,” Flores told reporters in a recent interview. He added that the Comelec would benefit a lot if it would forgo its plan to bid out the project and award it instead to Smartmatic as the former wouldn’t have to seek a recertification if new software were needed for some of its parts.
“If you change the printer, for example, you have to change the source code of the PCOS machines [and] they will have to provide a new software, which has to be recertified, which will take six months,” said Flores.
The PCOS machines were first used in the Philippines in the 2010 presidential elections, vastly speeding up the counting of votes.
The same machines were used in the midterm elections in 2013, but glitches marred their use, delaying the proclamation of a number of candidates, raising questions about their accuracy and reliability.
Full Article: Smartmatic: We own PCOS rights | Inquirer Business.