Guam – The Department of Education has until September 30th to finalize contracts for more than $50 Million dollars in projects because the funding expires. While the Department has already secured contracts for a number of the projects, bid protests could cause the Department to loose $2.5 Million of the funds.
A new public law requiring the Office of Public Accountability to expedite procurement protests may not apply in this case since the protests were filed in January which was before the law passed.
“Unfortunately the OPA has determined that this particular protest, because it started before the law was passed its my understanding that they’re not practicing these expedited procedures,” Taitano told PNC.
Hearings for the protests are scheduled for July and if the OPA decides in DOE’s favor Taitano believes the contract could be processed in time. However if the OPA requires the Department to re-bid, Taitano says it the deadline would be more challenging to meet, yet possible.
The contracts in question are for Structural Repairs in the North A Package (Astumbo MS, Finegayan ES, Machananano ES, Maria Ulloa ES, VSA Benevente MS, and Wettengel Elementary) and the North B Package (DL Perez ES, FB Leon Guerrero MS, JM Guerrero ES, and Simon Sanchez HS.
Meanwhile construction on a number of other projects is likely to move forward without problems in the coming weeks.
STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Classroom renovations at Untalan Middle School’s Barrigada campus and George Washington High School are scheduled to begin in July, the contracts for those projects are still pending signatures. Contracts have been executed for fire alarm installations and electrical upgrades at a number of schools in the north and central parts of the island. Bidding has been opened for other fire and electrical contracts as well as contracts for restroom renovations and door and window repairs.