VIDEO: Cruz Bill Requiring Posting Small Purchase Orders Online Opposed at Hearing

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Guam – A Bill introduced by Vice Speaker B.J. Cruz drew fire during its public hearing Thursday during which it was called unworkable and costly.

Bill #457 would require that small purchase awards and open purchase orders be posted on line.

GovGuam agencies would be required to post online any purchase orders between $500 and $15,000 dollars for supplies and services and any purchase orders between $500 and $50,000 dollars for construction within 72 hours.

However, Procurement Policy Council Chairman John Unpingco testified against the measure saying there is no funding for it and the expectations are unrealistic.

“General Services Agency management estimates that it will take one employee at least five to six hours per day to just post the awards and another employee to gather the data to input it,” said Unpingco adding,“With it’s current workload the GSA personnel can hardly meet the demand yet with this increased demand on them they simply cannot cope with it.” Unpingco says this will result in a longer wait for GSA to process paperwork.

 The bill’s author Vice-Speaker B.J. Cruz however says it’s a rather simple task that would expose a practice whereby large purchase orders are broken down into smaller chunks that aren’t required to be announced and then sole-sourced to one person.

“It’s one small entry they do more tweeting down there and face booking than would be necessary with this and they get paid for doing it on government time,” said Cruz adding, “If it should be a $180 thousand dollar bid then announce it don’t break it up and then get a friend of yours to be able to put in ten purchase orders or fifteen purchase orders for a hundred and or 14 thousand nine hundred and ninety nine and no one will know about it except for you and I.”

Currently purchase orders under $15 thousand dollars don’t have to be announced or put out to bid.