Guam – It’s all in play and set to run its course. That from Public Auditor BJ Cruz on the status of JJ Global Services’ bid protest against Guam Visitors Bureau. As PNC reported early Wednesday evening, JJ’s president alleges that his company was ganged up on and railroaded out of a landscape maintenance contract that was then awarded to a favored player.
From this point forward, it’s a matter of process.
“Yes, we received it yesterday,” Cruz told PNC on Thursday about the early status of the process.
Pacific News Center paid Public Auditor BJ Cruz a visit in search of answers at his Hagatna office late Thursday morning.
PNC broke the JJ Global Services bid protest story early Wednesday evening, and by 10:39 that night, Auditor Cruz was “Whatsapping” us that his Office of Public Accountability had formally received JJ Global Service’s written protest against the Visitors Bureau.
PNC picked up a stamped copy of page one of the protest at JJ’s Harmon Industrial Park office for good measure on Thursday.
During a brief meeting at the Coffee Slut cafe in East Agana a little later that afternoon, JJ Global President Luis “Kiko” Bustamante insisted to PNC News that his company was the lowest bidder for GVB’s Tumon Landscape Management contract.
And his letter to GVB President and CEO Jon Nathan Denight spells it out, as follows:
Bidder Bid Offer/Amount
JJ Global Services $197,258.76
Canton Const. $1,179,710.00
Furthermore, page one of JJ Global’s written timeline of the bid process states that on August 3, 2018, GVB issued Addendum No. 1 to bid requirements and extended the submission deadline another five days—in an atmosphere that Bustamante says showed preference for the current contractor.
The timeline states in part:
“Comment made by a GVB representative that this bid is unfortunately being solicited every five (5) years only because it is required by law and they wish that the bid does not have to be put out so the contract can remain the same.
“08/20/18: JJ submitted bid offer at 2:47pm; Bid Opening at 3:00pm and ended at 3:11pm.
“The minute GVB discovered that JJ Global is the lowest bidder, it took them three (3) months to evaluate the bid.”
According to a Halloween Day Notice of Award letter from GVB President Nate Denight to Landscape Management Systems President Bob Salas, LMS got the contract. And services were set to begin the very next day. This, even though JJ had already reportedly underbid LMS by $40,000.
PNC paid LMS a visit ten minutes before one o’clock Thursday afternoon to get Salas’ side of the story, but the door was locked and it seems he and his team were out to lunch.
Whatever the case, GVB and its president are now on the hook to prove their bid award to LMS is on the up and up.
“GVB will be required, now that this protest is here, to send us all of the documents in this procurement,” Cruz said.
“How it was done, all the tapes…all the recordings. Hopefully there are recordings. Hopefully they’ve attended the pursuant training that they’re supposed to have attended, so that they know what they’re supposed to be doing—that GVB dotted its I’s and crossed its T’s and…we’ll review it and then we’ll schedule a hearing.”
Cruz, a former Guam Supreme Court Chief Justice, said he will preside over JJ Global’s protest hearing. PNC asked Guam Power and Waterworks Authorities as well as the Airport Authority about the quality of work JJ Global had provided for those agencies in the past.
Power Authority spokesman Art Perez said JJ Global completed the work assigned within scope and was paid for its services. Waterworks said they would get back to us.
Airport spokeswoman Rolenda Faasuamalie said, “We are not aware of any references made in regard to this issue.”
Bustamante claims in his complaint to have performed satisfactory work for all of these agencies and for the Department of Parks and Recreation.