CTI claims Bill 204 “eviscerates the procedures by which a protestor may challenge and appeal the determination of substantial interests.”
Guam – The students of Simon Sanchez High School have waited years for promised renovations to their dilapidated campus.
To recap, PNC has interviewed tearful Sanchez seniors and frustrated instructors who have had enough with the current procurement process.
And lawmakers have voiced their concerns too. In an effort to show their solidarity, Senators Frank Aguon Jr. and Joe San Agustin drafted Bill 204, a measure which would place the Department of Education and the Attorney General’s Office in charge of the procurement process for the school. If passed, the measure would also, effectively remove the Department of Public Works from the equation.
Although the bill has received support from DOE, it has also received backlash from top bidder Core Tech International.
PNC acquired a letter drafted to Speaker Cruz and Senator Aguon, which lambastes the bill citing several issues. CTI writes: “DOE will not only be in charge of the procurement, but it will also be granted the authority to bypass a pending protest and proceed.”
CTI also believes that the measure will inevitably cause more delays and give rise to more protests and litigation. But how could a measure with the goal of streamlining procurement cause more delays?
CTI argues that there’s a portion in the bill that “eviscerates the procedures by which a protestor may challenge and appeal the determination of substantial interests.” The bidder claims that by allowing an agency like DOE to make final unreviewable, unappealable, substantial interest determinations simply by obtaining the green light from the AG could be the very basis of a protest.
CTI also argues that the measure would allow the AG to bypass independent review from the Office of Public Accountability and the Superior Court, by inviting “situations in which the AG does no more than rubberstamp an agency’s desire to avoid independent review of its decisions.”
The current procurement process has been riddled with protests from CTI, but those very same protests have been successful in part. In fact, the OPA wanted to set the record straight with viewers that these protests or any protest for that matter are not frivolous.
“There’s also this myth or innuendo that these protests are frivolous and I want to say that I think companies and vendors really take it to heart because it costs them a lot of money on the part of hiring their attorneys and all the time and effort,” explained Public Auditor Dorris Flores Brooks during a legislative work session.
Ultimately, CTI agrees, as does every agency that the renovation for Simon Sanchez High School needs to be completed quickly so long as the procurement process occurs correctly.