Guam – A lawsuit was filed against the Department of Education and DOE’s Superintendent Dr. Nerissa Underwood for not complying to a procurement law. This civil case stems from the way DOE handled the procurement process of copiers and copier services supplied to the agency.
Any individual has the right to sue the government of Guam if they feel it is not spending funds properly. And that’s what John Thos Brown from Island Business Systems and Supplies, the authorized distributor of Canon copiers and imagining management says he is doing . According to Brown, this lawsuit is against the DOE , DOE superintendent Dr Nerissa Underood and the Chief Procurement Officer Claudia Acfalle. Brown says this action is brought under a Government Act 7103, which is called the Enforcement of Proper Government Spending. Brown says its important to know what this act allows.
Brown says ” It allows any taxpayer to bring a suite against any Guam Executive Branch employee, including the Governor and Lt Governor. Who has spent money without proper appropriation, without proper authority, illegally or or contrary to law.”
He says they are bring this action because he believes that funds have been spent contrary to law, the procurement law in particular. He says the reason why DOE’s Superintendent and the CPO have been included in this action is because at the beginning of the year, GSA was handling the procurement for DOE until March, then it was turned over to DOE.
Brown says this all stems from the way DOE handled the procurement process of copiers and copier services for the agency. According to Brown, in 2008, the public auditor Doris Flores Brooks ruled that the original contract between DOE and Xerox that was issued in 2000 for sole source was illegal and that the renewal if that contract non competitively in 2004 for five more years was also illegal. Brooks terminated the contract.
Brown says DOE continued use this contract until 2009 and then in 2010 DOE came up with a series of bogus emergency declarations.
According to Brown, when you look at the definition for an emergency declaration, this was not an emergency.
When DOE procured goods and services under a emergency declaration in which the factual basis is invalid the the emergency is invalid. So you cant use an emergency declaration to purchase goods. Brown says this law will hold the people involved accountable.
Brown says, “This law allows those parties involved to be held accountable. This allows a taxpayer to hold this person personally liable.”
Brown also adds this case was filed in early September and it is taking its course and we will see where it goes. He says his Attorney James Maher and DOE’s legal counsel along with the Office of the Attorney General are talking with each other to set up hearing date. He says there’s no court date yet because its still early, but believes the first hearing will take place in the early part of 2011.