OPA Wants A Better Explanation of the Costs, Before It OK’s Rebuilding of JFK

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Guam – Last week Government officials promised John F. Kennedy stakeholders that there will be a ground breaking for the new JFK campus in the first week of September. But that could be delayed if the the OPA doesn’t get answers to its questions about the contract costs.

Public Auditor Doris Flores Brooks says, “We are putting the Department of Public Works on notice because we don’t understand what they negotiated.”

DPW submitted the International Bridge Corporation’s maintenance and cost analysis to the OPA for the John F Kennedy High School rebuild project.

According Brooks, she along with three other people from the OPA  reviewed DPW’s submission.  She says they were unable to come to the same conclusion as the DPW and have several concerns with IBC’s analysis.  

Brooks says there are two elements that are still not finalized.  IBC’s ability to get financing  and based on the decisions we made,  clarification as to what the government of Guam is getting in the form of maintenance. She says it appears that DOE officials that they also seem to be in the dark.

According to OPA Management Analysis Anne Camacho, Based on Brooks’ experience with previous maintenance agreements brought to the OPA, she has  concerns. There are seven points which include a clear methodology to justify cost, properly reference survey data or explain the basis for utilizing each benchmark figure referenced, provide details for the Guam Adjustment Factor of 1.3 or how it was derived, provide cost details  for the list of proposed maintenance costs, provide information on the Department of Education’s (DOE) maintenance costs vs contracted (IBC) maintenance costs, address incentives to encourage better contract performance and to provide information on standard vs exceptional maintenance costs.

Camacho says with the standard vs exceptional cost,  for instance, the repair of a JFK’s roof vs the replacement of JFK’s roof and how will those cost be handled, will it all be done by the contractor or will it be absorbed and  shared by both DOE and the contractor.

Brooks says, “Gov Guam through DPW has negotiated a significant amount of maintenance. We’re just saying what are we going to get for that significant amount of maintenance, that’s the bottom line because based on their submission we have no idea what we are getting for that amount of money and we just want clarity.”

Brooks hopes to schedule a meeting this Friday (August 13th) between DOE, DPW and OPA officials to discuss the methodology used to complete their analysis. She says so far she has not received any word from DPW director Andy Leon Guerrero.

Will this cause a delay in the JFK groundbreaking of the new campus that is scheduled for the first week of September?

Brooks says, she hopes it doesn’t, but quickly adds it’s not our intent to delay the JFK project, we are just seeking clarity.

JFK Principal Kenneth Chargualaf  says, “Another delay would be very disappointing for our school community, they don’t want to hear that. They are looking forward for the ground breaking in the first week of September and anticipated a ribbon cutting ceremony for the new campus sometime in June of 2011.”