Public Auditor Sides With DOE in GTA Protest of PDS Contract and Dismisses Appeal

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Guam – Public Auditor Doris Flores Brooks has sided with the Department of Education in her decision of an appeal filed by GTA TeleGuam last November, saying the Office of Public Accountability (OPA) lacks jurisdiction on the matter.

The appeal pertained to DOE”s denial of GTA’s protest of a bid for Wide Area Network (WAN) Services to Pacific Data Systems (PDS.)  According to documents filed with the OPA the protest was denied on the grounds that it was untimely. 

GTA argued that its protest was filed within 14 days of the company learning about the facts surrounding the protest.  While DOE pointed out that GTA knew about the contract with PDS as early as March 23, 2011 GTA says the basis of their protest was discovered following a Sunshine Act Request made on August 6, 2013.  GTA’s protest was submitted to DOE on August 30, 2013.

Read the Decision on the Appeal HERE

In her January 7th decision on the appeal, Brooks wrote that GTA’s appeal concerns the performance by PDS in its contract and not how DOE awarded the contract.

“GTA readily admits that it is not protesting this award,” Flores’ decision states (page 2.)  “Instead, GTA’s August 30, 2013 protest and this appeal solely involve the issue of whether PDS properly performed its obligations under Part 6 of the IFB, and the subsequent GDOE Purchase Orders issues to PDS arising from the IFB, from March 23, 2011 to July 1, 2011.”

Brooks’ decision states that the Public Auditor lacks jurisdiction to hear the matters raised by GTA in its appeal and protest.

“This issue concerns whether PDS breached its contract with GDOE and is not properly before the Public Auditor because such issue does not concern GDOE’s method of source selection, solicitation or award,” the decision reads (page 4.)

The protest filed by GTA with DOE last August sought to have the five year contract terminated and liquidated damages for DOE on the grounds that PDS failed to deliver services specifically required in the bid specifications.