Senators concerned that Simon Sanchez solicitation could favor one company

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Guam – Senators continued to comb through the details of the bill to hand the procurement of the construction of Simon Sanchez high school over to the Guam Department of Education today. Some senators are concerned about language in the bill that could be used to favor a specific bidder.

Senator Mike San Nicolas is concerned about a section that authorizes GDOE to procure collateral equipment and A&E services. The senator felt those sections should be completely removed and dealt with in a separate bill.

“It may open the door for solicitations to include all of these items and it actually narrows the ability for other service providers to participate because they are not able to provide all these different services,” said Senator San Nicolas.

GDOE Superintendent John Fernandez says the intent of this section is just to ensure that there is funding available to procure collateral equipment and A&E services.

“I would like to go forward with at least the notion that we are going to be able to fund collateral equipment as well so that will be the complete project and limited to Simon Sanchez,” said Fernandez.

Much of the discussions surrounding this bill stem from concerns that the solicitation for the construction of the Simon Sanchez high school could be rigged or set up in a way that would favor one specific company.

“This gives the authorization to GDOE to solicit from just one entity and I think we have a concern with that. In other words, instead of putting solicitation out for general for as many bidders as possible they could elect to just go with one solicitation to one entity. So, I move that we delete the words one or more. In that way it will read GDOE shall be authorized to solicit entities to perform any or all of the following related. That way it just ensures that there is just no special consideration just for one specific company and it will be a transparent process,” said Senator Espaldon.

Espaldon’s amendment passed without any objections.

This afternoon Vice-Speaker Therese Terlaje and Senator Telena Nelson expressed concerns about some of the ambiguity of some of the language of amendments that have been added to the bill specifically with regards to things like the authorization to solicit for a fully equipped and functional school. They questioned the definition of a fully equipped or functional school.