Guam – With unanimous support, Bill 204-34 was duly passed by the 34th Guam Legislature this afternoon.
The bill gives the Guam Department of Education exclusive control over the procurement process, as the department looks towards the construction and/or renovation of Simon Sanchez High School.
GDOE Superintendent Jon Fernandez thanked the Guam Legislature for placing their “trust” in the department.
“While this means more work and responsibility for our department, we are willing to take on this task and to do everything in our power to ensure our students have the best chance of learning in a new, healthy and safe educational environment sooner rather than later,” said Fernandez.
Vice Speaker Therese Terlaje issued a statement, commending the efforts of the SSHS students for their persistence in demanding the renovation of their school.
Additionally, Terlaje expressed her concern that with the passage of Bill 204-34, previously allocated funds for Capital Improvement Projects that would have included funding for older schools might now be solely dedicated to Simon Sanchez HS.
Terlaje also pointed out failures by the department to follow procurement laws and regulations, along with the lack of clarity of what the department wanted in terms of allowing the SSHS project and other projects to continue, protest free. She cautioned that the bill “…does not improve centralized procurement to benefit all of the Government of Guam.”
However, with her vote of confidence, Terlaje hopes that GDOE will “…use this expanded procurement power and spending authority in a way that preserves some resources for the improvement of other schools and that future graduating classes of Simon Sanchez will be able to see that.”