TLK has learned that the company which was selected did not meet the work experience requirement of the RFP.
Guam – April 28, 2016. TLK Marketing Co., Ltd. (“TLK”) has represented Guam as it’s Korean Tourism Destination Marketing Representative for the past 8 years.
During that time Korean visitor arrivals to Guam have increased 287%. On November 25, 2015, the Guam Visitor Bureau (“GVB”) issued a Request for Proposals requesting proposals from experienced companies to be GVB’s Tourism Destination Marketing Representative in Korea (the “RFP”). The RFP required offerors to have a minimum of 5 years extensive and consistent experience working with the Republic of Korea travel trade. Standing on its reputation, history of work with GVB, and proven record of growing Guam as tourism market in Korea, TLK submitted its proposal. Three other companies also submitted offers.
On March 10, 2016 TLK was informed that it was not selected. Normally, that would be the end of the story, but TLK has learned that the company which was selected did not meet the work experience requirement of the RFP. Just as troubling, TLK has also learned that GVB representatives, in an apparent effort to cover up the fact that the winning bidder did not have the required experience, instructed the winning bidder to keep the selection a secret in an attempt to prevent any protests. TLK has done an excellent job as Guam’s Destination Marketing Representative in Korea, and agrees that the contract is subject to a competitive bidding process. The RFP was governed by Guam Procurement Law, which among other things required GVB to make its selection fairly and openly, and to give all bidders proper notices. In what has become all too common, this is one more contract where the government agency did not follow the law. TLK does not claim it should have been selected as a matter of right, but it and the other offerors were entitled to a level playing field. If the law had been followed, TLK would certainly have been selected. TLK filed a protest with GVB on March 24, 2016, and a second protest on April 21, 2016, challenging the award. GVB denied TLK’s March 24, 2016 protest, and TLK has appealed the denial of TLK’s March 24th Protest to the Office of Public Auditor on April 22, 2016. 1 TLK believes that all agencies must comply with the Guam Procurement Law. This is vital to ensuring the integrity of the procurement process. TLK seeks a proper review of the actions of GVB by the Public Auditor, Doris Brooks, CPA. 1 http://www.opaguam.org/procurement-appeals/tlk-marketing-vs-guam-visitors-bureau About TLK Marketing TLK Marketing was established in 2007. TLK has provided special marketing and PR services targeting B2B and B2C market in Korea. With aggressive sales and marketing initiatives, and leveraging close industry relationships, TLK Marketing was able to bring in a total of 7 new airline services between Guam and Korea from three major gateway cities–Incheon, Busan and Daegu. In the past 8 years, TLK contributed to the dramatic growth in the Korean arrivals, quadrupling the arrival numbers from just 110,590 in 2008 to 427,900 in 2015.