- By Pacific island Times News Staff
Bill seeks to allow CLTC to negotiate land leases in lieu of competive bids
Sen. Joe San Agustin
Sen. Joe S. San Agustin has introduced a bill that would eliminate the bidding requirement for commercial leases of Chamorro Land Trust lands and authorize the Chamorro Land Trust Commission to negotiate leases instead.
Bill 425-35 would amend the law that mandates competitive bids for commercial leases of Chamorro lands. The law prohibited the CLTC from negotiating with applicants as the law required a competitive bid process.
“Weeks ago, our office was approached about the process for lease licensure regarding commercial properties under the Chamorro
Land Trust. After conducting research and discussion with various stakeholders, I found that our economic engine was hindered in the requirement to put a lease from the CLTC for commercial use out for a competitive bid process. This is counterproductive in supporting economic activity,” San Agustin said.
San Agustin said his proposed amendment would still open opportunities for businesses to submit their best proposals in seeking leases and give the CLTC the authority to negotiate and execute a license.
"If a company seeks to lease property to increase their ability to provide services to the island, we must carefully look at what our laws require. In this instance, a business is seeking a license to lease property in compliance with law, and the CLTC has determined it is not able to negotiate a lease because it must put up the property for competitive bid," San Agustin said.
"If there is only one company seeking a license to lease property and is able to invest its resources, we need to take a look at how laws may be detrimental to our recovery especially in these tough, economic times. On the other side, if numerous companies wish to apply for the same property, they must still submit their application and the negotiation process will begin, with the CLTC ensuring the best outcomes for the government and fully exercising their duties as a commission,” San Agustin said.
The legislation is co-sponsored by Speaker Tina Muna Barnes and Sen. Jose ‘Pedo’ Terlaje.