Updated: Feb 10
By Pacific Island Times News Staff
The Office of Public Accountability on Wednesday dismissed a procurement appeal filed by G4S Security against the Guam Department of Education in a case that mirrored that of JMI Edison.
G4S challenged the GDOE’s award of a contract to Technologies for Tomorrow Inc. for wireless infrastructure installation on grounds that the selected bidder was not duly licensed with the Contractors License Board.
Shortly after filing its appeal with the OPA, G4S filed a complaint with the CLB. The board's executive director subsequently issued a decision in favor of G4S.
As in a similar case involving JMI’s appeal, then-CLB executive director Cecil Orisini ruled that TFT was not properly licensed, using a template drafted by G4S.
“The OPA found that the appellant’s submission of the findings and decisions as a purported independent neutral administrative action was a fraud on the tribunal,” the OPA said.
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“While it is unclear how and why the executive director came to issue the findings and decisions submitted in this case, the OPA is concerned about the probity and reliability of that document, given the misconduct in the JMI case,” Public Auditor Benjamin Cruz said.
Orsini last week stepped down from the board on the heels of the so-called "bro" controversy that led to the OPA's dismissal of the JMI case.
During a formal hearing held on Dec. 20, 2021 for the TFT’s appeal, CLB investigation supervisor Nida Bailey told the OPA that Orsini’s decision on the G4S complaint was not discussed with the entire board.
“Ms. Bailey went on to testify that the board had not met since August 2021 and that there had been no hearing before the board on G4S’ complaint against TFT,” OPA said.
Bailey told the OPA that TFT’s case remained “open,” indicating that Orisini’s order was “not a final decision.”
In a statement, G4S expressed disappointment in the OPA's decision, saying the public auditor has declined to "directly address an important question affecting government contracts in Guam based on another party’s conduct in a completely unrelated matter."
"G4S refutes in the strongest terms the suggestion that there has been any wrongdoing on our part. At every step, we have followed the correct procedure and we will continue to do so," G4S said.
G4S said as a result of the OPA's decision in G4S’s appeal, the question of whether an entity is required to have a contractor’s license in order to legally bid on and perform work on the government of Guam contracts that require a specialty license has not been answered.
"This decision means there is a lack of clarity for government agencies, interested bidders and the Guam community on an important issue of public procurement moving forward," G4S said.
Besides the alleged impropriety, G4S’s protest was dismissed due to untimely filing.
“They should have protested within 14 days from May 18, 2021, when bidders were all made aware that GDOE would not require proof that a bidder held a C-68 specialty contractor’s license with its bid submission,” OPA said.
The case was dismissed with prejudice. Parties have 14 days to bring the case to the Superior Court.