OPA: Corporate appeal must be represented by a licensed attorney
By Mar-Vic Cagurangan
Citing improper representation, the Office of Public Accountability on Tuesday dismissed an appeal filed by the Guam Pacific Enterprise against the University of Guam over the procurement of air conditioning units.
GPE president Sedfrey Linsangan filed a handwritten appeal with the OPA on behalf of his company, challenging UOG's decision to award the bid Tony's Workshop for the purchase of chillers.
But since Linsangan is not an attorney licensed to practice on Guam, the OPA said he could not legally represent the company in its appeal.
Linsangan questioned among other things UOG's move to issue "the intent to award" on the same day the bidding was opened. He also noted that the bid was awarded just three days after UOG dismissed his initial "protest" regarding the 15 percent bod bond.
In a motion to dismiss, UOG argued that GPE’s pleadings, arguments and representation have been brought by a non-lawyer, its appeal is not properly filed.
GPE's position was that it and other appellants have represented their organizations at appeal to the OPA in the past. While such may be the case, the issue of corporate representation
In its decision, OPA's hearing officer concluded the OPA exercises jurisdiction to further the purpose of simplifying, clarifying and modernizing the law governing procurement by determining that a person without a license to practice law in Guam may not represent a corporation or other business entity that is formally organized under Guam’s laws.
"By having a licensed attorney represent formally organized entities, the OPA implements a policy that helps ensure the fair and equitable treatment of all persons who deal with Guam’s procurement system, increases economy in territorial activities and provides safeguards for maintenance of a procurement system of quality and integrity," OPA said.
The appeal was dismissed with prejudice.