Editor’s Note: This is the first in a multi-part series on how the Government of Guam purchased items and services using shortened procurement processes during the COVID-19 pandemic In progress.
The government of Guam spent nearly $ 8 million on sole-source purchases in 2020.
Local law allows departments and agencies to purchase supplies and services without competitive bidding, provided that a senior manager certifies in writing “that there is only one source for the supply. ‘supply, service or item of construction required’.
More than half of the money spent on sole-source procurement has been used for information technology or telecommunications purposes, according to a committee hearing report recently tabled by the Guam Legislature.
Sole-source purchases in 2020 were paid for using federal and local funds.
The document was released following a hearing in June convened by Senator Sabina Perez, who oversees Guam government procurement, including the General Service Agency – the government entity that manages procurement and contracts for most local executive bodies. The agency provided information to Perez’s committee for contracts and purchases made last calendar year, which was made public through its report.
Perez’s committee found that “the procurement file shows an inconsistency in the documents provided by the agencies with incomplete files … which will be corrected by the GSA.” He recommended that procedures be reorganized, including allowing the use of electronic signatures during the sole source purchasing process.
“More transparency and accountability are needed when it comes to purchasing in general. With sole-source and emergency procurement being used in an “easy” or “faster” manner, these source selection methods do not achieve the best value for money, “the committee said in its writing. report.
Perez introduced legislation proposing reforms to the sole source method.
Bill 182-36, co-sponsored by a bipartisan group of senators, argues that the process “may not be understood and often misused”. If adopted as introduced, sole-source contracts will be capped at a maximum of five years.
The measure further requires that GovGuam employees better justify the use of the single-source method, including a detailed analysis of the government’s needs for the product or service, and “the results of an in-depth market research and the conclusion that there is no other source that will satisfy the government’s need. Purchase orders over $ 50,000 must be made public within 14 days of contract finalization.
According to information provided by the GSA, authorized sole source purchase orders over $ 50,000 include:
• $ 1,370,023.20: Rental of office space for the Ministère du Revenu et des Impôts (12 months rent)
• $ 827,706.84: maintenance assistance for Guam Police Department AMSS / SmartNet systems and radios
• $ 655,295.88: maintenance assistance for GPD AMSS / SmartNet systems and radios (note: purchase order separate from above entry)
• $ 491,553.96: software subscription and technical support for a tax assessment program
• $ 364,758.16: Provide transportation services to seniors
• $ 236,896.08: maintenance services for identifiers managed by DRT
• $ 235,829: Forensic information laboratory system
• $ 212,501: Uninterruptible Power Upgrades for the Technology Office
• $ 183,593.10: portable radios
• $ 186,515.90: gas chromatography-mass spectrometer system
• $ 166,802.81: Subscription renewal and technical assistance for DRT’s “income tax system”
• $ 101,477: continuation of modeling work which made it possible to develop tsunami risk maps
• $ 100,000: renewal of the SIG business license agreement
• $ 96,943: License and support for the DRT transaction processing system
• $ 96,739: 10 mobile radios (APX6500 enhanced 7/800 MHz)
• $ 95,046.36: Stabilization of short-term intensive psychiatric treatment, 24 hour group home for children and adolescents
• $ 93,367.99: emergency notification alert system and assistance
• $ 90,000: electronic behavioral health records system (50 concurrent user licenses)
• $ 80,000: improvements and connectivity for the implementation of the “RxCheck” hub
• $ 76,212.96: Maintenance of land management applications and interface with the tax card application system
• $ 75,000: DRT “Power 7” hardware and software assistance
• $ 75,000: Support and maintenance of the “Aware” platform
• $ 75,000: Programming and technical activities to be able to verify “employment data against the national directory of new recruits”
• $ 74,225: integrated computer software development systems
• $ 72,090: annual support and subscription for “JustWare” licenses
• $ 64,448: maintenance and support for the 2 Power 7 computer systems of the IBM series
• $ 57,297.36: digital airtime services for 129 radio units
• $ 51,500: LIFEPAK 15 (Physio-Control)
• $ 50,925: radios (APX6000XE model 1.5 portable)
During the hearing, Claudia Acfalle, chief purchasing officer of GSA, said sole-source purchasing is also allowed to purchase emerging technologies and equipment to see if they work “for our environment”. An initial purchase order can be cut using the sole source method in order to conduct “trial testing,” but any future purchases would be made using the competitive process, she said.
She also rejected criticism during the hearing that the agency did not provide timely information on this type of public procurement to senators.
“Why are you still alarmed today? Of course you have to realize that the pandemic has happened. Okay and that’s why everyone is angry about it now, but I submitted it in the legislature, why now such a big thing? Has the legislature not looked at it? And it is now becoming a big problem, “she told lawmakers at the June hearing.