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Sunday, February 28, 2010

Procurement Controversies -- Guam

Camacho: No intent to break law
"Most of the appeals that we've had are based on lack of documentation and lack of an understanding of the procurement process," said Public Auditor Doris Brooks, whose Office of Public Accountability hears government procurement appeals.

Brooks said she would like the government to eliminate the sole-source procurement process entirely. "We use that too much as a crutch," she said. "Just advertise, and if only one bidder responds, so be it." That way everyone will know the job is available, she said.

Mayors’ deals with vendors clipped
VILLAGE mayors are ranting about a letter from the Department of Administration’s Accounting Office restricting them from making direct payments to vendors.

Public law allows the Mayors Council of Guam to make purchases via direct payment for equipment, supplies or services without having to go through the normal government procurement process if the items cost below $500.

Kathrine B. Kakigi of DOA’s Division of Accounts, in a letter to Angel Sablan, the council’s executive director, reminded mayors “that the intentions of using direct payment requests [are] strictly for emergency procurements, court-ordered payments/assignments and humanitarian assistances. It is not intended for continuous rendered by vendors or the individual.”

Joannie Flores, management analyst for DOA division of accounts, said the restriction has been implemented after it was discovered that some mayors were paying the same vendors $499 each day.

Flores said the mayors in question should have used a purchase order for that vendor. “They’re not following the public law,” she said. “We’re trying to correct it. We do accept direct payments on certain items. We understand if it’s for one day, but not if it happens every day.”

She went on to say that some of the direct payments have been going on for at least two years.

Ordot/Chalan Pago mayor Jessy Gogue took offense at DOA’s statements.

“I really take offense when they say that we don’t understand the law. There’s almost an assertion that we’re taking advantage of the law by making direct payments to vendors and we’re asking for reimbursements we personally assumed,” he said.

“I know that there is a law that talks about emergency procurement but we wouldn’t have the need for any emergency procurement if these vendors would accept our purchase orders or direct payments,” Gogue added.

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