Port also wants to reclaim procurement duties - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Port also wants to reclaim procurement duties

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by Michele Catahay

Guam - While the General Services Agency has said it plans to hand over procurement responsibilities back to the Department of Education effective next month, it seems like the Port Authority of Guam is hoping for the same.  With the Marines relocation from Okinawa to Guam expected to happen in the next several years, the PAG will also expect more goods to come into the island.

With that in mind, General Manager Enrique Agustin says his agency will need to ensure it has all the equipment it needs and that they have the ability to repair them in a timely manner. The GSA currently handles the procurement for the Port, but Agustin says he's hoping his agency could have full control as they look to improve and modernize equipment and facilities.

He said, "It's my understanding that the GSA has 48 other Government of Guam agencies that they're responsible for. We're just one of them, and, of course, when you have that many agencies to take care of, the procurement process will slow down somewhat and we've been experiencing that."

The port is currently in discussions with the GSA in hopes to get procurement responsibilities back. In fact, they've even hired a new procurement and supply manger that has extensive Government of Guam procurement experience.  "It's my understanding that for the last two years, we've been working on that process," said Agustin.  "We're trying real hard to get that delegation back and we've sent our people to GSA and the CPO and her staff have been giving training to our people. On top of that on the training that we receive and having our own procurement and supply manager, any procurement over $500,000 involves the attorney general."

GSA is in the process of transitioning similar responsibilities back to DOE effective next month. Agustin is hoping GSA could grant them the same, saying, "DOE is a very large organization and their needs might be quite different from ours, but we're very happy that they got their procurement delegation back and we're hoping we'll get ours pretty soon."

With the buildup set to occur in 2014, Agustin says they need to buy large equipment and heavy lifters and ensure equipment doesn't eventually break down.  "We're hoping that we'll get it back in months and not years and like I said, we're meeting with the chief procurement officer to iron out things so we can improve our ability to procure and gain her confidence, so we can get our procurement delegation back," he said.

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