DOE may not have contracts on time - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

DOE may not have contracts on time

by Michele Catahay

Guam - With schools set to open next month, the Department of Education is worried it won't have the necessary contracts in place and on time. At least three requests for proposal are still at the Attorney General's Office for review.  

Students are expected to return back to school on August 10. With a little more than a month to prepare for the opening of the school year, DOE says it wants to ensure all necessary contracts are signed to provide much-needed services once students return to classes. But according to Supply and Procurement Administrator Brian Mafnas, three contracts need to be put in place soon. Those include contracts for document management, food and custodial services.

Mafnas says with the new law in place, the AG's Office must review request proposals for projects over $500,000 and would also have to sign off on them. He admits there are some delays in the process, telling KUAM News, "It's more like a bottleneck in this process because we get all the specs put together and approved and then we send it over there and it has to be reviewed over there. Basically, we're just sitting and waiting for them to be approved so we can get it out."

Cause for concern is whether DOE will have enough time to announce the proposals and bids and have companies respond to them before August. He says the AG's review sets back the process.  "RFPs take a minimum of ten days and bids actually take up to 15 working days," he said.

With millions of dollars being pumped in from stimulus funds, DOE is hoping the AG's Office will gain some assistance since the agency is expected to announce various projects.  "I think the issue over there is that they have the one assistant AG working on 32 contracts they're trying to crank out," noted Mafnas.  "It is a lot for them to go through. Hopefully with the new bill they just passed, hopefully they can offer more assistance so they can crank them out quicker."

Mafnas says at least one proposal from the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act grants has been submitted to the AG's Office for review with more expected to be turned in. DOE has to allocate the millions by September of next year.

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