GFD could lose 2-year-old federal grant - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

GFD could lose 2-year-old federal grant

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by Nick Delgado

Guam - While the Guam State Clearinghouse works to bring in federal funding, if only the government can get it right and spend it. The Guam Fire Department received a federal grant two years ago to buy trucks, but the only thing that's hit the street to date is paperwork transported to the General Services Agency and the Attorney General's Office.

"We've run through a couple of hiccups through our procurement process," admitted spokesman for GFD Joey San Nicolas. The Guam Fire Department is one of the many government agencies that is not working well with new procurement requirements. . Those guidelines state that any contract over $500,000 will first have to be approved by the AG's Office.  GFD has been waiting for the purchase orders for five new fire trucks to be processed so that it can add it to their dying fleet.

Said San Nicolas, "Our ability to meet our mission mandates is severely affected, we have scout units intended for forestry fires in place of structural fire apparatuses. basically it comes down to a capability, structural apparatus we need it to be a one thousand GPM pump and carrying at least 500 gallons of water to any fire within 5 to 7 minutes of a 911 call, at this point only a few stations can meet that mandate."

In early 2009 GFD received the funds from DOI, $1.2 million to be exact, and in March of 2010 they sent in the requisition to GSA so that they can get these trucks on the streets and to date have not received any action.

Almost a year later, and GSA chief procurement officer Claudia Acfalle says they are still waiting for a response from the Attorney General's Office, noting, "They have to look into how we packaged it, are we actually requiring the required documents as prescribed by law and that the bidders provide such as affidavit of disclosure, the contingents fee affidavit and all the other affidavits and then to make sure that the specifications are not tailored and that they are more standard...since October we've been awaiting that and once we get that we will announce in the newspaper article and then the prospective bidders and come participate but until then we cannot move further with the procurement process."

It's still unknown just how long that process may take. AG's Office spokesperson Bryan Cruz says they have paperwork from GFD via GSA, but they need more time to sort out the details.

In the meantime, while GFD may face losing the federal funds if the issue is not resolved soon, San Nicolas says they do have alternative measures to get them by, and that includes working with the military. "Any incidences that are outside the gates where we would need their assistance they are more than ready to help us and likewise with any incidents within their jurisdiction we also are ready to assist," he said.

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