Chief procurement officer needs more help - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Chief procurement officer needs more help

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by Nick Delgado

Guam - The Government of Guam's procurement process has been criticized on numerous occasions. From potential bidders complaining about specifications on bids to dozens of procurement protests that have delayed the government getting services and goods, there's been plenty of concerns about procurement in the government.

But the chief procurement officer contends the General Services Agency is doing its job but just needs more manpower to get the job done right. "I believe it's effective," began Claudia Acfalle. "It's just how we comply with it and again the audit speaks for itself in terms of how we actually conduct our procurement practice here in GSA."

She says she doesn't think there's anything wrong with the public sector's procurement process. With dozens of protests that have been filed in recent years and delays in the government obtaining services and goods, many in the community have been critical of the process. Some even say the procurement rules hinder rather than help the government, as she noted, "GSA, we don't claim to be the experts in everything."

The procurement rules were established to make sure the government receives the best price for services and goods it utilizes, but Acfalle admits that handling the entire government is a daunting task - especially with limited resources. "The only problems GSA is having right now is having the resources to provide the expedited needs of the Government of Guam right now. Not only in procurement, but also in the surplus. - the unserviceable equipment in the government. I only have one individual handling, which is the administrator handling the entire Government of Guam," she explained.

Acfalle admits that some bid specifications have been a point of contention for bidders in the past. "We at GSA are the procurement office, we review the specifications to ensure that the specs are fair and equitable to all prospective bidders. However, we are not the experts, for example, in ambulance specifications or fire truck specifications. With vehicle specifications, it has to go to the Department of Public Works to get pre-approval before GSA can issue any bids for any type of vehicle can be procured for the Government of Guam," she said.

Acfalle says she is in support of Bill 360, which would require that all procurement appeals be addressed within fourteen days. The chief procurement officer contends GSA responds within a timely manner on all protests unless there are a lot of technical issues. 

She does have a recommendation for the legislation, though, telling KUAM News, "GSA will recommend that again in the response time to protest or appeal that they should also include in the bill a timeline for the Office of Public Accountability to make a decision in rendering any decision that is filed. Because currently there it's no really timeline for the OPA to render a decision based on a case that is heard."

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