Appeal delays purchase of laptops - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Appeal delays purchase of laptops

by Krystal Paco

Guam - There's more than $2 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act money available to purchase laptops for the Department of Education, but there's a glitch in the procurement process.  There's a glitch in getting 3000 laptops to DOE teachers and their classrooms.

According to a protest filed with the Office of the Public Auditor on September 26, Pacific Data Systems offered the lowest bid at $2.48 million for the nine services included in DOE's invitation for bid, but were  rejected the contract due to failure to comply with bidding requirements as they altered their bid to include several subcategories of non-warranty services.

PDS president John Day contends his company complied, but it's DOE breaking the rules, as their actions were illegal and irregular. Day says DOE failed to give specifics with quantity for non-warranty services and tried to go back and correct their errors. Non-warranty services refer to costs to resolve situations in which laptops are dropped, spilled on, or damaged and are in need of repair.

Day alleges DOE altered his competitors' bids after submission, specifically their costs for non-warranty services for laptops. Day says it's evident in the bid forms that DOE altered his competitors' numbers: SoftChoice's initial $2.5 million offer crossed out and increased to $2.77 million and ComPacific's $2.8 million offer crossed out and increased to $3 million.

According to KUAM News files, laptops in the classrooms will help promote DOE's power school, a system in which teachers can update student attendance, grading, and homework information for parents to access via a parent portal all in real time.

Due to recent legislation that modifies DOE's procurement process to expedite the spending of $60 million in ARRA funds before their expiration, PDS protested directly to the OPA and not DOE.

The OPA's office has until October 10 to render a decision.

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