Japan relocation contracts on hold indefinitely
by Mindy Aguon
Guam - Guam Contractors Association President James Martinez is hoping that NAVFAC Pacific's latest amendment to a $3 billion multiple award construction contract funded by the Government of Japan (Mamizu MACC) won't tear down hopes that were built around the military buildup. The latest amendment to the solicitation postpones the due date for proposals from bidders indefinitely. The delay follows a string of extensions for bids to be submitted.
Martinez told KUAM News, "We just hope that indefinite is going to be a little shorter again because our contractors have really invested a lot of time, energy and money to build their companies up to qualify and to work on these proposals for the Mamizu MACC."
According to the agreement between Japan and the United States, the Japanese government pledged to fund up to $6 billion out of the $10 billion price tag for the relocation of US Marines. But since the March disasters in Japan there's been speculation as to whether the country can still hold up its end of the deal. The latest amendment to the Mamizu MACC did not provide a reason as to the indefinite delay.
"Of course, it's a big disappointment," added Martinez. "But if the case is they want to rebuild their country, then what can we do? But again that's all speculative at this point we don't know the real reasons but we just hope this indefinite time frame will be shorter than we expect."
According to the solicitation three to seven companies will be selected and will then compete against one another to complete the multiple construction projects or task orders worth $3 billion total. The scope of work is for a broad range of new construction projects related to the Marines' relocation including utilities/infrastructure, barracks/dormitories, administrative facilities, quality of life facilities, fire/police stations and other base development facilities. It also contains two seed projects to construct a waterfront headquarters operations building on Naval Base Guam and utilities and site improvements in the Finegayan area.
Despite the delay, Martinez says currently there is about a billion dollars worth of buildup-related construction projects ongoing around the island. "It's more money than we've ever seen in terms of construction. Normally we average anywhere between $400-$500 million and with these particular projects that are ongoing now are worth about $1 billion plus and that's almost double what we're used to so we hope to sustain that," he added.
"I think the military needs Guam and they'll proceed with this buildup and we need to support that because again this is good for the economy, it's good for our folks who are looking for work," he said.
Allaying concerns that the Mamizu MACC would be on hold indefinitely, NAVFAC Pacific issued a statement this afternoon that a new amendment announcing new due date to submit proposals should be issued in less than 60 days. Here's the catch, though: NAVFAC went on to say that since there are multiple changes to incorporate into the Mamizu MACC solicitation, which are subject to approvals at various levels of government, they are uncertain how quickly a new closing date will be announced.
NAVFAC also clarifies that the amendment announcing the indefinite suspension was due to the short amount of time offerors were given to submit their proposals after a notice was issued previously that "recent developments require the contracting officer to incorporate multiple changes to the solicitation."
What those changes are remains to be seen and when the contract will actually be awarded remains subject to government approvals.
Of note was that NAVFAC stated the indefinite suspension for responses was not related to the disasters in Japan.