Guam - The Guam Fire Department has received some heat from the Office of the Public Auditor regarding the procurement process of new fire equipment. According to Public Auditor Doris Flores Brooks, she believes that two factory inspection trips for two Guam Fire Department employees was "unreasonably extravagant."

Meanwhile GFD spokesperson Lieutenant Ed Artero says the trips are not unusual and are very necessary when procuring major equipment such as a fire truck. "We've been doing inspection trips for all of our major purchases for many years. It's very important that inspections are done prior to delivery to make sure that all the guidelines and the specifications are followed properly," he explained.

Factory inspection trips eliminate the risk involved in receiving faulty unwanted equipment that inevitably would need to be returned to the manufacturer. Artero adds that prior to the submission of the bid the Attorney General's Office reviewed and approved the procurement specifications. "Any procurement in excess of $500,000 has to go through a review by the Office of the Attorney General and what they do is they review all our specifications to make sure that everything is in line and done properly and we submitted our specs and it got approved and that's when we submitted in for our IFB," he said.

Artero did want to clarify that the trip in question has not taken place, saying, "The trip has not taken place the trip won't happen until our contract is finalized and the bidder is given the award."

The OPA decision to sustain an appeal against General Services Agency could have negative ramifications for GFD's procurement deadline of September 30 under the bid's specifications utilizes funds from the compact impact fund for the procurement of the fire equipment however that may be in jeopardy if the subsequent request for extension is not granted.

Meanwhile a complaint was also filed with the Department of Administration regarding concerns about the hiring of 15 additional GFD recruits. Although GFD is aware that a complaint has been filed, Artero says they are moving forward with the hiring of the additional recruits.