The Guam director of public works is remaining silent about allegations his arbitrary actions may have led to the wrongful procurement of a multi-year contract worth millions of dollars. Vince Arriola, the director of the Guam Department of Public Works also has not answered whether he is aware if one of his family members is associated with the company his agency ranked highest for the management of millions in federal highways funds.
“[T]he DPW Director conveniently decided to forego particular provisions of the Procurement Regulations and put in force provisions not permitted in the regulations,” attorney Vince Camacho wrote in a September 22 letter protesting the ranking of company EXP as second relative to the Islandwide Program Management Services Project. Mr. Camacho represents EXP, a program management company that submitted a proposal for the multi-million dollar government contract and was ranked lower than WSP.
According to the protest and the documents attached to the letter, Mr. Arriola appointed one of his employees, DPW highways division special projects coordinator Erin Reyes, to chair the committee that evaluated the proposals from bidding companies.
“Her appointment is in violation of Procurement Procedures section XI.C.1.b., which requires that the Chief of Engineering or Administrator be appointed the Chairperson of the Board,” Mr. Camacho’s protest letter states. Her appointment became significant, when a tie occurred among the voting evaluators. As the chair of the committee of evaluators, she did not have the right to vote, except to break a tie.
The vote was to rank the offerers of the RFP. Ms. Reyes, according to the protest letter, sided with WSP, but her boss wanted a second opinion.
“In a sly and arbitrary move, the DPW director cleverly concocted his own tie-breaking rule,” Camacho alleges. “This rule is nowhere in the Procurement Procedures. Instead, the DPW Director declared that due to the importance of the IW Program Management Services to DPW and the people of Guam, he did not consider it reasonable to rely on the tiebreaker procedure that was not included in the RFP nor discussed with the proposers. He then arbitrarily appointed two individuals, Deborah Leon Guerrero, Vice Provost for Institutional Effectiveness of the University of Guam, and Randy Romero, DPW’s Building Inspection and Permits Administrator, to serve as additional members,” of the evaluation committee.
It is unclear from the documents provided whether Mr. Arriola recused himself from the procurement at any time before the ranking occurred, or whether there is truth to an assertion made by a source close to EXP that a family member of the director is affiliated with the highest-ranked offerer.
Kandit did reach out to Mr. Arriola Friday asking for his reaction to the allegations made by EXP in the Camacho protest letter, and whether he knows or is able to deny that a family member is involved with the highest-ranked offerer. The director has not returned either our phone calls, email, or messages on the matter.
The protest letter with the attachments can be found in the file below: