JMI digs in, sues OPA, airport and Menzies

Ed Ilao

JMI Edison has sued the Office of Public Accountability, the island’s airport, and Menzies over a controversial procurement.

JMI alleges that the procurement for a contract with the airport was wrongfully granted to Menzies Aviation.  Menzies, an off-island corporation, submitted an offer to an airport request for proposals that the airport selected over JMI’s office.  JMI appealed the decision to the OPA, claiming Menzies was not licensed by the Guam Contractors Licensing Board.

The OPA alleged that JMI president Ed Ilao and a cabinet member conspired to color the procurement appeal. That cabinet member – Cecil “Buddy” Orsini – lost his job due to the controversy. Mr. Ilao has said the OPA made a “gross error,” and has brought the matter to the Superior Court of Guam for resolution.

During JMI’s procurement appeal to the OPA, JMI sought the procurement record for the RFP as well as the proposals submitted by all offerors to the airport RFP.  No timely response to the Sunshine Act request was provided by the airport, according to JMI’s court complaint.  Because of the delay in response, JMI’s president, Ed Ilao, made a formal inquiry to the Guam Contractor’s Licensing Board for the information.  When the response was finally provided to JMI, it did not include parts of the proposal submitted by Menzies, the JMI complaint states.

Both Menzies and Guam International Airport Authority filed motions to dismiss JMI’s appeal because JMI asserts OPA lacked the jurisdiction to review the merits of JMI’s claim and alleged that JMI was untimely in making its protest.  The public auditor ruled on January 27, 2022, that JMI’s protest would be dismissed because of JMI’s assistance in the creation of the CLB’s Findings & Decision on December 22, 2021.

“Attached to Mr. Ilao’s email was a draft document with the subject line: “Case No. 2021-09-04 Findings & Decisions,” which stated that the CLB had determined that Menzies required a contractor’s license to perform the scope of work under GIAA RFP 005-FY-21. The December 22, 2021 CLB Findings and Decision was a verbatim reiteration of the draft document previously forwarded by Mr. Ilao. In response, Mr. Ilao sent an email to Director Orsini, and other CLB staff, that same day: ‘Thank you very much to all of you! This will help our protest appeal at the OPA a lot.'”

JMI claims the sanction of dismissal was improper and “contrary to law by being issued without notice and a meaningful opportunity for JMI to respond to the sanction.”

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