Lawsuits stall GovGuam telecom contract anew

John Day

THE execution of the government of Guam’s telecommunication contract has been forestalled anew by lawsuits filed recently by Pacific Data Systems and GTA Teleguam Holdings challenging the General Services Agency’s procurement decisions.

PDS and GTA lodged separate complaints in the Superior Court on March 20 following the Office of Public Accountability’s decision upholding GSA’s move to deny the two carriers’ respective protests.

The lawsuits were filed a day after GSA issued purchase orders to PDS, prompted by OPA’s March 6 decision.

Stayed again

“We got about 40-plus purchase orders before the OPA’s decision was appealed to the Superior Court. The procurement was stayed again after the appeals were filed by GTA and PDS in the Superior Court,” PDS President John Day said.

Day said at least 15 percent to 20 percent of GovGuam agencies now have telecommunication services that will run for five to seven years based on the purchase orders that have been signed before the new appeals were filed with the court.

“So the current status is that some of the agencies are now operating under the new contract while the rest are still waiting for the procurement process to resolve the outstanding appeals now pending at the Superior Court,” Day said.

Dan Tydingco, GTA executive vice president of legal, regulatory and external affairs, said some of the purchase orders were awarded to his company “because of PDS defaults and non-performance.”

Tydingco, however, declined to give further comments, saying, “We respect the judicial process and will allow judicial review to run its course.”

Among the four bidders that responded to GSA’s invitation for bid in 2011, PDS and GTA were the only carriers selected for the multiple award contract designed to consolidate the solicitations for telecommunication services of all line agencies of GovGuam that fall within the GSA procurement regime.

The suspended contract – initially scheduled to be executed in August last year – involved a wholesale procurement package for about 2,500 phone lines, voice data, Internet, broadband, wireless and other telecommunication needs.

‘Improper award’

PDS, which won a majority of the deal, continues to contest the portions of the contract that were awarded to GTA, including wireless service, cellular phone device, broadband and Internet access.

In the recently filed complaint against GSA and GTA, PDS asked the Superior Court to reject the rival company’s bid “in its entirety and order GSA to make the award of this portion of the procurement to PDS.”

Reiterating the claims made in its series of protests filed with GSA and OPA, PDS argued that GTA’s bid was flawed because it did not disclose the fact that the company was owned by Shamrock Teleguam Holdings 12 months prior to its bid submission.

PDS also alleged that GTA “improperly conditioned its bid by including mandatory claims that were in direct contradiction” to the bidding specifications.

For its part, GTA is challenging GSA’s decision to reject its bid for the telephone equipment and line service portion of the contract, which was awarded to PDS.

GTA told the court the company had offered the lowest bid for this item, and that GSA’s selection of PDS to provide this service was “arbitrary, capricious and clearly erroneous.”

GTA asked the court to award the company this portion of the contract.