Public auditor: GSA actions due to 'incompetence, ineptitude or are intentional'

CRUZ: Public Auditor Benjamin Cruz answers questions from the audience during a forum at a Rotary Club of Guam luncheon meeting in August 2018. Post file photo

Public Auditor Benjamin Cruz has admonished the government of Guam purchasing arm, the General Services Agency, for continuing to use a process meant for emergency procurement to hire the prison facility's food caterer for years.

In October 2018, the General Services Agency issued an emergency procurement for food services for inmates and detainees at the Department of Corrections for up to 90 days in 30-day periods, utilizing a request for quotations.

GSA awarded the emergency procurement to California Mart. Competitor Basil Food Industrial Services protested.

GSA has been using requests for quotes – that should apply only to short-term, emergency procurement for no more than 180 days – for three years, the public auditor stated in a decision Tuesday.

Cruz admonished GSA "for its actions in continuously using emergency procurement for three years." 

"The fact that GSA has been utilizing emergency procurement for food services for the past three years shows their inability to work within the procurement system, which is unconscionable," the public auditor stated.

A new invitation for bid has yet to be issued, Cruz's order stated, which he said would further continue GSA's cycle of utilizing emergency procurement.

"At this point, it cannot be determined whether the actions of GSA are due to incompetence, ineptitude or are intentional," the public auditor stated.