Legal troubles for the 2010 Census in Guam
People forget that the 2010 Census includes Guam, Puerto Rico, and other American territories. We will be looking into whether these matters have anything to do with Washington DC. Here’s some info from PacificNewsCenter.com:
Guam – Superior Court Judge Elizabeth Barrett-Andersen has ruled that GovGuam’s award of a phone service contract to Pacific Data Systems [PDS] violated GovGuam procurement law.
In her decision, Barrett-Andersen also states that GTA should have been awarded the contract because it was the only responsive bidder, and she concluded that GTA is entitled to collect reasonable costs for the expenses its incured in protesting of the award.
However, the Judge let the contract award to PDS stand and denied GTA’s request for a permanent injunction because she found that the contract is in the best interest of the Territory. ”There are only 4 months remaining to complete the Census … any disruption … of the telecommunications system currently in operation for the 2010 Census would be detrimental.”
The decision is another indictment of the troubled GovGuam procurement process. Judge Barrett-Andersen found fault with both the General Services Agency [GSA], which was responsible for awarding the bid, and PDS.
“PDS’s did not meet the IFB specifications,” she writes.
And GSA was criticised for “accepting the lowest bidder based on considerations outside the precise language of the bid specifications.” The Judge called that “an anti-competitive practice.” The Judge scolded the agency writing “The Government must be wary of the temptations associated with a focus on the lowest bid price .. GSA cannot abdicate its duties and responsibilities as the guardian of the public trust in the procurement process.”
GTA bid $37,388 to provide a digital control system with 35 digital handsets. PDS submitted a bid for $23,069 which included a digital control system with 35 “analog” handsets.
PDS released the following statement in response to the Judges order:
Guam Superior Court Judge Elizabeth Barrett-Andersen has rendered her decision in Case No. 0050‐10, denying GTA’s claims in the case
and affirming the award to Pacific Data Systemsby the Government of Guam General Services Agency (GSA).
Judge Barrett‐Andersen’s Decision and Order also lifted the temporary restraining order previously granted to GTA by the Court. In a related
earlier decision, the Court also approved a Stipulation entered into by, GTA and the Government of Guam wherein all allegations made by GTA
against PDS of bad faith or misrepresentations were dropped.
The case involved a Bid Protest and formal Complaint filed by GTA against the Government of Guam and PDS alleging the award by GSA to PDS of a bid for telephone services and equipment to the Census Bureau Office had been wrongfully made. Judge Barrett‐Andersen denied GTA’s request to have the award and contract to PDS set aside and a subsequent award of the contract made to GTA. Judge Barrett‐Andersen chose to make no ruling on the facts presented by PDS during the hearing regarding the failure of the GTA bid to meet the Government’s bid requirements.
PDS President, John Day, issued the following statement regarding the final resolution of this issue, ”It is unfortunate that so much time and effort had to be consumed responding to GTA’s allegations in order to achieve official affirmation of this Bid Award from the Court. It is now clear to all that PDS’ bid represented the best solution to meet the Government’s requirements.
Testimony presented by Census Office officials during the Court hearings provided undisputed endorsement of the PDS solution and highly credible evidence that the PDS system does indeed meet all requirements of the Census office and is doing so at a significant to the Government”.