Slider
Slider

|

Slider

DPW chief: Landfill deal termination will hurt NMI

Local
Typography
  • Smaller Small Medium Big Bigger
  • Default Helvetica Segoe Georgia Times

THE termination of the contract between the Department of Public Works and Micronesian Environmental Services LLC or MES for the Marpi landfill operation will hurt the Commonwealth, DPW Secretary James Ada said.

In a letter, Ada told Procurement and Supply Acting Director Francisco Aguon that “halting the progress in the solid waste facility and further delaying its full operation by terminating MES’s contract is not in the best interests of the Commonwealth.”

Ada said, “This is particularly true in light of the fact that MES has not engaged in any fraudulent behavior.”

With the termination of the contract, the CNMI will incur costs and expenses based on the “termination convenience” clause in the MES contract, he added.

On Tuesday, Aguon issued a decision in response to the protest filed by Success International Corp., Tang’s Corp. and SM Enterprises.

Aguon said he was terminating the $3.8 million three-year contract which, he added, violates  procurement regulations.

The  companies that filed the protest alleged conflict of interest and anti-competitive practices. They also said that unqualified personnel and evaluators were involved in the procurement process.

Ada, for his part, said the termination of the contract will cause unnecessary delay, adding that revising the request for proposals and soliciting proposals anew “could take several months.” 

Micronesian Environmental Services LLC environmental engineer James Benavente, center, wearing a cap, gestures as he shows lawmakers the water treatment facility at the Marpi landfill during a tour last month. Photo by Emmanuel T. Erediano

“For these reasons, if the [Procurement and Supply] director finds violations of the procurement regulations, I ask that he consider ratification of the contract as the most appropriate remedy,” Ada said.

In an interview on Thursday, MES environmental engineer James Benavente said the company will appeal Aguon’s decision, and ask for reconsideration.

MES, he added, would also like to raise a point of clarification on Aguon’s decision to terminate MES’ contract while allowing MES to continue operating the landfill until a notice to proceed is issued under a new contract.

Benavente said this could be “a delaying tactic” designed to favor other proponents.

During a tour of the landfill last month, MES showed  lawmakers all the improvements it had made at the landfill facility. Some of the lawmakers noted that there were some indications that the previous operator might have “shortchanged” the contract requirements.

Among  the main tasks of MES, Benavente said, is to ensure that the landfill meets  federal standards and is in compliance with the solid waste regulations of the Bureau of Environmental and Coastal Quality that mirror those of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

previous arrow
next arrow
Shadow
Slider

Read more articles

Visit our Facebook Page

previous arrow
next arrow
Shadow
Slider