The Office of the Public Auditor has heard its first appeal following the Oct. 16 2006 addition of Chapter 12 to Division 4 Title 2 of the Guam administrative rules and regulations.

On Feb. 9 The Office of the Public Auditor began a Procurement Appeal hearing on Dec. 19 2006 appeal filed by L.P. Ganacias Enterprises Inc. which does business as RadioCom a communications and electronics supplier for both industrial and government entities. RadioCom filed the appeal regarding the General Services Agency and an alleged failure to allow the company to compete on a bid for an outdoor tsunami early warning system. At the request of the Office of Homeland Security the General Services Agency obtained a sole-source procurement arrangement with Washington-based SEF-USA which is the item in question.

The hearing marked the third procurement appeal under Public Auditor Doris Flores Brooks’ newly-acquired jurisdiction and the first to extend all the way to the final hearing process.

Brooks told the Journal "This way it might be less burdensome for those who are testifying and we can get to the meat of the matter. We must look at the law based on the evidence provided."

Victoria G. Borja vice president and general manager of RadioCom; said her attempts at communication with the General Services Agency beginning in September 2005 regarding the early warning system installation "didn’t seem to be getting anywhere " until she learned that the job was awarded elsewhere.

"I would not have gone through with this unless I felt there was a chance of a fair ruling " Borja said. "We know who the public auditor is we’ve seen her good work and now she will make the decision."

Brookes has 30 days to render the decision. The ruling is not final; parties can take the case to the superior court system should they desire.

"Time is of the essence " Brooks said. "We are under the gun to get a decision out within the 30-day timeframe."

Borja said the process was even-handed. "We did present a good case and it went well. I think both parties had the opportunity to be heard. It was fair." MBJ