While a provision in the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement favors local businesses for any contracts resulting from base closure or realignment no upcoming projects on Guam qualify according to Capt. Paul T. Fuligni commanding officer of Naval Facilities Engineering Command Marianas. As the Journal reported in its July 7 issue officials from the Guam Economic Development and Commerce Authority in an effort to steer more military construction money to local businesses were told about DFARS Subpart 226.71 favoring "businesses located in the vicinity of a military installation that is being closed or realigned under a base closure law."
GEDCA set about to identify projects that qualified under the local-preference provision. As reported the agency was informed on May 30 that Joint Base Guam was a Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) action while the Marine relocation and other buildup activities were not and do not fall under the local-preference provision.
As it was drafting a letter requesting a list of the projects that might qualify for the local preference GEDCA thought it had found one. In June the Navy released a solicitation for the renovation of the former Commander Naval Forces Marianas headquarters building on Nimitz Hill (more recently Guam High School) as the Headquarters for Joint Region Marianas. "This designation alone ‘Joint Region Marianas ‘ leads us to believe that this project should fall under the local-preference provision [of the DFARS] " said Anthony C. Blaz GEDCA administrator. Blaz cited the project in a letter to the Guam Chamber of Commerce as an opportunity for local businesses.
Not so Fuligni told the Journal. "The headquarters project in and of itself really is not being driven by the implementation of that [BRAC] recommendation " he said. The decision to establish joint basing in Guam – that is to transfer the management responsibilities for Andersen Air Force Base to Naval Forces Marianas – is in fact a BRAC 2005 recommendation Fuligni acknowledged. "Technically that would trigger the application of that [DFARS] provision " he said. As the Journal reported that had been confirmed to GEDCA by Lawrence R. Orr procurement center representative of the U.S. Small Business Administration after Orr consulted with NavFac Pacific officials in Hawaii.
However it is the overall growth of the Navy on Guam not the joint basing decision that is resulting in the Nimitz Hill project Fuligni said. "What really drove the project was just with the growth over the past few years of the Navy here on Guam and we have been growing slowly … we pretty much were filling out the existing office spaces and buildings we had on the base " he said. "We are literally chock-a-block out of space. We are converting conference rooms old storage rooms in order to accommodate and we will continue to grow and it’s not due to the BRAC recommendation."
The need for a joint installation structure the lack of existing space on the base the availability of the Nimitz Hill building and the fact that "it would be ideal not to have that headquarters sitting on a Navy base " were factors that lead to the headquarters project. "It’s certainly titled Joint Region Headquarters but it [the building] wasn’t necessary to implement the recommendation " Fuligni said. "We could have implemented the joint basing recommendation where we are today if the Marines weren’t coming."
The Journal asked Fuligni if he was aware of any contracts that would fall under the local-preferences DFARS provision. "Not specific to base closure actions no " he responded.
In its previous article the Journal reported that GEDCA had sent a letter requesting information on "the amount and nature of the contracts that would be awarded under Joint Base Guam." The Journal has since learned that a follow-up letter has been sent by GEDCA to David F. Bice the executive director of the Joint Guam Program Office and that a letter has been sent to Guam
Congressional Delegate Madeleine Z. Bordallo "to assist in these efforts " said Blaz.
In addition to the BRAC 2005 joint-basing decision other major BRAC actions on Guam include the closure of Naval Air Station Agana resulting from a BRAC 1993 recommendation. That is the area known as Tiyan. BRAC 1995 recommended that the Navy Ship Repair Facility be shut down. That facility inside Naval Base Guam is now leased by the government of Guam and the Navy to Guam Industrial Services Inc. doing business as Guam Shipyard.