MilCon News:

Yigo company gets Navy award

Green Clover Services Inc. of Yigo, was awarded a firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract with a maximum amount of $19,540,320 for an equipment – corrosion, surveillance, abatement, and repair program. 

The work to be performed is to establish an E-CSAR program for all civil engineering support equipment, civil engineer end items, material handling equipment, weight handling equipment and support vehicles located at Naval Base Guam. The E-CSAR program includes tasks related to corrosion surveillance, corrosion abatement and corrosion repair of naval construction and support equipment assigned to Naval Expeditionary Forces in Guam. 

An initial task order is being awarded for corrosion surveillance services for equipment assigned to Naval Expeditionary Forces located at Naval Base Guam.  Work for this task order is expected to be completed by September 2021.  All work on this contract will be performed in Yigo and at Naval Base Guam, according to a Sept. 25 release from the U.S. Department of Defense.  The term of the contract has an expected completion date of September 2025. 

The Naval Facilities Engineering Command Engineering and Expeditionary Warfare Center in Port Hueneme, Calif., awarded the contract, for which three proposals were received.

           

Who went to Tinian to see the Divert Airfield

Nine companies pre-booked for the site visit to the Tinian Divert Airfield in connection with current and coming bids, according to Naval Facilities Engineering Command Pacific documents.  

Registered to attend were Black Microl Corp., GPPC Inc., Hagatna Bay Consulting, Parsons Government Service Inc., Pacific Rim Land Development, Road and Highway Builders LLC, San Juan Construction Inc. SJC-BVIL, and South West Concrete Paving Co.

However, the list of attendees was somewhat different.

Companies that actually sent a representative were Black Microl Corp. (based in Saipan), Pacific Airport Services (based in Saipan), Tano Group Inc., (based in Saipan) FPA Pacific Corp. (based in Tinian), SPG Corp. (based in Saipan) and Tinian Shipping.

Companies who signed up from Guam and further afield may have been deterred by the logistics – if not the cost – of getting to and from Tinian. Coming from outside of Guam, executives would have then possibly faced a two-week quarantine in Guam. Any representatives who were not based in Saipan would have had to have planned for several days quarantine in Saipan, before testing on the fifth day of quarantine.

Flights to Tinian from Saipan are frequent, but Star Marianas flights take only a limited number of passengers.

The government of the NMI also introduced an increase in the cost of the PCR test for outgoing passengers on Sept. 12, which raised it from $50 to $300.

           

Compact negotiations – no seat at the table for Guam, where the money will go

During a Sept. 25 press conference, Douglas W. Domenech, assistant secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Office of Insular and International Affairs, confirmed that negotiations are still underway via video conferencing between the U.S. and the Marshall Islands, Palau and Federated States of Micronesia.

“We would be doing these negotiations in person in each place — if we could do it,” Domenech said.

The negotiations are centered on the Compact of Free Association; the Compact is set to expire for the Marshall Islands and FSM in 2023, as well as Palau in 2024, according to Journal files; one component included is grant funding.

“In terms of what kind of funding we might be able to offer going forward. … We have an agreement with them to not talk about it publicly, so I can’t really discuss the particular numbers that might be involved in that,” Domenech said.

Mark T. Esper, secretary of defense for the U.S. Department of Defense, promised that negotiations will conclude by the end of 2020. (See “US defense secretary talks Compact, regional tensions and vaccine for Palau” in the Journal.)

The fiscal 2020 budget for the DOI’s Office of Insular and International Affairs was $638 million, Domenech said.

“That’s for all of the seven insular areas we cover and in the [fiscal 2021] budget   which has actually not been passed yet the [U.S.] House of Representatives passed their version but the Senate has not,” he said. “So, we’re waiting to see how much we’re gonna get. But the [fiscal 2021] budget was actually a little lower at $619 million of what we submitted. … We have to wait and see what Congress is going to do.”

Domenech told the Journal his office’s focus on “health and education” for the areas will continue.

“We’re very interested in funding school programs and part of that is also energy projects,” he said. “We work with the [U.S.] National Park Service, Fish and Wildlife Service and U.S. Geological Survey, so the three of them are present out in all the islands and we try to work with them to try to leverage their funding as well.”

Regarding Guam’s request to serve as an observer for the negotiations, Domenech told the Journal, “I’m aware that Guam has made this request   their interest has primarily been related to Compact Impact funding and the problem is Compact Impact is not really part of the negotiations.  So, there wouldn’t be any benefit to them actually being there.”

Domenech also said the expense of COFA migrants in each insular area is “very high.”

“Guam has expressed concern about this it’s a top concern to us as well and it’s something we hope we can address in the eventual bill that is presented to Congress. But we need to get beyond the negotiations before we can do that,” he said.

Domenech told the Journal he is scheduled to visit Palau in December for the 7th annual Our Ocean conference, which is from Dec. 7 to Dec. 8 (rescheduled after the original dates from Aug. 17 to Aug. 18); and the inaugural Pacific Ecological Security Conference, which is from Dec. 9 to Dec. 12.

“I just don’t know if I can do it, though; we’re waiting for Palau to tell us if they’re going to open [the borders] back up,” said Domenech.

 

Restrictions to loosen, outdoor dining and golfing included

The Department of Public Health and Social Services issued Guidance Memo 2020-39 on Sept. 25 following an announcement by Gov. Lourdes A. Leon Guerrero during a Sept. 24 press conference on loosened restrictions for businesses, government agencies and non-contact sporting activities.

However, the loosened restrictions would not change Guam’s pandemic condition of readiness level from its current status, PCOR1.

Notable updates in the memo include:

  • Outdoor dining at restaurants is allowed; each group is limited to six same-household members and tables must be at least six feet apart. Indoor dining remains prohibited.
  • Retail stores can reopen at 25% capacity; animal grooming and training establishments, as well as cosmetology establishments are allowed to reopen by appointment only. Other businesses that must reopen by appointment only are dive shops; automobile wash, detailing, and tinting businesses; photography services; financial planning; advertising and marketing; and in-office consulting.
  • Government of Guam agencies deemed “critical” are authorized to reopen at 25% capacity, with business-related customer services allowed to operate on a limited basis. Other customer services are allowed by appointment only.
  • Running, walking, biking and other individual recreation and exercise is permitted on public roadways, beaches and parks.
  • Other non-contact recreational activities, such as golf, tennis, shooting, scuba diving are allowed if social distancing and mask-wearing (whenever possible) is maintained; groups are limited to four people; and each golfer must ride in separate carts.

According to the governor, businesses and activities were classified as varying levels of low to high risk after analyzing scientific data, as well as discussions with the Physicians Advisory Group, Economic Recovery Business Group and DPHSS.

The classification criteria included frequency and volume of customer foot traffic, length of time customers are in establishments and amount of in-person contact.

“For example, a low risk [activity] would be golfing because … it’s not a contact sport. It doesn’t require congregation,” Leon Guerrero told the Journal.

“High risk” sporting activities such as basketball, football and soccer, according to the governor, who cited game cancellations in the U.S. mainland after professional athletes tested positive for the virus.
Additionally, the recovery and advisory groups are currently “working on a timeline for the phased in reopening of Guam” for tourism.

“Believe me, I do not want to stay in this state. I do not like it… We cannot be in PCOR1 permanently; that is not our life,” said Leon Guerrero. “But I do know we have to accept that this coronavirus is going to be part of our life until the vaccines come out and how best can we handle this coronavirus and still protect our people and still open our businesses? That’s the key.”

For more information on the new guidance memorandum and quarantine protocols, go to http://dphss.guam.gov/covid-19.

 

Guam DOL to monitor for fraud

The Guam Department of Labor was awarded a grant of $210K from the U.S. Department of Labor to “help detect and prevent fraud and identity theft in the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program,” according to a Sept. 18 release.

As of Sept. 18, there were 69,747 initial PUA claims in the department’s online unemployment system. More than 20,000 are potential fraud cases, according to GDOL. The agency is “batch cleaning” claims through mid-August, it said with fraudulent applications increasing to 90% of daily claims filed.

Guam was recently awarded $22.6 million from the Federal Emergency Management Agency for a three-week program that will help provide an additional $400 a week of Lost Wages Assistance to PUA claimants receiving at least $100 in unemployment benefits. GDOL will be liable for any fraudulent or over payments made with the additional funding, the agency said. mbj