Radar site prep contract awarded

A view of the first coastal surveillance system installed in Kayangel state, from Journal files.

CAPE Environmental Management Inc. of Honolulu was awarded a $12.23 million task order for “site preparation in support of construction of tactical mobile over-the-horizon radar receive site within the Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command Pacific area of operations,” according to a May 17 release from the U.S. Department of Defense.

The work to be performed includes the site preparation for munitions and explosives constituents/materials potentially presenting an explosive hazard clearance, demolition of existing facilities, clearing and grubbing, excavation and embankment, treatment of contaminated soil and equipment, and creating borrows pits for placement of treated materials.

The task order also contains one unexercised option which, if exercised, would increase task order value to $12.74 million. Work is expected to be completed by May 31, 2023.

Fiscal 2019 military construction (Air Force) funds in the amount of $12,231,603 are being obligated at the time of award. This task order is a single award action against the Small Business Remedial Action Contract, a cost-plus-award-fee, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract where one offer was received.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, “the purpose of the National Remedial Action Contracts is to support Environmental Protection Agency efforts by providing professional architect/engineer, technical, and management services for response actions at sites where the release, or threatened release, of hazardous substances pose a risk to human health and the environment.”

While the exact location in the NAVFAC area of responsibility was not identified in the award, the U.S. plans to place a Tactical Mobile Over the Horizon radar – commonly known as TACMOR – in Palau. See https://www.mbjguam.com/2021/06/07/all-systems-go-radar-in-palau-moves-ahead/. The transmitter site will be on Babeldaob and a receiver on the island of Angaur, according to Journal files. Palau already has coastal surveillance systems.

In a Feb. 26 interview, Rear Adm. Benjamin R. Nicholson, commander of Joint Region Marianas, told the Journal that discussions between the government of Palau and Palauan landowners were ongoing.

In other MilCon news of the same date:

  • AECOM Technical Services Inc. was awarded a $98 million cost-plus-award-fee, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity modification to a previously awarded contract.

This modification provides for “an increase in contract capacity to support the additional requirements of the Environmental Restoration (Navy) program for program management and technical environmental services.” This award brings the total cumulative face value of the contract to $415 million. Work will be performed in Guam, 17%; Hawaii, 64%; Okinawa, Diego Garcia and other areas of the Pacific and Indian Ocean, 1%, as Alaska and other areas of the U.S. – a total of 18%.

Work is expected to be completed by February 2023. 

  • InSynergy and Robert JV LLC Honolulu, Hawaii, was awarded a $50 million indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity “architect-engineer contract for architect-engineer services for various petroleum, oil, and lubricants and mechanical engineering projects and related services at various locations in the Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command Pacific area of operations.”  The term of the contract is not to exceed 60 months with an expected completion date of May 2027. 

Work will be performed in Guam and the Mariana Islands, 70%; Hawaii, 20%; and Australia,10%. Fiscal 2019 funds of $10,000 were obligated on this award and will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. Future task orders will be primarily funded by MilCon planning and design funds. The contract was competitively procured via the beta.sam.gov website with two proposals received.

NAVFAC Pacific made the above awards.


Local partnership to bring Korean telecom company into Guam market


Through a partnership with locally owned Miki Taxi Service, Kakao Mobility Corp.’s Kakao T app will be available through roaming for Korean tourists to call a Miki taxi.

Hong Soon Im, chairman and president of Miki Taxi, told the Journal that the app may be available in June. “We still have technical issues,” he said.

Founded in 1995, Miki taxi is one of the larger taxi groups on the island. Im said before the pandemic he had about 370 drivers. “Many people left off-island and didn’t come back.” Now he has about 110 drivers, Im said.

The Kakao T app is already available in seven South East Asian countries, according to media reports.

KakaoTalk is the most popular mobile instant messaging application in Korea, according to Journal files.


FSM looks to reopen country in August; allows time for further vaccination

The Federated States of Micronesia is considering implementing the Healthy Border Protection Act, which would require that persons entering the FSM be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 (as oppose a continuing Declaration of Public Health Emergency).

The mandate would apply to all persons traveling to the FSM for any period beyond an airport layover, but include medical exemptions. The act would provide powers to the Department of Justice and the Department of Health & Social Affairs, inclusive of reporting requirements. “It is the understanding of the Executive Branch that the intent of the proposed legislation is to effectively replace the Declaration of Public Health Emergency so that, when the Nation’s borders open fully, and the FSM undergoes its first wave of COVID-19, there remains a legal basis for mandating vaccinations, and that the Departments of Justice and Health & Social Affairs have the necessary powers to appropriately respond,” according to a May 17 release.

Under that scenario, the President recommended reducing the number of quarantine days in Guam from five days to three in June and eliminating the Guam quarantine in July and opening the country Aug. 1.

Of all persons aged five and up, the vaccination rate is at 69%. About half of persons 45 and up have received a booster dose and about 20% of persons 18 years and up have received a booster dose in the FSM.

The repatriation flight to Pohnpei has been postponed from May 5 to May 28 to allow the state to prepare, according to the release.


NMI impeachment of governor fails

The Northern Mariana Islands Senate acquitted Gov. Ralph DLG Torres May 18 of the six Articles of Impeachment brought by the House of Representatives, with a verdict of not guilty on charges of corruption and neglect of duty. The impeachment did not get the required support of six votes, but was tallied four Republicans to acquit versus three Democrats to convict – so along party lines.

Torres now faces criminal charges on the allegations, brought by the attorney general.


More Guam businesses may get LEAP grants

The Guam Economic Development Authority Administration will disperse a further $7 million through the Local Employers’ Assistance Program. More than 1,200 applications were received by February, surpassing the initial budget of $50 million. According to a May 18 release from the office of the Governor, 1,260 LEAP applications were received as of Feb.25, for a total of about $59.6 million. The $7 million is in addition to $5 million allocated earlier.

Businesses must show business interruption, with a revenue loss of 50% or greater, or 20% or greater for covered establishments. Funds can be used for operating expenses, particularly with a focus on employment. Loans may be forgiven if at least 60% of all proceeds are used for eligible employee wage and benefit costs.

In other GovGuam news, U.S. Department of the Interior-funded groundbreakings were held for renovation of the $731,632 Bill Muna Ball Park in Mangilao on May 17, with Canton Construction Corp. as the contractor and the $1 million Dededo Outdoor Gym project with Surface Solutions as the contractor. A groundbreaking ceremony for a $1.2 million Malesso’ Multi-Purpose Open Air Gymnasium was held May 2, with Surface Solutions as the contractor.

A “Z wing Demolition Kick Off Ceremony” is scheduled for May 19 at Guam Memorial Hospital, according to GMH. (See various GMH stories on www.mbjguam.com concerning the condition of the hospital, and future plans.) This is Phase Two of a four-phase demolition process. The remaining Z-Wing structure “will be retrofitted for much needed office space at the hospital, and the demolished footprint will provide additional parking slots for staff and visitors, addressing a long-standing challenge at GMH,” according to the hospital. 


Wages recovered and company fined for FLSA violations

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division recovered $17,640 in back wages and liquidated damages for 10 workers from O.H. Construction – owned by Michael Jeon Lee – for violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act. The employer also violated minimum wage, payroll and basic records provisions of the Davis-Bacon and Related Acts by not paying the higher applicable wage to workers in multiple job categories. The company also did not display or make available required DBRA informational resources at the work site, as the law requires, according to a release.

The division also assessed $6,170 in civil money penalties for reckless disregard of the act.


And also:

The Westin Guam has introduced keyless entry for its rooms with smartphones to act as room keys, allowing guests to bypass the front desk and go straight into their rooms, according to a May 17 release. The Mobile Key is available via the Marriott app for guests after booking. mbj