To ensure the best rate services for its customers, the Commonwealth Utilities Corp. is holding an open procurement for utility rate and financial consulting services.
The contract of its current rate consultant, economists.com, is expiring on July 18.
CUC executive director Alan W. Fletcher told Saipan Tribune yesterday that a request for proposal has been running in the last few weeks. Procurement closes on June 13.
Economists.com has been CUC’s rate consultant since 2006. Its soon-to-expire contract with CUC amounts to $349,000.
“The evaluation and ranking of proposers will be based on the firm’s experience, qualifications, and capacities, professional personnel, references, and cost,” said Fletcher of the criteria for the competitive bid.
Some lawmakers recently expressed dissatisfaction with economists.com’s performance and have urged CUC not to renew the company’s contract.
Fletcher refused to comment when asked if CUC received a specific request from lawmakers and if CUC is satisfied with the consultant’s performance.
“Inasmuch as we are currently in the process of an open and competitive procurement, there is no further comment,” he told Saipan Tribune.
Since the revival of the CUC board of directors, all contracts and agreements for various services, including professional agreements, will now go through the board for review and approval. The stated objective is to make sure that all services to be sourced from outside the agency are cost-effective and efficient.
The board recently approved the execution of a six-year fuel contract with Mobil Oil.
Saipan Tribune learned of seven other “expiring” contracts for various services at CUC, including that of economists.com.
The others are the $600,000 contract with Island Equipment Co., which supplies chlorine gas and whose contact expires on Aug. 10, 2014; the $482,000 contract with Marianas Repair, which provides the maintenance of the utility’s fleet and is expiring on Nov. 17, 2014; the $225,000 contract with the Law Offices of Deborah Fisher; the $105,000 contract with Joeten Motors Co. that expires this November; and the $100,000 contract with Gresco Environmental; among others.
In an earlier interview with Saipan Tribune, CUC board chair David J. Sablan emphasized the need for review all of the agency’s existing contracts.
“We asked for the listing and details of all the contracts so we can look at them. The whole idea is to see whether we will need to extend or cancel [specific contracts]. Because generally speaking, we need to evaluate each one of them to see if we can do it inside [CUC],” he told Saipan Tribune.