A $229,000 sole-source contract awarded to a private firm to provide heavy equipment for the Marpi landfill operations has been extended for a month for $54,800, Saipan Tribune learned yesterday. Success International Corp.'s “emergency” contract could be extended for another month or so, until an ongoing request for proposals related to the landfill is completed and a two-year contract is awarded.
Rep. Ray Tebuteb (IR-Saipan), when asked for comment, said the Department of Public Works should also make room for possible procurement protest from bidders.
He said this could mean extension of the so-called “emergency” contract that lasted four months and extended for a fifth month covering January. Tebuteb is chairman of the Saipan and Northern Islands Legislative Delegation.
“Glad to know there's at least six companies responding to the RFP, when last year DPW said there's no one else other than Success International could provide the specialized heavy equipment for the Marpi landfill operations. I hope the process goes smoothly, that procurement rules and laws are followed. But like I said, consideration should be given on possible protests that could prolong the RFP process,” Tebuteb told Saipan Tribune.
Vicente Castro, acting DPW secretary, confirmed yesterday that the department extended for another month the emergency contract with Success International for $54,800, to give ample time for the procurement process to be completed. He was referring to an RFP issued in December, and whose deadline for submission of proposals is early next week.
Antonio Camacho, DPW secretary nominee and director of DPW's Technical Services Division, separately said as of yesterday, six companies have expressed interest in responding to the RFP including Success International, which holds the current emergency contract.
“This RFP is requesting more services from the proposers including maintenance of the landfill, and not just providing heavy equipment. So we are looking at a more costly contract than the emergency contract we have right now because of additional services we are asking for,” he said.
Camacho said DPW is seeking a two-year contract.
“For any business, they will have to invest in equipment and one year contract is not enough to recoup their investment. For planning purposes, one year contract is not appropriate for this kind of contract so we are doing two years contract at a time,” he added.
Camacho, however, said that the government is looking at waste-to-energy program that will minimize the debris being sent to the Marpi landfill and therefore decrease the operational costs at the site.
Jun Miao Guo, more known as “Henry Miao” and owner of Success International, confirmed yesterday that they are responding to the RFP. He said his company is able to provide the services required as well as additional ones indicated in the RFP. DPW's Camacho said besides Success International, the other interested bidders are GPPC, JG Sablan, U.S. Fanter, RMIC, and Tang's Corp.
Dennis Tupas, project manager at GPPC, said they have asked DPW for a two-week extension to respond to the RFP but that request has yet to be granted. Tupas said there are a lot of factors to consider in responding to the RFP, including the type of equipment. The sole-source $229,000 Marpi landfill heavy equipment contract was initially reported at the height of the impeachment proceedings against Gov. Benigno R. Fitial last year. At the time, there were concerns that Fitial supporters may have been among the reasons behind the no-bid contract award.
Success International's owner, Jun Miao Guo or “Henry Miao” had said he got the contract because his company is the only one that has the required equipment. He had said he is no longer doing business with Tony Rasiang, one of the governor's staunchest supporters. He said he has never had any business ties with Felix Nogis, another staunch ally of Fitial.
Success International Corp., registered as a CNMI business since May 5, 2006, is doing business as M&R Construction/Contractor, as well as Success Auto Repair Shop and SARS Towing Service that used to provide services to the Department of Public Safety among other clients.
The firm's initial four-month emergency contract that expired on Dec. 31 requires a monthly payment of $54,800 or $219,000 contract price, plus $10,000 in mobilization cost for a total contract price of $229,000.
DPW awarded the emergency contract to Success International when the department's previous contractor, Pacific Drilling Ltd., informed them that it is no longer renewing its contract shortly before their contract was to expire.
Without specialized heavy equipment such as a rolling compactor that only Success International could provide, trash dumped at the Marpi landfill couldn't be compacted and would be easily filled to capacity, among other things. This was DPW's main justification for the award of an emergency, no-bid contract to Success International.
At the time, the Office of the Public Auditor was asked to investigate the sole-source contract award.
DPW has worked on an RFP for the Marpi landfill heavy equipment and operations for at least four months. The RFP was published only in December and the deadline to submit proposals is Jan. 22, CNMI time.
“And for us to have six interested companies so far is good. If there's competition, it could bring down the cost to us. There will be an evaluation committee to evaluate the background and qualification and operational plan,” DPW's Camacho added.