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Final decision on call center award delayed

The Procurement Office’s “final decision” on the awarding of the Call Center Training Facility contract to California-based American Pacific Resources (APR) has been delayed while a meeting is being held off-island with APR officials.

Acting chief procurement officer Ivy Taufa’asau in July awarded the $1.5 million contract to APR for the Department of Human Resources (DRH) which is to train more than 1,000 for the call center industry in the territory.

Honolulu-based American Samoa Services Associates Corporation (ASSAC) filed a challenge thereafter, asking Taufa’asau to reconsider the decision. ASSAC official Avamua David Haleck informed Taufa’asau in a July 29 letter that the company understands from media reports that four of the five members of the Source Evaluation Board had recommended that ASSAC be selected and awarded the contract, as it complied with all criteria of the bid specifications.

Samoa News received word yesterday that the 30-working days, in which Taufa’asau was to reply to the challenge, expired this week.

“A final decision by the CPO has been delayed,” said Taufa’asau yesterday, responding to Samoa News inquiries. Taufa’asau said a team from Procurement Office and the Department of Human Resources met with APR in San Diego, Calif., last week.

“Upon the return of this team on Monday, Sep 19, 2011, a final decision will be rendered thereafter,” she said.

There are no specific details on what is being discussed between the local team and APR in California.

In his letter, Avamua said that “our objection and appeal is also based on our belief that APR’s proposal completely failed to show that it would ensure or even address how the training facility’s graduates would be placed in full-time jobs in the Call Center Industry in American Samoa” and therefore APR’s proposal didn’t comply with the request for proposal (RFP) issued by the Procurement Office.

Taufa’asau had told Samoa News that the SEB scored the proposals submitted by ASSAC and APR the same — out of 500 points, each proposal was scored 350 on all the evaluation criteria.

“Since it was a tie, the deciding factor for me to deny the SEB recommendation of award to ASSAC was based on cost/price,” Taufa’asau said, adding that ASSAC’s bid was $5.8 million (or $5,856,294).