Bid Review Board recommends cancelling Adjusters Intl’s Puerto Rico Housing contract
SAN JUAN – The Puerto Rico Housing Department’s Bid Review Board recommended the cancellation of the contract with Adjusters International for not complying with the core requirements required in the agency’s own request for proposals (RFP).
In the board’s final resolution, notified to the parties Tuesday, Chairman Godohaldo Pérez Torres argues that the conclusion of the panel is that its Evaluating Committee “erred in its evaluation of Adjusters proposal, to the point of arbitrarily applying evaluation criteria. ”
The awarding of the project management contract to Adjusters was challenged by competitor AECOM, which claimed that the provisions of the RFP had been violated. Housing signed the $138 million contract with the company to manage the “Tu Hogar Renace” program, aimed at restoring homes affected by Hurricane María in Puerto Rico.
“Section 4.2 mandatorily required all bidders to submit with their offer that they had a certification from the General Services Administration of Puerto Rico. It is an incontrovertible fact that Adjusters did not present the required certification,” the resolution reads.
It further adds that the requirements defined in the RFP for “joint venture” were not met, thus Adjusters should not have received 10 points that allowed it to stay for the second round of selection. “Certainly, the agreement with LinkActiv Inc. does not meet the criteria for granting the 10 bonus points.”
Likewise, the provisions of section 5.7.1 of the RFP on the financial capacity of the bidding companies were not complied with since “there is no evidence that the requirement of having $35 million in a financial entity insured by the FDIC [Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.] has been met.”
“Certainly, there is no information in the file that Adjusters had $35 million confirmed by a third party” because it could not be considered funds belonging to Adjusters. Therefore, the company’s practice, validated by Housing and by its secretary, Fernando Gil Enseñat, of “using funds from subsidiaries and joint ventures to try to comply with the requirement was contrary to the provisions of the RFP.”
“Accordingly, it is determined that the award to Adjusters was contrary to the law and void,” the board concludes, stating that it be canceled and the steps to be taken for a new bid be determined.
For his part, the executive vice president of AECOM, Vahid Ownjazayeri, thanked the review board for evaluating the facts and correcting the award, and Gil Enseñat “for directing a transparent process and ensuring that all requirements are met.”
“This determination will lead to a qualified team working on the recovery work of the country, AECOM-CPM JV is ready and qualified to begin working immediately with the Department of Housing so that residents of Puerto Rico can return to their homes,” the executive said.