Another Sole-Source Contract with Dept. of Commerce Ties

August 13, 2011

The Saipan Tribune reports that the CNMI Department of Commerce has just awarded a company called Data Talks a $15,000 sole-source contract to conduct the CNMI Government's prevailing wage survey for 2011. The mystery company is owned by NMC instructor Will Maui who was an employee of the very department that is awarding the contract -the CNMI Department of Commerce. Maui reportedly worked for the Dept. of Commerce 10 years ago.

I could find no website for this company. I searched last Friday after the story broke to see who owned the company and there is nothing. Is this another new business that was developed just for the purpose of landing a contract, much like former Secretary of Commerce Michael Ada did to land the ARRA sole-source contract? When was it licensed and what other contracts and work has this business successfully completed? Why would the Governor's Office issue yet another sole-source contract after the recent hoopla over the ARRA sole-source contract that was awarded to his political pal, Michael Ada?

A separate wage survey is already being conducted by the Saipan Chamber of Commerce and is well underway. The Chamber received a $16.500 contract from the U.S. Department of the Interior. Fitial is awaiting a $40,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Labor for the survey. Apparently this will go to Data Talks?

Why the need for two contracts when both will do the same thing - survey employers to determine 2011 prevailing wages? Maybe two surveys are needed, but I don't see the point. If this move follows the predictable patterns of Governor Fitial's Administration then we can expect after the two survey results are released the governor will argue over which figures should be followed, there will be a lawsuit, a huge battle and more delays.

As a federal tax payer I am not pleased to see this waste of federal funds and will speak to appropriate members of Congress and officials at DOL and DOI to make inquiries. Maybe it is fine for the CNMI government to constantly take federal funds because no one in the CNMI is a federal taxpayer, but I am not okay with this. Would the CNMI government would be so frivolous and wasteful if the money was coming from their coffers and people?

Coordination anyone?

I also want to know what happened with the ARRA contract fiasco. What does the USDOJ have to say about this? See these posts for more information on the ARRA contract scandal:

DOJ Continues to Investigate ARRA Contract That Violated Five CNMI Laws
Senate to Investigate ARRA Contract, August 1, 2011
There's More to the ARRA Controversy, July 31, 2011
More Problems with IPS and ARRA Controversy, July 27, 2011
Fitial, Ada and Buckingham Go National in Contract-Gate, July 27, 2011
Appearance of Federal Crime in ARRA Contract Scheme, July 25, 2011
Crossing the Line, July 24, 2011
More CNMI Corruption From the Ethically Challenged Fitial Administration, July 21, 2011
CNMI Abuses, October 26, 2010
Office of the Public Auditor Dropping the Ball? October 22, 2010
Contract Concerns Continue, October 21, 2010
OIA: "We don't want people messing with our money." October 19, 2010
Just as Suspected, October 18, 2010
Ada Steps Down as Commerce Secretary and Lands Contract From Governor, October 16, 2010


Anonymous said...

The Saipan Chamber of Commerce was very proactive in this service to the business community. It survey is currently underway. Normally, it is the duty of the Government to do these type of project, but let't face it, this government does not do anything. The only reason they are now conducting their own survey is because the SCC made them look so lazy and inept, both which are true.

Anonymous said...

What does anyone know about this company? Some good points are raised here. Did he get a license after the contract like Ada did?

Anonymous said...

another political in-job. someone please help us!

Anonymous said...

This government has pushed so many qualified people out the door these past 5 years. Sadly there are not that many gov employees that know what they are doing anymore. Sole sourcing with a good justification letter is the way things are getting done these days. There are some bad piggies feeding at the gov trough complete with lobster bibbs. OPA and Procurement know this. Many good contractors have left the island and it is difficult to bid out projects and find qualified bidders. Believe it or not but a few contractors still in business on island get nervous when they are approached to provide a price on a emergency sole source contract.