For The Record: Hawai’i Independent Q&A

Posted on Feb 27, 2015 in Community News, Department of Hawaiian Home Lands, Public Information, Public Notice

These questions and answers from the Hawai’i Independent are in reference to a Feb. 20, 2015 news release from Hawaiian Community Assets (one of the losing bidders in the case in question). HCA and its supporters addressed the Hawaiian Homes Commission on Feb. 18 outlining some of their allegations.

This is a media request for comment from the Hawaii Independent. As you know, several beneficiary non-profits accused the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands of practicing institutional discrimination against them at the Feb. 18 commission meeting. We would appreciate your answers to the following brief questions:

What does DHHL say in response to these allegations?

That is simply not the case. As a State agency, DHHL is bound by the State procurement code and must follow the policies and procedures set forth by the law.

What does the commission say in response to these allegations?

As a State agency, DHHL is bound by the State procurement code and must follow the policies and procedures set forth by the law.

As you are both DHHL director and commission chair, and as some of the
accusations were against you as director of DHHL, is there a conflict
of interest in any action the commission takes regarding the
allegations?

There is no conflict of interest. The State Procurement Code is very clear with the process and procedures vetted through the State Procurement Office. The commission’s role is to either affirm or reject the award.

Ultimately, the review and analyses of any proposal can only be based off of the submitted proposal and cannot be based on information not contained in the proposal itself. If questions were left unanswered or responses left incomplete, full credit cannot be applied.

The HALE services contract was procured under professional services governed by HRS 103D-304, and Chapter 3-122, Subchapter 7, HAR, under category GS-1701- United States Office of Personnel Management – Professional Services Positions (General Education and Training).

Under professional services procurement, there are six steps involved: Public Notice, Review and Selection Committee appointments, Review Committee development of the List of Qualified Service Providers, Selection Committee Ranking, Contract Negotiations, and Notice of Award.

Public Notice

The purpose of the public notice is to obtain information and data from all service providers interested in competing to provide professional services for the State. The public notice is posted on the State Procurement Office web site, requests all service providers interested in providing professional services for DHHL to submit qualification statements as stated in the public notice for evaluation.

Regarding the HALE services, the public notice dated February 11, 2014 was reviewed by the deputy of the State Procurement Office to ensure the publication followed proper procurement guidelines.

Review Committee

A Review Committee is appointed to evaluate statements of qualifications for the purpose of compiling a List of Qualified Service Providers. The Selection Committee may only select from the List of Qualified Service Providers developed by the Review Committee. Individuals serving on the review committee must complete an affidavit (SPO Form-24) to ensure that there are no potential conflicts.

Regarding the HALE services, out of the 17 Service Providers reviewed by the Review Committee, four service providers made it to the List of Qualified Service Providers for ranking by the Selection Committee. HCA was one of them.

Selection Committee

The Selection Committee uses the List of Qualified Service Providers created by the Review Committee to rank a minimum of three service providers. The Selection Committee uses the criteria 1. Experience and Professional Qualifications, 2. Past Performance, and 3. Capacity of the Firm in their ranking. (HRS-103D-303 (e)). Individuals serving on the selection committee must complete an affidavit (SPO Form-24) to ensure that there are no potential conflicts.

The Selection Committee can only score on information submitted on the written proposal, not on personal knowledge.

Regarding the HALE services, the Selection Committee evaluated all four statement of qualifications and ranked HCA’s statement of qualifications in third place.

Contract Negotiations

Based on the Selection Committee ranking, contract negotiations are conducted with the first ranked service provider. Should contract negotiations fail with the first ranked service provider, the second ranked service provider must be approached, and so on. If negotiations fail with all service providers, the Selection Committee will be called upon to select a minimum of three additional service providers from the List of Qualified Service Providers.

Posting of Award

Governor’s Executive Memorandum No. 06-01 issued on January 20, 2006 directed State Executive Departments to post awards to increase transparency and demonstrate that procurement of goods, services, and construction are subject to full and open competition. The disclosure of award information ensures public confidence in the integrity of Hawaii’s procurement processes, fair and equitable treatment of vendors, contractors, and service providers, and supports full and open competition. The public, including vendors, contractors, and service providers, are able to view award information by specific types of procurement, agency, and awardee.

Regarding the HALE services, the Award posted on SPO website on July 24, 2014.

Challenges to the Award

HCA had the option and power to request a debriefing or submit a protest on this award pursuant to the Hawaii State Procurement Code. HCA did not submit a protest within the time set forth by the State Procurement Code.

* Special Note: The service provider which was awarded the HALE Service Contract is a woman-owned, small business operated by a third generation homesteader (native Hawaiian beneficiary) living on the Waianae Coast.

Mahalo for your time and for your response to these inquiries. My deadline is tomorrow at 5pm.

Will Caron
Managing Editor
The Hawaii Independent
8083874920
will@hawaiiindependent.net


 

Follow-up questions from Will Caron

Mar. 4, 2015

I’d like to confirm something with Director Masagatani. Can you please pass this on to her?

DHHL passed on awarding contracts to Hawaii Community Assets because their proposal was incomplete or unsatisfactory in some other way, correct?

Pursuant to State Procurement Law, the merits of any proposal are evaluated through both a review committee and selection committee. The selection committee scoring is based on 103D-304(e). Rankings are based on the service provider’s submitted statement of qualifications only.

The HCA proposal was ranked third most qualified.

What specifically did they fail to include that led them to score low? Their own charts (which they showed the commission at the Feb. 18 meeting) show that they have the strongest qualifications in terms of staff strength, experience, ability to broker loans etc. By rejecting HCA’s proposals, DHHL is saying those charts are not, in fact, accurate, correct?

HCA’s proposal did not score low nor was it rejected. The HCA proposal was ranked third most qualified. The charts that HCA created and presented to the commission were not provided to the selection committee as part of the submitted proposal. As previously stated, the review and analyses of any proposal can only be based off of the submitted proposal and cannot be based on information not contained in the proposal itself.