By Nancy I. Maanao
A lot of companies and people made a lot of money from federally-funded contracts during the coronavirus pandemic. Sure, many companies struggled and even closed down for good. Workers fell into poverty, if they weren't already there. But there was opportunity - a lot of opportunity - if you were in the right business, or you were crafty and driven enough to get in the right business, or if you knew someone who could hook you up.
When the public health emergency began one year and two days ago, the governor invoked the provisions of the Emergency Health Powers Act for the first time since the statute was enacted. Among those provisions was her ability to suspend statutes throughout the Guam Code in order to respond quickly to the pandemic. Among those statutes that, in many ways (though we suspect not all), needed to be held in abeyance until the emergency became less urgent, was the procurement code. The administration found itself in possession of spending powers no governor ever has had, including the ability to award contracts to, well, anyone they wanted to.
After the administration found itself in deep controversy last year surrounding the questionable emergency procurement of hotel facilities for the initial quarantine centers, the Guam Legislature began passing laws demanding transparency through reporting, despite the public health emergency.
Among the reports the law requires is a list of the names of the companies or contractors, the amount they were paid, and the type of supply or service that were awarded sole source contracts through emergency procurement.
The administration this week filed its report, showing hundreds of Guam companies and contractors who made tens of millions of dollars off the pandemic since last year.
Below you will find the law on sole source contracts and emergency procurement, and below that the list of the companies and contractors: