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Very interesting, investigation required.
One thing that should be investigate is what was low bid and the other bids for the project. The paper is only reporting the high bid.
The state should use their own in-house electricians and carpenters for the school A/C project. And any explanations for the exorbitantly high contractor bids that John White and PRP provides should not be believed. John White and PRP lost all credibility during the last Honolulu mayoral election.
Maybe instead of investigating the Bidders we should figure out who at the state level put the budget together, This is like going to buy a car and telling the dealership his prices are to high and asking for a investigation of the dealer, maybe you should have saved more money. If all the prices are in the same range , maybe just maybe the budgeters are the problem!
You may be correct as the technical specifications for the air conditioning project are drawn up by State employees who may know little about air conditioning so therefore the price tag. However, investigation could be warranted because the bidders maybe in cahoots with each other. It is called complimentary bids. The owners of these air conditioning companies know each other. They discuss their workload and decide amongst themselves who should get the job. Then they all put in bids making sure their bid price is higher then the company who they decided should get the job. Did this happened? Not sure. Hence, the merit for an investigation.
agree..looks like insiders are taking advantage-again-of the taxpayer. The prices are wildly inflated.
Yep, they did this at the airport about 13 years ago, manipulate the contract, under bid, then feed one another.
You want to know why the cost is so high?
My guess is the contract call for the workers to be paid “Prevailing Wage rates”.
It’s all fine and dandy when the government sets the pay rate when some private company has to pay the cost but when the government has to foot the bill then costs are too high.
When there is a lot of work and the contractors are busy, there are going to be higher bids. Unless the contractors conspired, the DOE is getting the lowest price from an open bid procedure that they are using. As others have suggested, perhaps the estimated costs are incorrect.
Perhaps the Star Advertiser could do some old fashioned journalism and investigate this. This is not an AG item to investigate. Matt Lopresti is part of the problem. His solution is to spend money on an investigation that is not warranted. A request for bids was put out and the 16 eligible contractors answered back with their bids based on the specification provided by the Dept of Education.
Before we start bashing the contractors and demanding an investigation by the AG we need to first look at what the bid specifications required.
Second, those accusing the contractors of profiteering need to look a the state laws that require 80% of the workers to be residents of Hawaii.
Third, state contracts required that the prevailing for their respective trades in the union. The average prevailing wage of about $45 an hour.
Perhaps we as a state should be blaming ourselves, because we (through our elected officials) are the ones that put these rules into effect that caused these bids to be higher than expected.
People, this is the law of unintended consequences!
Aoloa you are spot on!! Lopresti is a backbencher opportunist. He’s a typical Progressive who distorts or simply omits either partial or complete segments of the facts in order to advance his own agenda.
Knowing DOE, they probably begged contractors to hurry with half-#ssed bids to make the bill and are now blaming the contractors.
Plus, Aoloa is so right about Rep. Lolo. And “we” thought Rida was full of herself and a big pain?!!
Look no further than PRP.
Perhaps the managers of the rail project can take a lesson from the DOE. They might even want to have a discussion with the executive management of the Outrigger Hotel who also took a step back to catch their breath. Don’t accept any bids just for the sake of keeping construction activities ongoing. It’s OK to completely halt the project until contractors can come in with more reasonable bids. They (the contractors) are simply taking advantage of an overheated market. Let them sit idle for awhile until they start to feel some “hunger pains.” When they start to grumble, restart the bidding process. Losing a little time is far better than losing a lot of tax dollars to those who seek opportunities to gouge the taxpayers.
in the meantime, the students sit in sweat boxes and try to learn…
The problem is that the bids came from a select few “pre-qualifed” contractors. The bids should be open to all bidders like a normal invitation for bid, IFB.
And that is what makes it suspicious.
The author obviously has no clue as to what is involved with bidding DOE projects. Start interviewing contractors that have to wait months just to get paid by the state for projects that they have completed then come back with a real story based on the low bidder instead of the high bidder.
If I am not mistaken, the way government bidding works, we don’t care what the highest bid is. We reject it. We take the lowest responsible bid. The problem is if the RFP is flawed and subject to protest. Then we have a problem. Why is the State concerned with the HIGH bid?