Procurement director-nominee passes House confirmation
Procurement Director nominee, Dr. Oreta Crichton was unanimously approved in the House of Representatives in a ‘yes’ vote of 18, following her confirmation hearing yesterday morning. She fielded questions pertaining to the bidding process and re-opening of the government supply store — among other issues.
Of interest, Leone Rep. Fagaoatua Dorian Salave’a suggested to Crichton that the Procurement Office consider purchasing government vehicles that fit the purpose of the departments and agencies. A teacher by profession, Fagaoatua explained that this was a suggestion from one of his students; to help lower the government costs, instead of just purchasing the “big trucks”.
Some departments buy F150s, yet they don’t really need that type of “big truck” — a smaller SUV would suffice, said Fagaoatua. The Acting Director replied that this is something that their department will definitely take into consideration.
Manu’a faipule Vesi Fautanu Talalelei Jr. urged the nominee to look into how the bidding process is done when it comes to landscaping/ construction contracts, noting that it would be fair to share the load with other companies that are eager to get contracts with the government. He said accountability is necessary within her department pointing also to the various government vehicles that are under commission with different mechanic shops, and that this should stop.
Dr. Crichton agreed saying that their office is currently working on a process where they would require government vehicles to be taken to “certified” mechanic shops so issues like these do not occur.
Vesi said the Procurement Office is the “heart and soul of the government supplies and we need to move forward to save money, and that having certified businesses to “fix” vehicles is a good move.
Rep Vaetasi Tuumolimoli suggested that Procurement should reopen their supply store and Dr. Crichton agreed, noting they have $110,00 worth of office supplies in their warehouse and having the government store would save costs.
However the idea was not welcomed by Rep Vailiuama Steve Leasiolagi, who said that there are local businesses that cater to the needs of the government in terms of supplies, and that re-opening the government supply store will take money away from the local businesses, which are barely surviving.