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Back Local News GovGuam health insurance team urged to improve its procedures

GovGuam health insurance team urged to improve its procedures

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THE standard operating procedures for GovGuam’s health insurance negotiating team are “grossly insufficient,” Vice Speaker Benjamin J.F. Cruz said during a public hearing for the proposed rules of procedure for the government of Guam health insurance negotiating team held Friday.

Cruz said he was disappointed that a review of all the procurement protests filed last year was not conducted and suggested a review be made and solutions drawn up to address all the issues brought up in the fiscal year 2013 request for proposal process.

During the hearing, Sen. Ben Pangelinan and TakeCare Insurance Company also provided testimony, urging the negotiating team to improve its rules and regulations to avoid a repeat of the FY2013 health insurance debacle.

Pangelinan said: “During the fiscal year 2013 Government of Guam Health Insurance Program (GHIP) procurement, the request for proposal review process by the negotiation team veered tragically off the cliff with respect to the duties and objectives of government of Guam negotiation team members.”

In FY2013, a series of protests led to the eventual award of the $70 million health insurance contract to Calvo’s SelectCare. The protests claimed the team had no adopted rules of procedure, had not followed request for proposal procedure, improperly shared bidders’ information, improperly retracted and changed the ranks of offerors, and had improperly reversed findings.

On Feb. 25, insurance providers TakeCare, Calvo’s SelectCare and Island Home Insurance agreed to dismiss procurement protests.

“The main problem that developed (in 2013) was the ability of the government to disqualify offerors’ proposals that are deemed non-responsive,” Pangelinan said, suggesting an amendment to procedures to allow the team to request additional documents or information for all bidders to be considered.

Pangelinan suggested an amendment to prohibit team members from holding independent meetings or consultations with anyone outside of the team as well as to avoid conflicts and the appearance of conflicts.

TakeCare, the first to file protest in August 2012, listed 19 inadequacies of the procurement procedures describing no documented guidelines for how offerors will be ranked, deemed nonresponsive, rejected, or negotiated with.

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