Guam Memorial Hospital officials are just as frustrated as anyone else that the Maternal and Child Healthcare Renovation Project has been delayed.
Recently, financing negotiations were ended at the advice of the Office of the Attorney General of Guam. Some senators asked why the information wasn’t shared with them. GEDA Administrator Jay Rojas explained that during the meeting with senators and doctors, they were still in the middle of negotiations and couldn’t share that information, which is considered privileged according to procurement law.
GMH CFO Benita Manglona stated that Bank of Guam was making “extraordinary requirements” as part of their negotiation on the financing contract. Rojas told Senators that the Bank of Guam’s requests were not allowed under the project’s authorizing legislation.
Dr. Jonathan Sidell questioned why Bank of Guam is making these new requirements. He asked are these requirements going to be the new Bank of Guam standard? He suggested that something strange was going on.
While Senators said they had no idea what was going on with the negotiations, the Guam Economic Development Agency did send information to media. The information was published by media organizations, such as the Pacific Daily News’ Jan. 16, 2018, “GEDA pursues financing options for GMH’s birth center”.
GEDA’s press release follows:
For Immediate Release
Jan. 12, 2018
The Guam Economic Development Agency is asking the U.S. Department of Agriculture to waive the requirement for interim financing after negotiations with Bank of Guam fell through.
Since July last year, GEDA, with the support of the Office of the Attorney General of Guam, had been negotiating the terms of the interim financing for the Guam Memorial Hospital Labor & Delivery. However, Bank of Guam was requesting terms that did not comply with the law authorizing the financing.
GEDA requested that Bank of Guam officials reconsider the terms they were requesting, noting that these requirements for additional financial reassurance were a concern for the AG’s office, and also was the first time they had requested such reassurances. The request for reconsideration was denied, which lead the AG’s office to recommend GEDA terminate discussions with Bank of Guam.
GEDA is now in discussions with USDA.
“This has been a long and arduous journey but we are bound by the laws of Guam,” said Jay Rojas, GEDA administrator. “It doesn’t mean we’re giving up, though. We’re going back to USDA to see if they can stand by their original waiver of the interim financing requirement. The waiver allows us to move forward on the renovation of the Labor & Delivery and give our moms and youngest Guamanians a modernized facility.”