Losing rail bidder files appeal with state

Andy Robbins
Andy Robbins

By Ben Gutierrez - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - One of the companies that did not win the core systems contract for Honolulu's rail transit system filed an appeal Wednesday with the state, claiming that the city wrongly disqualified its proposal.

Bombardier Transportation (Holdings) USA, Inc., filed the appeal with the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs. Bombardier and Sumitomo Corporation of America protested the city's award of the $574 million contract to Ansaldo Honolulu to build the train cars and provide the rail system's control center. The city's Budget and Finance Department last week rejected the protests.

"The city's denial of our protest last week was flawed and was hardly an independent review," said Andy Robbins, Bombardier vice president.

Robbins also said that Bombardier's bid had the "best value," which the city ignored.

"The best value is determined by the overall best price, as well as the best score for technical and management issues," Robbins said. "And it seemed the way the procurement was done, they only focused on the initial price and not the overall best value."

Sumitomo Corporation said it was still reviewing the city's response to its protest.

"We haven't protested a project in the past, so for us to make a decision to do so is not easy," said Gino Antoniello Sumitomo's vice president for Transportation Systems & Equipment. "But given the city's response it is more likely than not that we will have to appeal to the DCCA."

A spokeswoman for the city had no comment, saying the city had not yet received a copy of the appeal, and that the appeal is a continuation of the protest process.

The DCCA must issue a decision within 45 days.

Robbins said he was confident the state would rule in Bombardier's favor. "In this way, we are confident that we will get an independent and fair hearing in front of an experienced and impartial administrative judge," he said.

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