Always Getting the Shaft

Joe Murphy, editor emeritus at the Pacific Daily News and my neighbor, wrote an excellent piece published in yesterday’s editorial page. He’s right too – GovGuam has habitually fallen prey to shoddy work from contractors. The Oracle system boondoggle is an excellent example – $4.5 million for a software system that never worked. But the most glaring example of the government’s ineptitude is the troubled Southern High School in Agat. It was touted for years as a state-of-the-art facility, a shining example of GovGuam’s commitment to education. I am amazed that people aren’t in jail for the mess that was created down there. It took the contractor years to complete the project, overbudget and late. Despite the extra money and time, the swimming pool doesn’t hold water, the athletic fields are unusable, the air conditioners don’t work, water service is sporadic, mold fills the building, and several classrooms reek and are abandoned. The place is a mess, and yet nobody is held accountable for that disaster.