9 Oct 2012

Probe sought on CNMI landfill contract

8:14 am on 9 October 2012

The Office of the Public Auditor in the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas is being urged to investigate the awarding of a contract worth 229,000 US dollars to provide heavy equipment for the Marpi landfill.

The contract wasn't put out to tender and Representative Ray Tebuteb says he is requesting a probe to determine whether the no-bid contract was justified and whether the CNMI risks a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency penalty if the contract violates any Agency regulations.

Success International Corporation was awarded the contract and a private citizen has already asked the Office to check what kind of heavy equipment the company will use.

Mr Tebuteb's request also seeks to determine whether Governor Benigno Fitial's supporters, Tony Rasiang and Felix Nogis, helped tip the scales in favour of Success International being awarded the contract.

He says the fact that the Division of Environmental Quality was not made aware of a change in heavy equipment contractor for the only EPA-compliant civilian landfill among all Pacific island territories raises a red flag.