Correction: An earlier version of this story inaccurately referred to the Ansaldo Honolulu proposal as worth $1.2 billion. The contract would guarantee Ansaldo $1.1 billion.
An executive with Bombardier, one of two companies rejected in their bids for a Honolulu rail contract worth more than $1 billion, called a Tuesday afternoon debrief with Honolulu officials “productive.”
But Andrew Robbins, Bombardier’s vice president of business development, said it didn’t change his mind about what he sees as a flawed procurement process by the city. After a two-year bidding process, Bombardier was disqualified days before officials announced rival firm Ansaldo Honolulu was its selection for a $1.1 billion core systems contract.
“What I can tell you is we’re very pleased that they were very professional and very forthright and they tried very hard to answer our questions,” Robbins told Civil Beat Tuesday. “Certainly, we left the meeting still disagreeing with our disqualification.”
Robbins said Bombardier is still deciding whether to formally protest the city’s decision.
“We have five working days to submit a protest, and I think we’re going to pretty much use all of that to make up our minds,” he said. “They certainly tried very hard to explain their position. It wasn’t like they were trying to hold back.”
Sumitomo Corp. of America, had its debrief with the city Monday. Sumitomo’s vice president, Gino Antoniello, said the company is launching a protest.
Both Sumitomo and Bombardier have complained that the city abandoned “price realism” criteria. Robbins and Antoniello both said it appears the city rushed toward the end of the process, and selected a company that appeared to — but didn’t actually — have a lower-proposal.
The deadline for companies to file protests is early next week.
“Look, I mean, we’ve really never had an issue with the professionalism of these folks,” Robbins said of his interaction with the city. “We recognize they all work hard, and they’re all trying to do they right thing.”
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