Honolulu Rail Follies – Sumitomo Appeals Honolulu Transit Core System’s DBOM Contract Award with DCCA

Media Release:

After a careful review of the City’s denial of its protest of the Honolulu High Capacity Transit Corridor Project Core Systems Design/Build/Operate/Maintain (DBOM) award, Sumitomo Corporation of America (SCOA) has decided to appeal the decision by the City and ask for an impartial hearing from the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs (DCCA).

Sumitomo remains very interested in the Honolulu rail project and wants to be the company that builds this system. Emphasizing this, Gino Antoniello, VP, Transportation Systems and Equipment for SCOA explained: “Our protest–a first for us–was prompted by the conviction that our bid was improperly passed over in favor of another vendor with less experience and a questionable track record that lacked the proper legal qualifications to undertake a project of this scope.  Simply speaking, their bid does not meet all the specification requirements and adds up to less value with a significantly higher price tag overall – an extra $900 million more that will be taken out of the pockets of Honolulu taxpayers.”  In contrast, SCOA’s proposal meets all the specification requirements, makes no conditions and provides the best value to the City and its taxpayers.

Explaining the company’s decision to proceed to the next step in the process, Mr. Antoniello added, “We embarked on this protest reluctantly, one to protect our good name and standing in the industry, but most importantly, because we owe it to all our local partners and contractors, including WASA Electric with whom we have worked over the past two years to ensure we would not just be building a world class transit system, but we would be creating a new industry with long term jobs for the State of Hawaii.   This flawed decision by the City to reject our protest, not only hurts Sumitomo, but it jeopardizes the livelihood of our local partners, and the community with whom we have built lasting relationships.

“Sumitomo has a stellar performance record both in the U.S. and internationally,” states Antoniello.  “With a history that dates back 400 years, the company has the corporate longevity and financial stability that ensures our clients predictability and reliability.  This is important in projects with timelines that span decades and involve many subcontractors.   As the prime contractor we manage all of that and we have never had a legal conflict, frivolous lawsuits, or any pursuit of liquidated damages with a client.  With an impeccable track record we have strong customer references and a very high rate of repeat business.”

Antoniello stressed that in starting down this protest path, the company did so with a readiness to go all the way.   “We are confident that we will prevail and we respect the appeal process, and look forward to an impartial review and outcome by the DCCA.”

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