BY JIM DOOLEY

The state has awarded a $99 million, three-year contract to Securitas Services for security guard work at state airports.

Securitas is the incumbent contractor and its bid for the new job was $10.3 million lower than its closest competitor.

State Sen. Donna Kim, D-14th (Moanalua, Aiea, Fort Shafter, Kalihi Valley, Halawa Valley), who has been examining various airport issues including security services, said airport officials should have put the security contract out for bid several years ago.

The last contract was awarded to Securitas in 2004 and ran for three years but the state Department of Transportation repeatedly extended the contract and built in annual price increases with each extension.

“We probably could have gotten it much cheaper before given the economic conditions in the state,” Kim said.

Kim said that when she asked DOT personnel last year why the contract wasn’t put out for bid sooner, “first they said they needed flexibility, then they said they didn’t have time.”

“Flexibility? Needed time? I just didn’t understand those reasons,” Kim said.

Kim found that airport officials had improperly used Securitas for the award of special consulting contracts. She also questioned the overlapping job responsibilities of Securitas personnel and state sheriffs who work at the airports.

Ford Fuchigami, Gov. Neil Abercrombie’s newly-appointed DOT deputy director in charge of airports, did not respond to a telephone request for comment.

Airports administrative services officer Sydney Hayakawa could not be reached for comment.

Sanj Sappal, Securitas official in charge of airport security work, did not answer e-mailed questions about the new contract.

According to state procurement records, the bids for the new contract were:

  • Securitas Security Services USA, Inc.                   $98,999,476.50
  • GAS Secure Solutions                                                $110,313,719.91
  • Andrews International                                              $113,859,785.29
  • Alii Security                                                                   $121,278,473
  • Asset Protection & Security                                       $122,474,718.01

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Jim Dooley joined the Hawaii Reporter staff as an investigative reporter in October 2010. Before that, he has worked as a print and television reporter in Hawaii since 1973, beginning as a wire service reporter with United Press International. He joined Honolulu Advertiser in 1974, working as general assignment and City Hall reporter until 1978. In 1978, he moved to full-time investigative reporting in for The Advertiser; he joined KITV news in 1996 as investigative reporter. Jim returned to Advertiser 2001, working as investigative reporter and court reporter until 2010. Reach him at Jim@hawaiireporter.com