– The Guam Telephone Authority has acquired dozens of new trucks to help replace its old fleet, but it's business as usual for the agency, according to the Pacific Daily News.
Lawrence Perez, the phone agency's interim general manager, said the agency is set to receive 67 brand new pickups, with 63 already in the fleet. However, Perez said the move has less to do with the privatization of the agency, still set for New Year's, and more to do with the basic need to replace the agency's old fleet. "The last time we bought vehicles was about 12 years ago," Perez said. "So we budgeted for this in the last fiscal year, and the orders came in." Ideally, the phone utility needs about 150 trucks in its fleet to adequately service the entire island, but more than half of the trucks needed repairs badly and went out of commission. The winning bidder was Triple J Enterprises, which provided the 67 Ford Rangers. The trucks, which are all standard, two-wheel-drive, six-cylinder vehicles, cost about $800,000, Perez said. "We had it down to only about 40 or 50 trucks," Perez said. "So we're really just replacing a portion of what we really need. We're still short, and TeleGuam will fulfill the rest." TeleGuam Holdings LLC is the private company that signed an agreement to buy the agency for $150 million. Perez said there's no reasoning to any negative speculation as to why GTA continues to make purchases when it's set to be fully privatized so soon. "One of the items in the purchase agreement is that GTA will not just abandon its duties that it would fulfill anyway," Perez said. "So TeleGuam doesn't get into a company that's defunct and in bad shape. We want this company to succeed. We're just doing what we normally would've done." As for TeleGuam's takeover of the government asset, Perez said the sale continues to run smoothly as deadlines continue to be met. The Guam Telephone Authority still is scheduled to be handed to TeleGuam on the first day of 2005.