School bus transportation, janitorial services, security and after-school programmes are just a few of the projects education officials outsource to private vendors.
Over the past 2 years, more than $26 million in school-related contracts have been approved by the Public Procurement Committee or otherwise appear on the Cayman Islands government’s central procurement website.
The Cayman Current has analysed the minutes of PPC meetings and related procurement documents, to create a table of projects, vendors and award amounts.
|Project Number||Description||PPC approval date||PPC Decision||Amount||Vendor||Award date|
|PPC-2020-EYSAL-040-RFP||School Bus Transport Services||5 Aug 2021||Defer||$13,131,269||7 vendors||27 Sep 2021|
|PPC-2020-EYSAL-041-RFP||Janitorial services for schools||5 Aug 2021||Approve||$3,147,061.95||4 vendors||1 Aug 2021|
|PPC-2020-EYSAL-042-RFP||Security services for all government schools||3 Jun 2021||Approve||$1,881,331.50||National Security Services||22 Jun 2021|
|PPC-2021-MOE-056||After School Program||N/A||N/A||$1,570,000||YMCA||13 Dec 2021|
|PPC-2020-EYSAL-031-RFP||Multi-discipline team of consultants for new JGHS campus||3 Dec 2020||Approve||$1,365,905||Chalmers Gibbs Architects||11 Dec 2020|
|PPC-2020-EYSAL-025-RFP||Procuring laptops for all government school students||1 Oct 2020||Approve||$1,353,098.70||Alphasoft Ltd||10 Nov 2020|
|PPC-2019-EYSAL-081||Extended After-School Programme||N/A||N/A||$988,866.00||YMCA||13 Mar 2020|
|PPC-2019-EYSAL-093-RFP||Lighthouse roof repairs||3 Sep 2020||Approve||$712,836.75||Cayman Islands Roofing||9 Sep 2020|
|PPC-2020-EYSAL-023-RFP||Wireless network equipment in government schools||5 Nov 2020||Approve||$525,549.46||Unified Technologies||10 Nov 2020|
|PPC-2021-EYSAL-016-RFP||Artifical Turf Fields for JACPS, Savannah and North Side Primary||7 Oct 2021||Approve||$514,175||Vigoro Nursery||4 Nov 2021|
|PPC-2021-OES-040-RFP||Request by OES for school inspectors||4 Nov 2021||Approve||$378,663||Stafford Boase Ltd||10 Nov 2021|
|MEYSAL-EPC-Q021-019||K-9 security services for 3 Grand Cayman high schools||N/A||N/A||$99,968.50||Cayman Islands Protective Services Ltd||3 Jan 2022|
|UCCI-2021-S6||Switch upgrade||N/A||N/A||$82,504||ITOutsource||24 Nov 2021|
|UCCI-2021-S5||Managed service contract renewal||N/A||N/A||$77,280||ITOutsource||24 Nov 2021|
|UCCI-2021-S2||Systems virtual learning environment||N/A||N/A||$72,495.39||Blackboard||30 Jul 2021|
|EPC-MOE-P019-013||Canine Drug Screening and Detection Services||N/A||N/A||$64,600||Cayman Islands Protective Services Ltd||31 Jan 2020|
|EYSAL-2021-RFQ-ICTEquip||ICT Equipment at New John Gray High School||N/A||N/A||$56,977.40||Unified Technologies||22 Sep 2021|
|UCCI-2021-S4||UCCI accreditation and assessment project||N/A||N/A||$43,105||Blackboard||23 Nov 2021|
|UCCI-2021-S3||CSM Enterprise||N/A||N/A||$42,840||Symplicity||20 Jul 2021|
|UCCI-2021-S||Enterprise Level website||N/A||N/A||$17,240.62||Netclues||25 Jun 2021|
|JGHS Ph. 3 'Project A' JEC ESTAR update||New JGHS management of provisional sums||1 Apr 2021||Approve||N/A||JEC||N/A|
|PPC-2018-EYSAL-003-RFP||New JGHS & Sports Projects A & C||1 Oct 2020||Approve||N/A||N/A||Bid closed|
|PPC-2019-EYSAL-026-RFP||New JGHS Campus and New Sports Fields||18 Jun 2020||Approve||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|PPC-2020-EYSAL-029-RFP||Construction of the Bodden Town Primary Assembly Hall||7 Oct 2021||Approve||N/A||N/A||Bid closed|
|PPC-2020-EYSAL-030-RFP||Bus Management Software/Bus Transportation for Public Schools||3 Sep 2020||Approve||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|PPC-2020-EYSAL-038-DA||Acquire an artifical field at WEPS in Cayman Brac||14 Jan 2021||Approve||N/A||Vigoro Nursery||14 Jan 2021|
|PPC-2021-DES-01||Waste Water System at Red Bay Primary/Lighthouse School||5 Aug 2021||Approve||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|PPC-2021-DES-050-RFP||Red Bay Primary School New Classroom Block||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||Bid open to 11 Feb 2022|
|PPC-2021-MOE-030-DA||Purchase of furniture/fittings for JGHS||4 Nov 2021||Approve||N/A||N/A||N/A|
Major projects not included
Note that award amounts are missing for contracts related to the $170 million new John Gray High School project, as well as projects such as the Bodden Town primary school assembly hall, Cayman Brac playfield, wastewater system for Red Bay Primary School and the Lighthouse School, and a fall 2020 bid for bus operation and software.
The procurement documents also do not include the more than $26 million in spending on the government’s free school meals programme. That spending is detailed in ‘purchase agreements’ included in the government’s budget documents.
Buses, janitors, security
In terms of contract amounts that are made public in procurement documents, the biggest awards are for school bus transportation, janitorial services and security.
As we reported in an earlier analysis, the government is set to spend more than $13 million on public school bus transportation during this and the next school year.
Janitorial services is the second largest project, consisting of separate contracts totaling $3.1 million awarded to 4 different vendors.
- A1 Cleaning Services – $506,320 … John Gray (and new John Gray)
- April’s Janitorial Services Ltd – $259,776 … John Cumber
- Cleaning Connection Ltd – $2,006,387 … CIFEC, Clifton Hunter, Edna Moyle, Joanna Clark, Lighthouse, Prospect
- Hurlston Janitorial Company – $374,579 … DES, George Town, Theoline McCoy
The cost for security services in public schools from July 2021 to June 2023 is nearly $1.9 million, with the contract going to the existing provider National Security Services. (After the two-year period, there is the option to renew for a third year.)
When considering the award in June 2021, the PPC encouraged education officials “to invite other companies to bid” on the contract, in order to make the process more competitive.
As we reported in an analysis last year, security costs for public schools had increased by more than 150% in a 10-year period, with the number of guards increasing by 56% and the number of students growing by 5%.
According to the newest contract, the per-month cost for security services is about $78,400, which is nearly 13% less than the per-month cost from July 2019-December 2020.
In addition to human security guards, the government pays a different contractor to provide drug-sniffing dogs in schools.
For the years 2022 and 2023, the government has awarded a nearly $100,000 contract to Cayman Islands Protective Services Ltd. for ‘K-9 security services for 3 Grand Cayman high schools’.
For the years 2020 and 2021, the cost for drug-sniffing dogs from the same contractor was about $65,000.
Other $1M-plus contracts
Rounding out the major projects are an after-school programme and laptops for public school students.
The government awarded a $1.6 million contract to YMCA of the Cayman Islands to operate an after-school programme for the years 2022 and 2023.
The contract effectively is an extension of the $1 million contract previously awarded to the YMCA to operate the programme from September 2020 to December 2021. (The per-month cost for the old and new contracts is about the same.)
In November 2020, the government awarded a $1.4 million contract to Alphasoft Ltd. to provide laptops (or in some cases, tablets) to public school students.
This contract was part of the public-private sector initiative to ensure all public school students had devices and access to the Internet, partly to prepare for potential transitions to online learning in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.