Analysis: $26M in public education contracts

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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 NumberDescriptionPPC approval datePPC DecisionAmountVendorAward date
PPC-2020-EYSAL-040-RFPSchool Bus Transport Services5 Aug 2021Defer$13,131,2697 vendors27 Sep 2021
PPC-2020-EYSAL-041-RFPJanitorial services for schools5 Aug 2021Approve$3,147,061.954 vendors1 Aug 2021
PPC-2020-EYSAL-042-RFPSecurity services for all government schools3 Jun 2021Approve$1,881,331.50National Security Services22 Jun 2021
PPC-2021-MOE-056After School ProgramN/AN/A$1,570,000YMCA13 Dec 2021
PPC-2020-EYSAL-031-RFPMulti-discipline team of consultants for new JGHS campus3 Dec 2020Approve$1,365,905Chalmers Gibbs Architects11 Dec 2020
PPC-2020-EYSAL-025-RFPProcuring laptops for all government school students1 Oct 2020Approve$1,353,098.70Alphasoft Ltd10 Nov 2020
PPC-2019-EYSAL-081Extended After-School ProgrammeN/AN/A$988,866.00YMCA13 Mar 2020
PPC-2019-EYSAL-093-RFPLighthouse roof repairs3 Sep 2020Approve$712,836.75Cayman Islands Roofing9 Sep 2020
PPC-2020-EYSAL-023-RFPWireless network equipment in government schools5 Nov 2020Approve$525,549.46Unified Technologies10 Nov 2020
PPC-2021-EYSAL-016-RFPArtifical Turf Fields for JACPS, Savannah and North Side Primary7 Oct 2021Approve$514,175Vigoro Nursery4 Nov 2021
PPC-2021-OES-040-RFPRequest by OES for school inspectors4 Nov 2021Approve$378,663Stafford Boase Ltd10 Nov 2021
MEYSAL-EPC-Q021-019K-9 security services for 3 Grand Cayman high schoolsN/AN/A$99,968.50Cayman Islands Protective Services Ltd3 Jan 2022
UCCI-2021-S6Switch upgradeN/AN/A$82,504ITOutsource24 Nov 2021
UCCI-2021-S5Managed service contract renewalN/AN/A$77,280ITOutsource24 Nov 2021
UCCI-2021-S2Systems virtual learning environmentN/AN/A$72,495.39Blackboard30 Jul 2021
EPC-MOE-P019-013Canine Drug Screening and Detection ServicesN/AN/A$64,600Cayman Islands Protective Services Ltd31 Jan 2020
EYSAL-2021-RFQ-ICTEquipICT Equipment at New John Gray High SchoolN/AN/A$56,977.40Unified Technologies22 Sep 2021
UCCI-2021-S4UCCI accreditation and assessment projectN/AN/A$43,105Blackboard23 Nov 2021
UCCI-2021-S3CSM EnterpriseN/AN/A$42,840Symplicity20 Jul 2021
UCCI-2021-SEnterprise Level websiteN/AN/A$17,240.62Netclues25 Jun 2021
JGHS Ph. 3 'Project A' JEC ESTAR updateNew JGHS management of provisional sums1 Apr 2021ApproveN/AJECN/A
PPC-2018-EYSAL-003-RFPNew JGHS & Sports Projects A & C1 Oct 2020ApproveN/AN/ABid closed
PPC-2019-EYSAL-026-RFPNew JGHS Campus and New Sports Fields18 Jun 2020ApproveN/AN/AN/A
PPC-2020-EYSAL-029-RFPConstruction of the Bodden Town Primary Assembly Hall7 Oct 2021ApproveN/AN/ABid closed
PPC-2020-EYSAL-030-RFPBus Management Software/Bus Transportation for Public Schools3 Sep 2020ApproveN/AN/AN/A
PPC-2020-EYSAL-038-DAAcquire an artifical field at WEPS in Cayman Brac14 Jan 2021ApproveN/AVigoro Nursery14 Jan 2021
PPC-2021-DES-01Waste Water System at Red Bay Primary/Lighthouse School5 Aug 2021ApproveN/AN/AN/A
PPC-2021-DES-050-RFPRed Bay Primary School New Classroom BlockN/AN/AN/AN/ABid open to 11 Feb 2022
PPC-2021-MOE-030-DAPurchase of furniture/fittings for JGHS4 Nov 2021ApproveN/AN/AN/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.

(Read the Cayman Current’s analysis of spending on school meals here.)

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.

(Read the Cayman Current’s analysis of spending on school bus transportation here.)

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.

(Read the Cayman Current’s analysis of public school security spending here.)

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.

(Read our story about the ‘Education for Everyone’ initiative here.)

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