NEW JERSEY – The Senate Monday approved a bill sponsored by Senate Republican Budget Officer Steve Oroho and Senate President Steve Sweeney that would establish an electronic procurement process for state public works construction projects.
The process would use computer technology and the Internet for the advertising and submission of public bids to determine the lowest responsible bidder.
“This is part of our ongoing effort to streamline government and make it more efficient and cost effective,” Oroho (R-Sussex/Warren/Morris) said. “We’ve all learned during the coronavirus lockdown how much important work can be done remotely through technology. It’s important that our procurement laws not deter these capabilities from being employed wherever feasible by public bodies.”
“Over the past decade, states across the country have taken steps to take advantage of advances in technology and create governmental efficiencies, including electronic bidding,” Sweeney (D-Gloucester/Salem/Cumberland) said. “The COVID shutdown underscores the value of electronic bidding but it is a process that should be available at all times. It can result in a more efficient process and produce cost savings.”
Under the bill, state contracting units, including state colleges, would be required to use an electronic construction procurement process for public works contracts whenever the project requires public advertisement.
The State Treasurer would promulgate regulations to effectuate the electronic procurement of public works construction by the state.
This bill would expand the current law that authorizes local units of government to use electronic procurement technologies by making it a requirement of state contracting entities.
The Senate vote was 40 – 0.