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Benson & Gusciora: Permanently Bar those Convicted of Government Contracting Fraud

(TRENTON) – Legislation Assembly Democrats Daniel R. Benson and Reed Gusciora sponsored that would debar permanently from government contracting any person convicted of crimes involving government contracts was recently advanced by an Assembly panel.
The bill (A-3090) would provide that any person who is convicted of government contracting fraud would be permanently debarred from contracting or from working as a key employee of a contractor, or any affiliate, that is contracting with a government entity.
“There have been too many instances of fraud and abuse in relation to government contracts,” said Benson (D-Mercer/Middlesex). “This bill will help to improve the integrity of the contracting process and protect taxpayer dollars by permanently barring the award of contracts to individuals who have committed forgery and/or fraudulent activity in the past.”
“There must be more honesty and integrity infused into the process of government contracting,” said Gusciora (D-Mercer/Hunterdon). “Safeguards must be in place to ensure good business dealings. We must know who we are doing business with and make sure they are reputable contractors.”
This bill would require the state treasurer to publish and maintain a list on the Internet of permanently debarred persons. Persons or entities wishing to contract with a government entity would be required to file a written certification stating that the person or entity and any key employees are not permanently debarred pursuant to this bill.
In some emergency situations, the contractor may submit the written certification after the contract has been awarded. The contracting agency would have the right to rely solely on the contractor’s certification and the list provided by the state treasurer.
The bill would not apply to purchases from federal supply schedules or cooperative purchasing agreements with one or more states.
The measure was released by the Assembly State and Local Government Committee.