(TRENTON) – Legislation to modernize the bidding process for public works construction projects in New Jersey was approved Wednesday by the Assembly State and Local Government Committee.
The bill (A-3785), known as the Electronic Construction Procurement Act, would require State contracting units, including State colleges, to use an electronic procurement process – also known as online bidding – for public works construction contracts when the project requires public advertisement. The measure is sponsored by Assembly Majority Leader Louis Greenwald, Assemblyman Vince Mazzeo and Assemblywoman Nancy Pinkin.
““In the age of technological innovation, it’s time to update our public bidding process for construction projects,” said Greenwald (D-Camden, Burlington). “The are many e-procurement resources available to help businesses and government agencies conduct business online. These electronic tools can be used to streamline the process and improve government efficiency. ”
Under the measure, the State Treasurer would be required to set regulations for the electronic procurement of public works projects The regulations would create a procedure for a public contracting unit to follow once awarded a contract to oversee the administration of the e-procurement process.
“Requests for proposals, requests for information and other bids for public projects can all be done via the Internet,” said Mazzeo (D-Atlantic). “We should take advantage of e-procurement tools in order to streamline the public bidding process.”
“E-procurement will help us reduce costs, save time and give us the ability to easily store important records digitally,” said Pinkin (D-Middlesex). “This common-sense approach will benefit public contracting and government agencies alike.”
Additionally, the bill would allow local units of government, county colleges, and school districts to use electronic procurement for public works construction projects. These entities must use the processes authorized under the ‘Local Unit Electronic Procurement Act.’
The bill now heads to the Assembly Speaker for further consideration.