ASSEMBLY, No. 2220

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

217th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED JANUARY 27, 2016

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblyman  DANIEL R. BENSON

District 14 (Mercer and Middlesex)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Authorizes local units of government subject to “Local Public Contracts Law” and “Public School Contracts Law” to use electronic procurement technologies.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

  


An Act authorizing the electronic purchase of certain commodities and services and sale of surplus personal property by local units of government and school districts, supplementing P.L.1971, c.198 (C.40A:11-1 et seq.); and repealing P.L.2001, c.30.

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.  This act shall be known and may be cited as the "Local Unit Electronic Procurement Act."

 

     2.  The Legislature finds and declares that advances in electronic technology offer opportunities to enhance governmental efficiencies.  In order to explore these avenues of improved government efficiency and commerce, it is in the best interests of this State to allow local units of government to adopt proven technologies for the procurement of goods, services, public works construction, and sale of surplus personal and real property through means of electronic technology, and to allow the Department of Community Affairs to promulgate standards for the use of these technologies that provide for the integrity and procedural protections of sealed public bidding and competitive contracting translated to an electronic environment.

 

     3.  As used in this P.L.    c.    (c.     ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill):

     "Director" means the Director of the Division of Local Government Services in the Department of Community Affairs;

     “Electronic procurement” means the use of computer technology and the Internet for the advertising and submission of public bids, the receipt of proposals and quotations, competitive contracting, the use of reverse auctions, and related practices to assist in determining the lowest responsible bidder or proposer who is most advantageous, price and other factors considered, as appropriate, for goods and services, the sale of personal property, and other public procurement-related activities and services as may be determined appropriate by the director;

     “Goods and services” means any work, labor, commodities, equipment, materials, or supplies of any tangible or intangible nature, except real property or any interest therein, provided or performed through a contract awarded by a contracting agent, including goods and property subject to N.J.S.12A:2-101 et seq.;

     "Local unit" means a school district as defined in the "Public School Contracts Law," N.J.S.18A:18A-1 et seq., or a contracting unit as defined in the "Local Public Contracts Law," P.L.1971, c.198 (C.40A:11-1 et seq.);

     “Public works construction” means any contract that is subject to the “New Jersey Prevailing Wage Act,” P.L.1963, c.150 (C.34:11-56.25 et seq.); and

     “Real property” shall include, in addition to the usual connotations thereof, development rights or easements, or any right, interest, or estate in the area extending above any real property, or capital improvement thereon, to such a height or altitude as any title, interest, or estate in real property may extend, commonly known as “air rights,” and subject to, but not limited to, the “Local Lands and Buildings Law,” P.L.1971, c.199 (C.40A:12-1 et seq.).

 

     4.  Local units are authorized to use electronic procurement practices for such purposes as may be authorized by the governing body of the local unit, and subject to the provisions of P.L.    ,  c.    (C.                 ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill).

 

     5.  A local unit or joint purchasing unit or cooperative pricing system is also authorized to use electronic procurement practices for the following purposes:

     a)    to purchase electric generation service, electric related service, gas supply service, or gas related service, either separately or bundled, for its own facilities so long as the purchase otherwise complies with the provisions of the "Electric Discount and Energy Competition Act," P.L.1999, c.23 (C.48:3-49 et al.);

     b)    the sale of surplus personal property that shall otherwise comply with the provisions of section 36 of P.L.1971, c.198 (C.40A:11-36); and

     c)    the sale of real property that shall otherwise comply with the sale and lease provisions of the “Local Lands and Buildings Law,” P.L.1971, c.199 (C.40A:12-1).

     Contracts awarded for the administration of electronic procurement practices shall be subject to the requirements of the "Local Public Contracts Law," P.L.1971, c.198 (C.40A:11-1 et seq.) and the "Public School Contracts Law," N.J.S.18A:18A-1 et seq., except that they shall be considered as purposes for which competitive contracting may be used.

 

     6.  a.  The director, in consultation with the State Comptroller and pursuant to the “Administrative Procedure Act,” P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.), shall adopt rules and regulations to effectuate the provisions of this act.

     The rules promulgated pursuant to this section shall include, but shall not be limited to, practices that, notwithstanding any other law to the contrary:

     (1)   convert the law, principals, safeguards, and procedures related to sealed bidding to an electronic procurement environment;

     (2)   authorize local units of government to accept commercial standards for electronic forms of bid security; and

     (3)   establish minimum standards that must be met by systems and services providing and administering electronic procurement activities.

     The director shall also consult with the Attorney General to develop safeguards to protect against collusion and bid rigging, with the Division of Purchase and Property in the Department of Treasury to develop practices used for electronic procurement, and with the Office of Information Technology in, but not of, the Department of Treasury, to ensure the privacy and security of electronic transactions.

     b.    With regard to the otherwise required notices, advertising bids, or requests for proposals in an official newspaper of the local unit, such notices shall not be eliminated, but may be limited to a notice announcing the purpose of the action, sue date, and location of the full notice that is posted on a website.  The local unit may waive public advertising for electronic procurement of electric generation service, electric related service, gas supply service, or gas related service if notification is made directly to eligible Board of Public Utilities approved providers of such services.

     c.     Notwithstanding any law, rule, or regulation to the contrary, plans and specifications for public works construction contracts that require the seal and signature of a professional engineer, architect, or land surveyor may be included in an electronic file used for electronic procurement as long as the original document from which the electronic file is derived contains a physical or electronic seal and signature as otherwise required by law; however, if and when the State Board of Engineers and Land Surveyors and the New Jersey State Board of Architects adopt rules to permit digital seals and signatures, those rules shall supersede this provision.

 

     7.  P.L.2001, c.30 is repealed.

 

     8.  This act shall take effect on the first day of the 10th month next following enactment.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This bill would authorize local units of government that are subject to the “Local Public Contracts Law” and “Public School Contracts Law” to use electronic procurement technologies.  The bill authorizes local units to use electronic procurement practices for such purposes as may be authorized by the governing body of the local unit, and subject to the provisions of the bill.

     Under the bill, a local unit, joint purchasing unit, or cooperative pricing system is also authorized to use electronic procurement practices for the following purposes:

     a)    to purchase electric generation service, electric related service, gas supply service, or gas related service, either separately or bundled, for its own facilities so long as the purchase otherwise complies with the provisions of the "Electric Discount and Energy Competition Act," P.L.1999, c.23 (C.48:3-49 et al.);

     b)    the sale of surplus personal property shall comply with the provisions of section 36 of P.L.1971, c.198 (C.40A:11-36); and

     c)    the sale of real property that shall otherwise comply with the sale and lease provisions of the “Local Lands and Buildings Law,” P.L.1971, c.199 (C.40A:12-1).

     Contracts awarded for the administration of electronic procurement practices pursuant to the substitute bill shall be subject to the requirements of the "Local Public Contracts Law," P.L.1971, c.198 (C.40A:11-1 et seq.), and the "Public School Contracts Law," N.J.S.18A:18A-1 et seq., except that they shall be considered as purposes for which competitive contracting may be used.

     The bill also requires the Director of the Division of Local Government Services in the Department of Community Affairs, in consultation with other State government entities, to promulgate rules and regulations to effectuate the provisions of the substitute bill.