PolitickerNJ Wire Feed

By Alise Roderer | December 6th, 2012 - 4:42pm
| More

 

TURNER/GREENSTEIN BILL AIMED AT ENDING CORRUPTION RELATED TO NO-BID GOVERNMENT CONTRACTS CLEARS COMMITTEE

Would Require Certain Government Contracts To Be Competitively Bid

TRENTON – Legislation sponsored by Senators Shirley K. Turner and Linda R. Greenstein that would require greater transparency in the awarding of government contracts cleared the Senate State Government, Wagering, Tourism and Historic Preservation Committee today.

The bill, S1517, would require that contracts for professional and technical services that are awarded by a state agency, including independent authorities, or by counties, municipalities, and school districts, be awarded by a competitive negotiating process. Turner first introduced the bill in 2005 to address concerns over political corruption and the impact that no-bid contracts have on the cost of government services.

“The current system that allows for no-bid awards has contributed to the culture of corruption that is so prevalent in New Jersey politics,” said Turner (D-Mercer/Hunterdon). “By requiring a public bidding process, we are making the process by which contracts are awarded more open and transparent. Ending the current system of favoritism will help to lessen the cost of government for taxpayers, but it will also provide more opportunities for businesses that may not have the influential connections or financial resources to curry favor with political players.”

Under current law, professional and technical services may be negotiated and awarded without publicly advertising for bid. Oftentimes, the contract for such services is awarded to individuals and businesses that are politically aligned with the administration in office at the time. The system has led to abuse and corruption and a number of criminal convictions against elected officials. U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman, in an interview with The Trenton Times editorial board, highlighted the dangers of no bid-contracts. Fishman’s office recently worked to convict Hamilton’s former mayor John Bencivengo for receiving $12,400 in bribes from a school district insurance broker in exchange for steering no-bid contracts toward the company. Fishman indicated that no-bid contracts are a “temptation” and suggested that municipalities need to revise the process by which contracts are awarded.

“The recent case in Hamilton is a textbook example of why we can no longer allow for two separate sets of rules when it comes to public contracting,” said Greenstein (D-Middlesex/Mercer). “These loopholes must be closed, not only in the best interests of taxpayers but in the best interest of transparent, honest government. If a vendor can’t win a contract openly and honestly, then they shouldn’t be awarded a contract, period.”

“We need this bill to create a more open and honest government and help restore the public’s faith in government and our political system,” said Turner. “We must get rid of no-bid contracts and end the political cronyism that has added to New Jersey’s longstanding reputation as a corrupt state.”

The sponsors are working on amendments to the bill to include institutions of higher education in the new requirements for competitive negotiations. The bill now heads to the Senate floor.

 

Contact Info: 

Chris Donnelly
609-847-3700

Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: April 18, 2014

Fulop endorses Smith in Bayonne mayoral raceBAYONNE - Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop parachuted into the Bayonne mayoral race on Thursday night by endorsing incumbent Mayor Mark Smith."It is a pleasure to be with you here, Mark," said Fulop to a crowd of more than 125 supporters at a...

Op-Ed

The future of NJ Politics should not be politicians investigating politicians

By JON BRAMNICK Voices around the country agree with our concern that "bipartisan committee led by John Wisniewski is partisan." Below are observers who agree Wisneiwski's committee is not bipartisan: Chuck Todd, NBC News: "Democrats made a mistake... Read More >

Contributors

(4-16-14) New Jersey Vote By Mail Law - The voter turnout for New Jersey’s November gubernatorial election was the lowest since the days of prohibition, coming... more »
When it comes to profiling Christie, facts are for wussies (4/10/14) - As the national media stories on our Guv pile up, expect more blunders about the Garden State.... more »
This week I begin a series called Dispatches from Somewhere Else. Based on my on-going experiences as an everyman in New Jersey politics, these Dispatches review the hollowness of... more »
Watching Governor Chris Christie's shocking BridgeGate implosion, it's easy to forget the time when he truly seemed unstoppable.  Blessed with incredible political gifts and a Jersey bluster to match,... more »

Quote of the Day

Quote of the day

"This is my first Mark Smith event. There have been a lot of changes in Hudson County over the last year and a half, and the most important change that has happened is that there really is unity. For the first time, we really are working together. Despite political differences. Mark and I have worked very hard to repair that. I'm really happy to be here in support of him, because I recognize that when you work together, politics becomes secondary and you really have time to focus on government, which is the most important thing." - Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop

- PolitickerNJ.com

Poll

Which is the most competitive of these May 13th elections?:

Resources

Visit the PolitickerNJ.com/resources page for links to the best collection of information on New Jersey state government.

 

  • Polls
  • The best blogs
  • Columnists
  • State election results
  • Assembly election results
  • Local party websites
  • And more.

PolitickerNJ.com/resources