TRENTON – Legislation sponsored by Senator Troy Singleton and Senator Steve Oroho, which would prohibit a person from contracting with the state for public work if they are barred from receiving a federal contract, passed the full Senate today.
“Simply put, if someone is barred from receiving federal contracts because of fraud, embezzlement or tax evasion, they should be barred from contracting with the State of New Jersey as well,” said Senator Singleton (D-Burlington). “With this legislation, we are holding ourselves to higher standards when considering contractors for public work projects.”
“If a person is banned from contracting with the federal government due to fraudulent activity, then they shouldn’t be allowed to profit with public dollars,” said Senator Steven Oroho (R-Morris/Sussex/Warren). “This is a commonsense taxpayer protection, and its passage is overdue. Closing this loophole will prevent bad actors from being able to take advantage, saving New Jersey time, money, and headaches.”
The bill, S-2469, would provide that a person or any affiliate of a person barred from contracting with a federal government agency will also be barred from contracting for any public work in New Jersey. If a person has been suspended, as opposed to being barred, from receiving federal contracts they may still have the opportunity to receive public work contracts from the state.
The bill defines public work as any public building, public highway, bridge, work or improvement of a permanent nature, constructed, reconstructed, repaired or improved wholly at the expense of the public.
Under the bill, prior to the awarding of a contract, a person that seeks to contract for public work would be required to provide written certification that neither the person nor the person’s affiliates is barred from contracting with the federal government. Contracting agencies would be prohibited from contracting with a person who does not provide such written certification.
The bill was released from the Senate by a vote of 37-0, and next heads to the Assembly for further consideration.