Nov. 23, 2009
Title: Requiring Qualified Purchasing Agents
NOTE: THE GOVERNOR ISSUED A CONDITIONAL VETO, MEANING HE OR SHE OBJECTS TO ONLY PART OF THE BILL AND PROPOSES AMENDMENTS THAT WOULD MAKE IT ACCEPTABLE. IF THE LEGISLATURE CONCURS WITH THE GOVERNOR'S AMENDMENTS, THE LEGISLATION IS AGAIN PRESENTED TO THE GOVERNOR FOR SIGNATURE.
Vote to pass a bill that amends the state's current Local Public Contracts Law by redefining the role and qualifications of contracting unit purchasing agents.
-Revises the definition of a 'purchasing agent' to include the requirement of a qualification certificate, which may be obtained upon payment of a $50 fee to the Director of the Division of Local Government Services (Secs. 2, 9).
-Mandates that a qualified purchasing agent may award contracts of up to $25,000 without having to organize and advertise a public bidding process (Sec. 3).
-Allows the qualified purchasing agent to be designated by each contracting unit and for the position to be part time or full time, at the discretion of the contracting unit (Sec. 9).
-Lays out specific criteria for qualification which may be added to by the Director of the Division of Local Government Services, which include the following: United States citizenship; good moral character; a high school diploma; two years of higher education experience or two years full-time governmental experience; completion of a series of training courses; and passage of a State qualifying examination (Sec. 9).
-Establishes course completion timelines and requirements for certification renewal, as well as indicating locations where such a course may be offered, such as a county college or Rutgers State University (Sec. 9).
-Exempts qualified school business administrators from the training requirements provided in this bill (Sec. 9).
-Provides that a contracting unit that has not been able to appoint a qualified purchasing agent within three years, and is able to prove that it has made a good faith effort to appoint one, may receive a two-year deadline extension (Sec. 9).
-Mandates that a governing body or board of education that fails to comply with the provisions of this bill may be fined $25 for each day of noncompliance after the date fixed for final action (Sec. 9).
-Allows the contracting unity to revoke or suspend a qualified purchasing agent for dishonest practices, willful or intentional failure, neglect, or refusal to comply with procurement laws, and requires a hearing before any action may be taken against persons suspected of these practices (Sec. 9).
-Allows current purchasing agents to continue to serve in their present position, as long as the agent continues to comply with the criteria that were in effect prior to the date of enactment of this act (Sec. 9).
NOTE: THIS IS A SUBSTITUTE BILL, MEANING THE LANGUAGE OF THE ORIGINAL BILL HAS BEEN REPLACED. THE DEGREE TO WHICH THE SUBSTITUTE BILL TEXT DIFFERS FROM THE PREVIOUS VERSION OF THE TEXT CAN VARY GREATLY.