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State of New Jersey
Executive Order #92

Governor James J. Florio

This Executive Order is superseded by EO #26 Whitman.

WHEREAS, the citizens of New Jersey are entitled to a government that earns their trust and inspires their confidence; and

WHEREAS, nowhere is the question of public trust and confidence more important than in the area of government contracting; and

WHEREAS, our government should award contracts in a manner that not only guarantees the best price for the taxpayers, but also ensures scrupulous adherence to ethical principles; and

WHEREAS, competitive bidding is the only method of awarding contracts that consistently produces the best economic results and the highest degree of integrity; and

WHEREAS, the public contracting process must be competitive on the merits, open to public scrutiny, and effective at producing the highest quality at the lowest cost; and

WHEREAS, although current law requires the State to award most contracts on the basis of competitive bidding, a number of legal exceptions exist that may undermine the public's confidence in the contracting system; and

WHEREAS, we must take every opportunity to supplement our State's bidding laws by adopting procedures guaranteeing that all contracts are awarded on the basis solely of price and quality; and

WHEREAS, these exceptions to the bidding process -- such as bond underwriting, bond counsel, architects and other professional services -- ought to be subjected to the disciplining force of competition; and

WHEREAS, for these reasons, on January 12, 1993, I issued Executive Order No. 79 directing the State Treasurer to adopt procedures for imposing competitive bidding requirements on these areas of exception under current law; and

WHEREAS, I have received a report from the State Treasurer which recommends a series of positive changes to the way our government awards contracts in areas that are currently exempted from competitive bidding; and

WHEREAS, these proposals, for the first time, would require each and every State government entity, including all State authorities, to award underwriting and bond counsel contracts on the basis of open and public competition; and

WHEREAS, these proposals, for the first time, would require each and every State government entity, including all State authorities, to award architectural, engineering, and other professional contracts on the basis of open and public competition; and

WHEREAS, consistent with the letter and spirit of Executive Order No. 79 (1993), these proposals would put procedures into place that significantly exceed the threshold requirements of the State's current bidding laws, as set forth in P.L. 1954, c. 48 (C.52:34-6 et seq.); and

WHEREAS, these proposals represent a creative solution to the problem of imposing standardized, competitive procedures on all of State government while also allowing sufficient flexibility to accommodate the unique needs of the many different functions of government; and

WHEREAS, by implementing these proposals immediately, we can take yet another step forward in our steady attempts to reform government -- an effort that has included requiring greater reliance on market competition for awarding State leases, as implemented through Executive Order No. 65 (1992);

NOW, THEREFORE, I, JIM FLORIO, Governor of the State of New Jersey, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and by the Statutes, do hereby ORDER and DIRECT:

1. It is hereby the policy of the State of New Jersey that all bonds, notes, or similar instruments shall be issued on the basis of competitive bidding, in accordance with the procedures set forth in the State Treasurer's report to me dated May 3, 1993. In particular, these procedures shall establish a presumption that, for any and all issuances of bonds, notes, or other instruments, the issuing department, authority, or instrumentality shall select a qualified underwriter on the basis solely of price, as determined by sealed bids submitted after public notification. In addition, this procedure shall be consistent with Executive Order No. 84 implementing the State's minority and women set-aside program. Under extraordinary circumstances and only for good cause shown, the State Treasurer may approve written requests to issue bonds, notes, or other instruments on the basis of a negotiated sale, but only upon a prior written and publicly disclosed finding by the State Treasurer setting forth in detail the justification for granting such approval.

2. Furthermore, it is hereby the policy of the State of New Jersey that any contract or retainer agreement with an attorney or law firm in connection with a particular issuance of bonds, notes, or other instruments, shall be awarded on the basis of open and fair competition, in accordance with the procedures set forth in the State Treasurer's report to me dated May 3, 1993. In particular, the State Treasurer shall establish procedures, applicable to all departments and authorities, for selecting bond counsel through a process of pre-qualification and sealed bidding. The pre-qualification process shall guarantee that law firms or attorneys serving as bond counsel possess the necessary professional expertise, credentials, and resources to undertake the proposed contract.

3. It is hereby the policy of the State of New Jersey that any contracts or agreements with any engineering, architectural, or similar professional firm shall be awarded on the basis of open and fair competition, in accordance with the procedures set forth in the State Treasurer's report to me dated May 3, 1993. In particular, the State Treasurer shall establish procedures, applicable to all departments and authorities, for selecting qualified engineering, architectural, and other professional services through a process of sealed bidding or fee competition.

4. All authorities which are by law required to submit their minutes, resolutions, or actions to me for my approval or veto shall fully cooperate with the State Treasurer in the implementation of this Order, and shall promptly furnish him with any and all information which he may from time to time request.

5. The State Treasurer shall continuously monitor the implementation of this Order, and shall take care to solicit the views of the public and of the affected issuers. The Treasurer shall incorporate the views expressed by the public and the affected issuers insofar as such views are consistent with the letter and spirit of this Order.

GIVEN, under my hand and seal this
4th day of May in the Year of Our
Lord, One Thousand Nine Hundred and
Ninety Three, and of the Independence
of the United States, the Two Hundred
and Seventeenth.

/s/ Jim Florio
Governor

Attest:

/s/ M. Robert DeCotiis
Chief Counsel to the Governor

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