Mitchell Taraschi, Chair of Connell Foley’s Product Liability and Tort Law Group, explained how the Electronic Construction Procurement Act (ECPA) impacts New Jersey contractors in a recent article titled "What New Jersey Contractors Need to Know About the State's New Online Bidding Laws," published by the Utility & Transportation Contractors Association.
The ECPA, which went into effect on April 2, 2021, requires “all ‘State Contracting Units’ that contract for the procurement of goods, services, or the construction of public works pursuant to the State College Contracts Law or Chapter 32, 33 or 34 of Title 52 … to utilize e-procurement for public works construction contracts whenever the project requires public advertisement.”
New Jersey’s State Treasurer will be tasked with establishing regulations for the e-procurement of public works contracts. Among those requirements is the ability to alert contractors, vendors and bidders of missing required data. Mitch notes that, “Contractors might find that being alerted to missing required data is particularly helpful given that bids are often rejected due to oversights made while scrambling to submit bids.” The ultimate goal of the process is fairness. Mitch writes that, “The regulations also seek to provide the same integrity and procedural protections afforded by sealed public bidding in order to ensure that contracting in an electronic environment remains competitive and fair.”
The new e-procurement system coupled with changes to the regulatory framework from the State Treasurer make this a confusing transition period for New Jersey contractors. Mitch emphasizes that “having an accurate understanding of New Jersey’s new e-procurement procedures is more important than ever.” In addition to helping clients navigate the new rules and regulations established by the ECPA, Mitch can guide clients through contract disputes, defective construction, delay damages, acceleration claims, back charges and public bid disputes.
Please click here to access the full article on pages 107-108, or see "Related Materials" below for a PDF.