N.J. Firms Should Bid On State Contracts

by Assemblyman Jon Bramnick

The State Treasury Department has not explained why New Jersey office supply firms were not given an opportunity to bid on a contract the state awarded to Staples Advantage, a Massachusetts-based firm.

I continue to ask Treasurer R. David Rousseau why New Jersey office supply companies were not permitted to bid on the New Jersey contract.
For years the state government bought office supplies from 17 New Jersey firms.


The office supply vendors requested information from the state about the new contract before it was awarded to Staples, but the state never responded.

The firms are located across the state with offices in Edison, Kenilworth, Lakewood, Lincoln Park, Secaucus and South Plainfield. They employ more than 200 workers.

Two weeks ago the New Jersey vendors discovered on the Treasury Department website that Staples was awarded the multi-million dollar contract.

From the website posting, the New Jersey vendors learned the contract was awarded through the National Joint Powers Alliances, a cooperative of state and local governments based in Minnesota.

The New Jersey vendors also learned the Joint Powers Alliance only advertised for bidders in a Minnesota newspaper.

Under New Jersey law, contracts can be awarded through cooperatives. But the contract must be the most cost effective. I question whether this new contract meets the standard since New Jersey vendors were never given a chance to bid.

Assemblyman Jon Bramnick represents 16 towns in Union, Essex, Morris, and Somerset counties in Legislative District 21.

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