Local Finance Notice 2021-18 Final Adopted E-Procurement Regulations: Goods, Services, and Public Works Contracts
The Division of Local Government Services has adopted final regulations authorizing use of electronic procurement platforms by local governments and boards of education.
- E-procurement is the use of internet-based technology platforms for the solicitation and submission of competitive bids, proposals, quotations, or qualifications. E-mail systems shall not constitute electronic procurement platforms.
- Use of e-procurement platforms is permitted for competitive solicitations and online auctions for surplus personal property and real property.
- All entities subject to the Local Public Contracts Law or the Public School Contracts Law may use e-procurement platforms to issue RFPs, but the RFPs must be fair and open.
- The regulations use the terms offer, offeror, and bidder or vendor to refer to individuals or entities responding to procurement solicitations.
Platform and Process Basics
- E-procurement platforms must ensure the security and integrity of the procurement and facilitate equal access to information and documents connected to the procurement. If a local unit’s e-procurement platform requires payment of a registration fee before such materials can be obtained, the materials must be made available.
- The e-procurement platform must allow submission of all responsive documents and information to a secure electronic lockbox, and must have a question-and-answer function allowing prospective vendors or contractors to post questions about the procurement solicitation for the local unit’s response.
- Unless otherwise provided by law, a bidder may obtain bid documents through an e-procurement platform, and may receive revisions and addenda through the platform.
- Local units may accept bid bonds, performance bonds, or surety company certificates through the eprocurement platform if the bond can be verified through the software.
- A check must be submitted with the bid or proposal through the e-procurement platform and the check must be received by the local unit no later than the deadline.
- Electronic signatures may be utilized for all documents requiring a signature from the prospective vendor or contractor, except engineering and architectural documents.
- A local unit may utilize an electronic procurement system to solicit competitive quotations and view the quotes in real time.
- For contracts subject to competitive procurement, the names of all bidders and their prices shall be verbally announced in public by the local unit once the submission deadline has passed.
Local Finance Notice 2021-18
Please follow the link below to read more about these items and guidance on how your local unit can implement them: https://www.nj.gov/dca/divisions/dlgs/lfns/21/2021-18.pdf
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