(The Center Square) – A new law that changes the way state-funded construction projects are awarded by the state of New Jersey is receiving bipartisan praise.
The law allows government entities to award construction contracts to a single company that would oversee a construction project, as opposed to a government entity awarding separate contracts to an architect and a construction company. Governor Phil Murphy signed the bill on Friday.
“Allowing an entity to run the operation from start to finish results in a more organized and efficient workflow,” said Republican Senator Steve Oroho, one of the bill’s sponsors. “It’s a better process that can help us get more done, faster, for less taxpayer dollars.”
Governor Phil Murphy said that previous state law did not prohibit the use of the design-build model, but that “the general statutory scheme for construction contracts discouraged its use by calling for plans, specifications and separate offers for each aspect of a construction project. “
The state and local communities were also required to award the project to the lowest bidder.
“Design-build projects are rarely, if ever, structured to award the project to the lowest bidder, as cost is only one factor in the design-build approach, which emphasizes design. and quality, ”Murphy said. “The use of design-build will allow contracting units to select the bidder with the most advantageous bid for the contracting unit based on price and other factors that are integral to the design-build process.”
Several state agencies have statutory authority to use the design-build model and other agencies will benefit, Murphy said. Lawmakers took into account the New Jersey Schools Development Authority’s experience with the model when drafting the bill, according to Murphy.
Oroho said the new procedure will speed up contract award and reduce costs.
“In New Jersey, with some of the highest taxes in the country, it’s a good thing that the legislature and governor agree on a way to lower taxes without reducing services,” Oroho said.
Assembly Democrats Louis Greenwald, D-Camden / Burlington, Nicholas Chiaravalloti, D-Hudson and Bill Moen, D-Camden / Gloucester also praised the law.
“This will make the process more organized and cohesive at all levels,” they said in a statement. “Now more than ever, we need to explore ways to increase government efficiency, reduce spending, and save taxpayer dollars.”