Client Alert
March 6, 2009
New Supreme Court Case from the State of New Jersey

On March 4, 2009, the Supreme Court of New Jersey opened the door to a new pool of potential bid protesters. In Jen Electric, Inc. v. County of Essex, the Supreme Court of New Jersey ruled that suppliers of material, to be used on a public project, have the standing to challenge bid specifications. N.J.S.A. 40A:11-3-13(e) requires those who wish to challenge a bid specification to do so, in writing, with the contracting agent no less then three (3) business days prior to the opening of the bid. Pursuant to the Jen Electric, no longer are challenges to bid specifications confined to bidders, prospective bidders, and taxpayers. Potential suppliers can now challenge bid specifications and, potentially, cause significant delays in public contracting.

This decision may have an impact on the Stimulus Plan enacted by President Obama on February 17, 2009 (the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, the “ARRA”). The ARRA provides funds for a wide array of public and private actors. Time is an important consideration in evaluating opportunities under the ARRA. It is not clear at this time what effect challenges by potential supplies, and any associated delays to bid openings, will have on the ARRA.

Please contact Shawn Farrell for further details at SFarrell@cohenseglias.com or 215.564.1700.

     
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