December 18, 2009
Re: QPA (Qualified Purchasing Agent) Bill Signed into Law
Yesterday, Governor Corzine signed the Qualified Purchasing Agent (QPA) bill, with the conditional veto language, into law as P.L. 2009, c. 166.
The new law will:
- Make the appointment of a QPA permissive.
- Set a local unit’s bid threshold at $17,500 unless they appoint a QPA. This is the same threshold in the Pay-to-Play law.
- Allow the Division of Local Government Services a year to implement the process to obtain a QPA certification.
As you recall, the League argued it was unwise and unnecessary to impose an unfunded mandate on beleaguered taxpayers when we are being told to prioritize and do more with less. The Department of Community Affairs, the agency required under the bill to implement training and certification, testified in opposition to A-1645 and its Senate counterpart, S-770 as an unworkable mandate. DCA’s Commissioner had also asked the sponsors to defer action on this mandate at this time.
This legislation does not in any way change the procurement process nor does it provide any new or additional capabilities to assist towns in improving purchasing functions.
While the bill was not outright vetoed, your efforts made a difference, as it appears that the conditional veto mitigates objectionable portions of the bill.
We recommend speaking to your attorneys for the impact of this language on your community. Questions can be directed to Lori Buckelew at email@example.com or (609) 695-3481 x122.
Very truly yours,
William G. Dressel, Jr.