Contract information web site bill released by committee

TRENTON – The Senate State Government, Wagering and Tourism Committee on Monday unanimously released bill S143, which requires the state Treasurer to post up-to-date contract and grant information on a single web site. 

Documents could include purchases, contracts or agreements, and grants, awards, or loans paid with state funds by or on behalf of a state agency. A link to the web site would be included on the state home page.

In addition to containing the aforementioned information, the web site would also have a section for public input and recommendations on improving the web site.

The bill requires the state Treasurer to utilize the web site to publish notice of contracts and grants.

Prime sponsor Sen. Barbara Buono, (D-18), of Metuchen, said the web site is intended to provide residents with an easily accessible location that can help increase transparency.

Buono said the web site would be more in-depth than the one operated by the Governor’s Office.

“It’s really almost a misnomer,” she said at the hearing.

She described the cost of setting up the web site as “minimal.”

Sen. Fred Thompson, (R-12), of Old Bridge, expressed some concern that it would require even small purchases, such as those as little as $25, to be included, which he believed is not necessary.