In response to a report by the State Comptroller in January that was critical of the contracting procedures used by Rutgers University, Sens. Jennifer Beck, (R-12), Red Bank, and Michael J. Doherty, (R-23), Washington Township, have introduced legislation that would subject Rutgers to the same open public bidding and contracting procedures required of all other state colleges and universities.
“Whatever the rationale for excluding Rutgers from open bidding and contracting standards that apply virtually everywhere else in the public sector, it is clear that the exclusion must end,” Beck said in a release. “The Comptroller’s report reveals a startling tendency toward favoritism of certain vendors that is unacceptable when public dollars are at stake.”
The Comptroller’s report, titled “Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, Contracting and Selected Financial Management Practices,” recommended that a decades-old statutory exemption from public bidding practices be repealed. In 2009, Rutgers received a $450 million state subsidy for operating expenses.
“If open and public bidding is good for every other public institution in New Jersey, it should be good enough for Rutgers,” Doherty said. “With the cost of higher education rising every year, both the taxpayers and students paying tuition bills should be assured that the university is operating with the utmost concern for controlling costs.”