Cardinale Says Corzine Shouldn’t Have Given Local Companies the Cold Shoulder
August 28, 2009
Senator Gerald Cardinale, R-Bergen, said that the Corzine administration has put more than 200 New Jersey jobs at risk by not letting office supply companies bid on a multi-million dollar state contract. Seventeen local businesses now sell tens of millions of dollars of office supplies to the state.
They will lose the business on Sept.1 because the state has contracted with Staples Advantage, a Massachusetts company, to supply all office supplies. Vendors who now hold the contracts say they were given no advance notice that their contracts would not be renewed, nor were they granted the opportunity to bid for the state’s business.
“Governor Corzine and his Treasurer should be helping these local companies bid for state business during a recession, ” Cardinale said. “Instead, the companies say they didn’t learn that Staples had won the business until the state posted the award on a Web site last week. This is no way to treat local employers during hard times.”
The state treasurer made the office products agreement through a national cooperative purchasing organization that has not put the contract out for bids for five years, according to the National Office Products Alliance. To ensure that current prices offered by Staples are indeed competitive with those of local vendors, the state should have let New Jersey companies try to beat the Staples offering in a competitive bidding process, Cardinale said.
“Our unemployment rate is at a 32 year high and far exceeds that of any neighboring state’s, ” Cardinale said. “In this tough economic climate, the treasurer should be looking for every way to keep New Jersey residents employed.”
Senator Cardinale urged the governor to put the contract back up for bid, and to extend for three months the contracts of the 17 companies who are losing business so that the bidding process can be conducted in a fair and organized manner.