A new audit shows it’s so easy for local governments to get around New Jersey’s pay-to-play law that the restrictions are basically meaningless, the Associated Press reports.
A report by state Comptroller Matt Boxer released Thursday finds the law does nothing to prevent local governments from steering contracts to politically favored vendors.
An exception in the law allows contracts to be awarded to campaign donors so long as a “fair and open” process is used. Boxer says the exception, which does not apply at the state level, is “ridiculously easy” to qualify for.
Boxer says what’s worse is the governing body seeking the exception gets to decide whether or not it qualifies.
The comptroller recommends eliminating or strengthening the exception, or rewriting the law to make the awarding of contracts more competitive.