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13 N.J.A.R. 581

Struble Air Conditioning, Inc. v. Bd. of Ed. of South Brunswick
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Citation: 13 N.J.A.R. 581
Decision Date: 1987
Agency: DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
Synopsis: Petitioner appealed respondent's decision to award a contract to another bidder. Although petitioner's bid was the lower of two bids, petitioner did not submit a required Notice of Classification because the notice was not received by petitioner until two hours after the bid was due. The matter was transmitted to the Office of Adminis- trative Law for a hearing. The administrative law judge assigned to the case concluded that the failure to submit the Notice of Classification was not a material defect and should have been waived. Petitioner's error was timely cured, the notice was late through no fault of petitioner and, in addition, the notice was retroactive to before the bid was due. Review- ing case law in the area of competitive bidding, the judge noted that bidding statutes must be faithfully observed, but they must also be applied fairly and sensibly. In this case, the judge noted, waiving the notice requirement did not defeat the legislative goals of the public bidding statutes. The judge recommended that petitioner be awarded the contract. Upon review, this initial decision was adopted by the Com- missioner of Education. Andrew M. Wubbenhorst, Esq., for petitioner (Curtin, Hubner & McKeon, attorneys) Willard Geller, Esq., for respondent