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New Jersey Schools Construction Corporation v. Arkay Construction, Inc.

A-2363-06T3 (N.J. Super. App. Div. 2008) (Unpublished)

CONTRACTORS — A governmental contracting agency’s findings as to whether a contractor should be debarred, if reached on sufficient credible evidence, should not be upset by a court because the court’s review is limited to whether an agency’s findings could reasonably have been reached on such evidence.

A contractor entered into a consent order with the federal government to settle prevailing wage rate litigation. In that agreement, the contractor agreed to be debarred for three years. Subsequently, the company requested classification with the State of New Jersey, Department of Treasury. In its application, it misrepresented that it had not been previously debarred by any government agency. The company also failed to disclose the federal debarment on four bid submissions to the New Jersey Schools Construction Corporation (SCC), out of which two contracts were awarded.

The SCC denied the company prequalification and debarred it for four years as a contractor eligible to engage in public works contracting. An administrative law judge (ALJ) reversed the debarment, yet the SCC’s board rejected the ALJ’s decision and ruled that the contractor be debarred for three years. The contractor appealed.

In the appeal, the Appellate Division ruled that its review was limited to whether the board’s findings could reasonably have been reached on sufficient credible evidence. Then, the Court affirmed the board’s decision, finding that the ruling was based upon sufficient, credible evidence, finding that the SCC had properly ordered debarment.

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