Wednesday, September 25, 2013


Source: Assembly Republican Press Release -
Following through on a report issued by the state comptroller in the summer regarding the payment of legal bills by government entities, Assemblywoman BettyLou DeCroce has introduced legislation that would require a detailed invoice for the services rendered before payment is made.
The bill, called the “Transparency in Government Legal Bill Act,” requires that information, such as a description of each legal service rendered, an itemized list of the expenses involved for each service and how the amount of the charge was determined, must be detailed in an invoice.
“When someone receives a bill, they have a right to see a breakdown of the charges before making payment,” said DeCroce, R- Morris, Esssex and Passaic. “Taxpayers are footing the bill for contracted legal services provided to agencies and departments and each bill should be scrutinized to make sure the charges are fair, accurate and can be substantiated. This legislation spells out the elements that must be included in an invoice and ensures taxpayers are only paying for services that can be documented just as any client is entitled to before remitting payment.”
Under DeCroce’s legislation (A-4370), prior to the authorization of payment, an invoice must include the following information:
1.The date(s) and description of issue for which service was provided.
2.The name of the attorney and the method used to calculate the bill.
3.The total charge for the service(s) provided.
4.The invoice must include a description of each service rendered and the name(s) of the individuals involved in providing that service.
5.The amount of time spent on each particular service.
6.A list of expenses and disbursements made for each service rendered, with specific notes on which services are reimbursable.
7.A notation on the limit of charges for services that may be billed as provided in the contract and whether payment of the invoice will exceed the limit stipulated in the agreement.

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