Government of Canada released Letter of Interest (LOI) for its new procurement policy on office furniture excluding seating and High density storage including information on what will be its furniture testing . PWGSC wants to include in the same Consolidated Procurement Instrument (CPI) panel systems, Freestanding furniture and storage cabinets. The standards used in the CPI will be BIFMA X5.5, BIFMA X5.6, BIFMA X5.9, CAN/CGSB 44.227 and CAN/CGSB 44.229.
The Government of Canada released on February 20th its Request For Supply . The Solicitation closes on April 21rst 2015. However, there is a Bidders conference on March 9th in Ottawa and should there be a lot of issues the closing date might be delayed some more. This RFSA is a new era for the Government; it includes a new supply arrangement (SA) model and the introduction of their ergonomic standard workplace 2.0 that can be found at: TPSGC Canada. The RFSA documents themselves can be found at: Tender Notice
Below is a review of the RFSA document summarizing the furniture testing requirements, timing issues and the economical impacts it could have on your Government business.
Products included in this RFSA:
There are 5 product categories included in this RFSA. The table below shows the categories with the applicable standards:
|Interconnecting Panels and Freestanding Systems
|Freestanding Height Adjustable Desk/Table Products
|Metal Filing and Storage Cabinets
|Wood Veneer –Freestanding Products
|Ancillary and Lighting Products
ANSI/BIFMA X5.9 & X5.3
Once the Supply Agreements (SA) are awarded, manufacturers will not be able to add products to their offering or not be able to qualify, if they missed the first window of opportunity, for an additional 11 months from the date all of the new SA will have been awarded (RFSA document, section 6A.7, page 18 of 60). This means, given the current dates that one might miss Government year end 2016… It is therefore in all manufacturer’s interest to qualify all the products they want to sell to the Government before the initial closing date.
Manufacturers do not have to offer all products for all categories to be deemed compliant.
No test reports have to be submitted in your bid’s response for the RFSA; you have to certify that all your products being offered conform to the requirements (RFSA: section 5.1.3) and that they will at all time, for the RFSA duration, continue to comply.
Actual specifications for work spaces can be found in Annex A-1 (p. 34-48) of the RFSA document. Section Annex A-1, 2.2.10 states:
“Test reports must not be more than five years old from the date the test was performed.”
Whereas the following section (2.2.11) requires:
“If changes have been made to the test standard(s), retesting is required within nine (9) months of the issuance date of the revised test standard regardless of the age of testing previously performed.”
This means, for example that products in category 2 and 4 need to have been tested to BIFMA X 5.5-2014 whereas products from category 3 should be tested to BIFMA X5.9-2012.
RFSA Amendment #1:
Government of Canada published its first amendment last Friday. Different Q&As nothing to do with testing. Participants will be able to attend the Bidders conference by teleconference next Monday. Participants need to confirm attendance to be allowed to participate. Teleconference #: 1-877-413-4791 #4485938.
For more information: please contact us.
All of the information and opinions contained in this blog are made with the information, and the understanding that we have reviewed at the time of publishing. However, despite our efforts, we do not offer any guarantee of their accuracy, thoroughness of our investigation or validity. The author of this blog is not liable for any inaccuracies or any losses or damages that may result from the use of the information or data contained herein. This blog has not been reviewed or verified for its accuracy by any peer group associates prior to publication.
My career has been focused on simulating real life in the lab under controlled yet accelerated conditions. My passion for lab testing lead me to start Micom Laboratories Inc. 16 years ago. Through time I made sure Micom has the necessary equipment to simulate various environmental parameters such as the sun, vibrations, heat, cold, thermal shocks and humidity. I wanted to be able to move things back and forth, apply stresses to the products and materials we test and see how they react to the various stimuli. To do so we test products and materials against known standards and specifications (certification) and in many cases by creating my own test protocols and specifications (this is the cherry on top of the sundae…). This is what led me to participate in many standards writing committees and to become chairman of some of these committees.