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: http://www.tpsgc-pwgsc.gc.ca/biens-property/amng-ftp/index-eng.html. The RFSA documents themselves can be found at: https://buyandsell.gc.ca/procurement-data/tender-notice/PW-PQ-416-66821.
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:
|Category 1||Category 2||Category 3||Category 4||Category 5|
|Interconnecting Panels and Freestanding Systems||Freestanding Height Adjustable Desk/Table Products||Metal Filing and Storage Cabinets||Wood Veneer –Freestanding Products||Ancillary and Lighting Products|
|CAN/CGSB 44.229||CAN/CGSB 44.227||CAN/CGSB 44.227|
ANSI/BIFMA X5.9 & X5.3
|ANSI/BIFMA X5.5 |
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.
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