Office Furniture Industry Calls On Canadian Government To Reconsider Plan

July 17, 2006

(June 23, 2006) - As the largest furniture purchaser in all regions of Canada, the Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC) is planning to implement a new purchasing program that would cancel recently assigned standing offers and could award sole-source national contracts. This would have a deeply negative impact on all Canadian furniture manufacturing and service industries.

The Business and Institutional Furniture Manufacturers Association (BIFMA) International, established in 1973, is calling on PWGSC to delay the planned August 2006 Request for a Standing Offer (RFSO) and urges representatives of the federal government to meet with industry professionals to discuss this plan so that government objectives can be achieved while minimizing damage to the industry before it is too late.

The outcome of the current PWGSC plan would be significant Canadian job loss in both the service and manufacturing sectors, and could have unintended but significant consequences of an actual increase in the overall cost of products to the government. While BIFMA supports the federal government's initiative to save money and work more efficiently, it believes this new proposed procurement strategy will not meet the desired objectives. The proposal has significant hidden costs that were not considered and will have a severe impact on the entire Canadian Furniture Manufacturing Industry and its service providers in all regions of the country.

BIFMA International is a not-for-profit trade association of furniture manufacturers and suppliers addressing issues of common concern. BIFMA's mission is to serve the North American office and business furniture manufacturing industry as an information resource and industry advocate, and to offer industry-wide trade development opportunities.

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