BIFMA calls for talks with Canadian Government



3 July 2006 — Grand Rapids (MI): The Business and Institutional Furniture Manufacturers Association (BIFMA) has called on the Canadian Government to halt a plan which it believes could cause large job losses for the industry.


The largest furniture purchaser in Canada, the Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC), is reportedly planning to implement a new purchasing programme that would cancel recently assigned standing offers and could award sole-source national contracts. BIFMA is calling on the PWGSC to delay the programme and urged Government representatives to meet with industry leaders for talks to minimise the potential "deeply negative impact on the industry".


In a statement BIFMA said the plan would spark significant job losses in both the service and manufacturing sectors, and could lead to unintended but significant consequences including an increase in the overall costs of products to the Government, when it comes into force later this year.


"While we applaud and support the Federal Government’s initiative to save money and work more efficiently, we believe this new proposed procurement strategy will not meet the desired objectives, has significant hidden costs that were not considered, and will have a severe impact on the entire Canadian furniture industry and its service providers in all regions of the country," the association said.