The US Congress has approved a bill that lifts the Federal Prison Industries’ (FPI) mandatory source permanently, NOPA has announced after five years of intense lobbying efforts from the alliance.
The HR 4818 Foreign Operations, Export Financing and Related Programs Appropriations Act 2005 will ensure that private companies can enjoy a level playing field when selling to the US federal market, and no longer have to apply for a waiver from the FPI programme.
Paul Miller, director of government affairs for NOPA, said: "It is apparent that reforming FPI was a priority for Congress. The office furniture industry has had to sit back and watch for far too long as FPI has continued to grow and expand at a time when the office furniture industry has cut some 30,000 plus jobs.
"More importantly, at this critical time, it returns final purchasing authority to contracting officers to ensure they are getting the best value for the best price and on the best delivery schedule," he added.
NOPA has been putting heavy pressure on the US Congress to open the government market to OP dealers for more than five years.