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June 19, 2007

Record of Decisions

Government Office Furniture Advisory Committee Meeting (GOFAC)
Record of Decisions
June 19, 2007
11A1, Room 101
Gatineau, Québec

In Attendance

  • Bruce Maynard, Chairperson
  • Greg Rapier – Knoll Inc.
  • David Swire – Teknion Furniture Systems
  • Bruce Parratt – The Global Group
  • Jean Barbeau – Artopex-Plus Inc.
  • Eli Gilbert – Canadian Atlas Furniture Corp.
  • Gary Fawcett – Fawcett File & Storage Systems
  • André Clément – Asokan
  • Rachelle Ayotte – Canadian Heritage
  • Céline Bédard – PWGSC
  • Denis Cuillerier – PWGSC
  • Rory Ridler – PWGSC
  • Pierre Paquette – PWGSC
  • Denise Le Blanc – PWGSC


Item 1 - Opening Remarks and Roundtable Introductions

Members were advised that the Records of Decision of the GOFAC are now available on the PWGSC Web Site.
Action: Committee

Item 2 - Record of Decisions

The Committee adopted the Record of Decisions of June 5.
Action: Committee

Item 3 - General Discussion

The GOFAC members were briefed on the meeting held June 18th with the Departmental Working Group on Office Furnishings (DWGOF):

  • The Committee agreed with the "Basket of Goods" as proposed.
  • Real Property Branch members will review some of the layouts in the fit-up standard in response to the ergonomic concerns raised by the GOFAC
  • While Client Departments advise that they have different needs and may adhere to different standards, their main concern is to have simple effective tools to acquire furniture.
  • While some environmental considerations are proposed for the future standing offers, the Furniture Procurement Division has requested that various members of the DWGOF – Real Property, Office of Greening Government Operations, and Canadian General Standards Board – define what they would consider an appropriate level of environmental features or criteria.
  • Real Property Branch members are adhering to the LEED Standards and should be able to obtain furniture that supports this standard as well.
    Action: PWGSC
Environmental considerations
  • It is understood that requiring certain environmental certifications in the short term may be premature given its cost, particularly for SMEs, and the time to complete the process. However, the Industry is being asked more and more to provide a certification. It was agreed that even if PWGSC does not require full certification in the short term, it should start advising industry now of its long term plan.
  • It was agreed that any such decision on environmental features would be included in the Record of Decisions to advise the industry of PWGSC’s intent on a longer term.
    Action: PWGSC
Government of Canada Marketplace (GoCM)
  • PWGSC is working towards including all mandatory standing offers, including furniture, in the GoCM.
  • While the concept for GoCM is sound, some logistic issues have yet to be resolved.
  • Both the current application, S.A.G.E, and GoCM will operate in parallel, as the intention is to migrate new standing offers to GoCM, and leave the current ones on S.A.G.E.
  • The DWGOF have stated that they are familiar with S.A.G.E. and its functionality and would like to keep this application if GoCM is not providing this in the short term.
  • PWGSC to review the feasibility of having a punch-out to S.A.G.E.
  • Industry advises that GoC will have to advise/market aggressively the new way of purchasing especially that they may issue a call-up to any standing offer holder not only the lowest identified from a product requirement search/sort.
    Action: PWGSC
Freestanding Furniture
  • Freestanding Furniture will use the same price evaluation criteria as cabinets which is the median + 10%.
  • Standardization will apply to certain product characteristics and a "Basket of Goods".
  • The goal is to have a good approach, a "Basket of Goods" and fair price and simplified process (a good set of tools). These features will generate higher compliance from clients and vendors and consequently better procurement decisions.
  • The facility managers / clients community have requested one single contact point to purchase the furniture and the ergonomic accessories / hardware. PWGSC will accept Alternate Keyboard Trays, Monitor Arms, CPU holders/Footrest as optional additional product offerings. This is important for the structural integrity of the product.
  • The "Basket of Goods" for the Executive category, General Office – fixed components, user adjustable components from the seated position and user adjustable components from the sit to stand position, were reviewed and finalized pending final review by the Furniture Division. The "Basket of Goods" for Tables will have to be revisited.
Other product categories
  • Seating will probably require more added-value features for the clients to select but the attributes/characteristics would not be free form – PWGSC will dialogue with Health Canada, Occupational Health and Safety, and other clients to establish a common ergonomic ground as to what types of chairs would meet their requirements.
    Action: PWGSC
  • Two strategies will be required for Panel Systems, one for the installed base and one for new fit-ups. Some Issues that will need to be addressed. They include: the extent of the additional requirement in relation to the installed base, cost of adding to the installed base vs replacing it all, compatibility between various products, inventory sharing of used furniture, life cycle of panel system furniture. Parameters will need to be set around these issues.
    Action: Committee
Next Furniture Category to be reviewed
  • The Committee agreed to review the remaining furniture categories in the following order: Desking, Panel Systems, and Chairs to be last reviewed.
    Action: PWGSC

The Committee was advised that the purchase descriptions would be revised incorporating all issues brought forward and would be forwarded for comments prior to the next meeting.

Environmental considerations will need to be discussed.

Item 4 - Next Meeting

The next meeting will be held August 14th, 2007 at Place du Portage, 11 Laurier Street, PDP III, Gatineau, Quebec, Tower A, 11A1 Room 101 from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM.  The record of decisions, the six (6) discussed "Basket of Goods", and revised purchase descriptions will be forwarded to the members for comments prior to the meeting.

Item 5 - Roundtable and Closing Remarks

Bruce Maynard advised that he had chaired the last meeting. The work of the Committee is advancing very well and as per the Terms of Reference of this Committee, PWGSC will now Chair the Committee. He thanked all the members for their continued cooperation in making the work of the Committee so interesting.

Pierre Paquette advised that his presence to the Committee would no longer be required as the work of the Committee is progressing very well. He will however, be providing oversight on the future work of the Committee.