The Canadian Federal Government is one of the largest public buyers of office furniture in Canada. As the government's main buyer of office furniture, Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) plays a key role by helping federal departments and agencies define their requirements for the scope of work and obtain what they need at the best value. In keeping with the Government Contracts Regulations, procurement is done by means of a competitive procurement process whenever possible. For furniture procurements, the primary method of supply is the National Master Supply Arrangement (NMSA).
What they are - A Supply Arrangement includes a set of predetermined conditions that will apply to bid solicitations and resulting contracts. They allow client departments to solicit bids from a pool of pre-qualified suppliers for specific requirements. This differs from standing offers that only allow client departments to accept a portion of a requirement already defined and priced. Many supply arrangements include ceiling prices which allow client departments to negotiate the price downward based on the specific requirement.
When they are used - Supply arrangements are used when furniture is bought on a regular basis but when a standing office is not suitable because of variables in the resulting call-ups. Individual requirements are either procured on a competitive basis or negotiated based on a specific requirement.
Why they are used - Supply arrangements save time and money by prequalifying suppliers and establishing the basic terms and conditions that apply to a specified range of goods. They also give client departments the flexibility to either solicit bids competitively or negotiate for their specific requirements to obtain the best value possible.
How are supply arrangements issued - Supply arrangements are generally issued following a Request for Supply Arrangement (RFSAs) process. Except for those procurements where public advertising is not required or used, RFSAs are published on the government "buy and sell" website and suppliers who are interested in responding to individual bid solicitations are invited to submit an arrangement to become a pre-qualified supplier. The list of pre-qualified suppliers is used as a source list for the procurement and only suppliers who are pre-qualified at the time individual bid solicitations are issued are eligible to bid.
What are supply arrangements issued - There is no set rule as to when supply arrangements are issued. Generally, it is important to watch for RFSAs that may be published several months before the anticipated effective date of a supply arrangement. Supply arrangements for office furniture are usually issued on a national basis.
Award of contract resulting from a supply arrangement - PSPC prepares a contract within the scope of the supply arrangement. The bids are solicited only from qualified suppliers that have a supply arrangement and ceiling prices are established within the supply arrangement. Bids are awarded based on where the bids fall within a solicitation tier.
Bid Solicitation Tiers
Tier 1 - between $1.00 and $24,999.99. Product purchase price with all taxes, freight, delivery and installation charges included. The purchase is non-competitive at individual user discretion.
Tier 2 - between $25,000.00 and $399,999.999. A Competitive Bid Solicitation is directly sent from the Federal Client or posted on the "buy and sell" website. The procurement is awarded based on the bid that best conforms to the Federal Client's requirements. This is usually awarded based on the lowest bid.
Tier 3 - $400,000 or greater. Same as Tier 2 but the process for procurement is managed by PSPareAward of a contract resulting from a supply arrangement - PSPC prepares a contract within the scope of the supply arrangement.