The objective of the proposed “OriginalWood Market Access System” is to provide First Nations forest product producers streamlined access to building project opportunities. NAFA’s role will be to engage with specifiers and building authorities in advance of tendering to ensure that First Nations forest products are both used to the maximum potential volumes and clearly specified in the tender documents.
Projects that are at the conceptual or early-design phases will be streamlined directly to NAFA staff so that they can work with the project authorities and influencers such as PWGSC officers, architects and designers to:
- Proactively promote and expand the use of First Nations forest products;
- Deploy policy or regulations that would require the use of First Nations wood products.
As project resources allow, NAFA will work with procurement officers from First Nations and PWGSC to deploy policies in order to maximize the use of First Nations wood products.
Interactivity with procurement websites
The proposed OriginalWood Market Access System will identify, monitor and disseminate publish relevant tender opportunities to member First Nations forest products producers.
Globally, government procurement systems have evolved significantly during the past few years with virtually all tendering done using some form of online website. Reflecting this, digital tendering is now the mechanism of choice for the Government of Canada.
In 2004, the Canadian federal government procurement department (PWGSC) entered into a contract with Mediagrif Technologies (operators of the Merx system) to provide an online tendering platform for all opportunities exceeding the minimum threshold for open bidding. In mid-2013, the contract was not renewed by the Canadian government, as they shifted the system to an “in-house” function of PWGSC. As of June 1, 2013, federal government opportunities are published and made available free of charge on a Government of Canada Web site (Buyandsell.gc.ca).
Merx remains an active platform, processing and publishing tenders from various provincial and non-governmental sources, as well as re-distributing selected Canadian Federal government tenders.
NAFA will register as a user with the BuyAndSell.gc.ca and Merx.com websites, setting a series of filters and criteria that will identify the full range of wood and forest products related tender opportunities. A separate set of criteria will be used to identify building projects that are at the conceptual or early-design phases. All this information will be compiled into the NAFA database (using the RSS feed system).