FPI Bid A Steelcase Knockoff

May 23, 2003
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WASHINGTON, D.C. — Line by line, quote by quote, product by product.

according to bid documents provided to the Express by U.S. Rep. Peter Hoekstra’s office, the Federal Prison Industries bid to renovate the Federal Aviation Administration headquarters is identical a bit submitted by Steelcase Inc.

Both bids were for $5.6 million.

In every case, the FPI bid matches Steelcase’s to the penny — the $3.15 million for hundreds of workstations, the $920,215 for movable walls, $19,393.60 for lounge seating, $3,506.88 for tables, even the design, layout and installation costs.

“It’s just like FPI crossed out ‘Steelcase’ and put their own name on it,” Hoekstra press secretary Dave Yonkman said.

Steelcase’s list price for the products involved in the FAA contact were far higher than the actual bid quotes, reflecting the deep discounts office furniture manufacturers provide in government contracts.

“We don’t mind competition,” Steelcase Vice President and General Sales Manager Rick Yeats said.

“This is a very unfair process.”           

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