IF YOU are a staff member working at the Ministry of Manpower's office in Kim Seng Road, count yourself lucky - you may get to sit on a comfortable designer chair.
The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has spent almost $272,000 to buy a total of 472 Herman Miller chairs for its staff.
The model Celle, which MOM bought, was launched in 2005 and is named after its cellular suspension.
Its seat and back are made up of loops and cells which flex individually to give good support.
Herman Miller is an American manufacturer of office and home furniture based in Zeeland, Michigan.
The tender for the chairs, which was placed on the Government's electronic procurement portal, GeBiz, was awarded to home-grown furniture company Xtra Designs on Jan 31.
"We conducted an open tender in accordance with government procurement guidelines. The brand of the chairs was not specified in the tender invitation," said a MOM spokesman in reply to queries from my paper.
Xtra Designs, located at Park Mall, is the sole authorised dealer for the brand here.
The MOM spokesman said that the chairs, which cost $575 each, were chosen because of various factors, such as their ergonomic design, durability and value for money.
"Taking all these factors into account, the successful tenderer meets our requirements and offered the best value for money over the lifespan of the chairs," added the spokesman.
The chairs, which have not been delivered, will arrive in batches.
Xtra Designs was selected out of a total of 11 companies which submitted their quotations to the ministry.
The chairs come with a 12-year warranty, which covers all parts, including on-site support and the option to repair or replace.
Xtra Designs managing director Lim Choon Hong confirmed the warranty coverage.
Mr Lim also highlighted that a feature of the Herman Miller Celle chair is that it is 99 per cent recyclable, and is made with 33 per cent recycled content.
He said: "This is an important acknowledgement and response to the global and our Government's direction towards environmental sustainability."
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