Bowing to pressure from bidders, the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) has dropped contract language that would have required companies to be ISO 9001 certified in order to score higher in a competitive bid.
A request for proposals for a Florida highway infrastructure management project originally required ISO 9001 certification by an ANAB-accredited registrar. Certification would account for 5 points in the bid scoring. After a Q&A between FDOT and bidders yielded concerns over ISO 9001 certification, FLDOT removed the requirement entirely. During the Q&A stage, one bidder bemoaned “costly and lengthy training” requirements for ISO 9001 certification.
More and more US Federal and local government agencies are removing ISO 9001 certification as a contract requirement. It is thought that in the US, government mandates for ISO 9001 are the topmost driver for certification.
Oxebridge founder Christopher Paris is making a push for ISO 9001 to be removed from government contracts, arguing that the current certification scheme and standards development processes have violated ISO and WTO regulations, and possibly antitrust laws. While no coordinated or across-the-board action has been taken, more and more government agencies are hearing the Oxebridge arguments and pulling the requirement.
Oxebridge aims to call for a restoration of ISO 9001 as a government contract once ANSI has corrected actions and behaviors within the Technical Advisory Groups that represent the US to ISO, and within ANAB.