BPR to pay $485,000 following seventh Québec bid-rigging settlement
GATINEAU, QC, March 23, 2023 /CNW/ - Engineering firm BPR-Infrastructure Inc. has been ordered to pay $485,000 for bid-rigging related to consulting engineering services for municipal infrastructure contracts in the province of Québec.
The payment is part of a settlement filed today with the Superior Court of Québec between the Public Prosecution Service of Canada and BPR. This settlement ends the Competition Bureau's investigation of the company's role in a bid-rigging scheme that targeted municipal infrastructure contracts in Québec City and Montreal between 2002 and 2011.
The settlement takes into account the fact that BPR previously reimbursed overpayments related to the bid-rigging through the Government of Québec's Voluntary Reimbursement Program.
As part of the settlement, the Court has also ordered the company to follow the objectives of its compliance program and to maintain appropriate control procedures to ensure its effectiveness.
This is the seventh settlement resulting from the Bureau's ongoing investigation. BPR and six other engineering firms have been ordered to pay a total of $12,535,000 for their respective roles in the bid-rigging scheme. The six other firms include:
The $485,000 payment by BPR will be made to the Receiver General for Canada in the next 30 days.
"This settlement is a reminder that we will continue to crack down on all those involved in bid-rigging schemes. Rigging bids is a serious crime that raises costs for municipalities to the detriment of taxpayers."
Commissioner of Competition
In recent years, in addition to the seven settlements mentioned above, the Bureau's investigation has also resulted in guilty pleas by five former executives of engineering firms CIMA+, Genivar and Dessau for bid-rigging on City of Gatineau infrastructure contracts. They received conditional prison sentences totalling five years and 11 months, a $25,000 fine and court-ordered community service totalling 260 hours.
Bid-rigging raises the cost of products or services. Bid-rigging on municipal contracts amounts to a theft of taxpayers' money that could otherwise be spent on important public needs.
If you suspect that you are a victim of bid-rigging or have information about a bid-rigging scheme, please contact the Competition Bureau.
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The Competition Bureau is an independent law enforcement agency that protects and promotes competition for the benefit of Canadian consumers and businesses. Competition drives lower prices and innovation while fueling economic growth.
SOURCE Competition Bureau
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