Criminal charges laid against four individuals for bid-rigging in the engineering industry

News release

June 26, 2018 – OTTAWA, ON – Competition Bureau

Criminal charges were laid on June 21, 2018, against four individuals who allegedly conspired to rig bids for 21 City of Gatineau infrastructure contracts between 2004 and 2008.

The charges under the bid-rigging provision of the Competition Act were laid before the Court of Quebec against André Mathieu, formerly Vice-President and Associate of Cima+; Claude Marquis, formerly Regional Director, Outaouais for Genivar (now WSP Canada); Michel Famery, formerly Regional Vice-President, Dessau; and Dave Boulay, formerly Director and Assistant Vice-President, Outaouais, Dessau.

Evidence gathered by the Competition Bureau suggests that these engineering firms strategically divided contracts awarded by the City of Gatineau among themselves. The evidence further suggests that the firms secretly fixed prices submitted in response to City of Gatineau calls for tenders at, or near, a tariff schedule established by the Association des ingénieurs-conseils du Québec. The City of Gatineau was not aware of the alleged bid-rigging scheme.

Quotes

“When companies or individuals rig bids on public infrastructure contracts, costs for taxpayers go up while value for money goes down. Cracking down on bid-rigging is a priority for the Bureau and I’m pleased that the criminal charges in this matter are now before the courts.”

Matthew Boswell
Interim Commissioner of Competition

Quick facts

  • As these alleged offences took place prior to 2010, if convicted of bid-rigging, those charged face potential prison terms of up to 5 years and a fine at the Court’s discretion. Potential prison terms are now up to 14 years.

  • Bid-rigging in connection with private or government procurement increases the cost of goods and services. Where government procurement is affected, the cost increase caused by a cartel means less available public money for other important 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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