Dessau to pay $1.9 million in settlement over bid-rigging on public contracts in Quebec

News release

February 19, 2019 – OTTAWA, ON – Competition Bureau

Engineering firm Dessau will pay $1.9 million in relation to bid-rigging on municipal infrastructure contracts in Quebec from 2003 to 2011.

The payment is part of a settlement filed with the Superior Court of Quebec today that concludes the Competition Bureau’s investigation of Dessau’s role in a bid-rigging conspiracy that targeted contracts in the cities of Québec, Laval and Gatineau, as well as certain municipalities in the Montreal region.

The settlement takes into account factors including Dessau’s participation in the Government of Quebec’s Voluntary Reimbursement Program, which was designed to recover amounts improperly paid as a result of fraudulent tactics in connection with public contracts. It also takes into account the fact that Dessau is no longer in operation and has begun a process to dissolve the company.

The Bureau’s ongoing investigation has also resulted in charges against four individuals in connection with bid-rigging on City of Gatineau infrastructure contracts, including a former executive at Dessau who has since pleaded guilty and received a one-year conditional sentence.

Quotes

“This resolution makes sure that Dessau takes responsibility for its actions. Cracking down on bid-rigging is a top priority and we will continue to pursue all those who participate in these criminal schemes.”

Matthew Boswell
Interim Commissioner of Competition

Quick facts

  • The bid-rigging scheme targeted public contracts in Quebec from 2003 to 2011, the period varying for each municipality and city.

  • The $1.9 million payment by Dessau will be made to the Receiver General for Canada.

  • Bid-rigging raises the cost of products or services. Bid-rigging on municipal contracts amounts to a theft of taxpayer’s money that could otherwise be spent on important public needs.

  • If you suspect that you are a victim of big-rigging or have information about a bid‑rigging scheme, please contact the Competition Bureau.

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