Attention procurement agents: Use our Collusion Risk Assessment Tool to protect your contracts from bid-rigging

News release

June 16, 2022 – GATINEAU, QC – Competition Bureau

The Competition Bureau encourages all procurement agents in Canada to take advantage of its newly-launched Collusion Risk Assessment Tool to help them protect their procurement processes from bid-rigging.

The innovative new tool is a free, interactive online resource available to both public and private sector procurement officers and purchasing agents. It can be used as part of their day-to-day due diligence efforts to protect and promote competitive bidding processes.

Procurement agents can begin by completing the tool’s 10-minute questionnaire about a call for bids that they are planning. The tool will then produce a collusion risk score based on the specifics of the project, and will offer tailored best practices to mitigate those risks.

Procurement agents thus gain an early warning about potential risks of bid-rigging, as well as mitigation strategies that can be taken to minimize those risks and help ensure a fair, competitive process from the start.

The innovative new risk assessment tool is the Competition Bureau’s latest resource to help the Canadian procurement community protect their projects from bid-rigging. This tool was spearheaded by the Bureau’s recently formed Digital Enforcement and Intelligence Branch, a centre of expertise on strategies and technology for tackling anti-competitive practices in the digital economy.

Quick facts

  • Bid-rigging and other forms of criminal collusion prohibited by the Competition Act typically result in higher prices and lower quality goods and services.

  • In government procurement processes, ensuring competitive bidding is also key to getting maximum value for tax payer dollars.

  • Criminal collusion targeting procurement processes can take many forms, including:

    • Cover bidding: competitors first agree who should win a bidding process, then the pre-determined “losers” submit less attractive bids  
    • Bid suppression: a competitor agrees not to bid, or to withdraw a bid, to make it easier for a specific bidder to win
    • Bid rotation: competitors agree to take turns submitting bids
    • Market division: competitors agree to divide up territory, customers, or product markets among themselves instead of competing
  • Cracking down on all forms of criminal collusion is a top enforcement priority for the Competition Bureau. Anyone who suspects wrongdoing is encouraged to report it by using our online form.

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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.

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