Teknika HBA Inc. to pay $200,000 in settlement over bid-rigging on municipal contracts in Québec
The firms involved in this bid-rigging scheme will have paid over $12.7 million as a result of settlement agreements
October 20, 2023 – GATINEAU (Québec), Competition Bureau
Engineering firm Teknika HBA Inc. (now Les Services EXP Inc.) has been ordered to pay $200,000 for bid-rigging on municipal infrastructure contracts in Québec.
The payment is part of a settlement reached by the Public Prosecution Service of Canada and Teknika, and filed yesterday at the Superior Court of Québec. The 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 Montréal between 2004 and 2011.
The settlement accounts for the fact that Teknika had 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 its corporate compliance program and to maintain appropriate control procedures to ensure its effectiveness.
Teknika is the last of the eight firms involved in this bid-rigging scheme to agree to a corporate settlement, however the Bureau’s investigation remains ongoing. The eight settlements bring the total payments made by engineering firms to $12,735,000. The seven other firms are:
- Genivar (now WSP Canada)
- Roche ltée, Groupe-conseil (now Norda Stelo Inc.)
- Génius Conseil Inc.
The $200,000 payment by Teknika HBA Inc. will be made to the Receiver General for Canada in the next 30 days.
“Bid-rigging harms the Canadian economy by eliminating competition among suppliers, increasing costs and undermining the ability to hold fair competition. Anyone who participates in bid-rigging is committing a serious criminal offence.”
Commissioner of Competition
Over the past few years, in addition to the eight settlements mentioned above, the Bureau’s investigation has 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 and court-ordered community service totalling 260 hours. An accused received a $25,000 fine.
Bid-rigging on infrastructure contracts raises the cost for municipalities and amounts to a theft of taxpayers’ money that could otherwise be spent on important public needs.
The Bureau launched its Collusion risk assessment tool for procurement agents to assist them in protecting their processes against bid-rigging.
If you suspect that you are a victim of big-rigging or have information about a bid-rigging scheme, please contact the Competition Bureau.
- BPR to pay $485,000 following seventh Québec bid-rigging settlement
- CIMA+ to pay $3.2 million in latest Québec bid-rigging settlement
- Génius Conseil Inc. to pay $300,000 in fifth Québec bid-rigging settlement
- SNC-Lavalin to pay $1.9 million in fourth Québec bid-rigging settlement
- Roche ltée to pay $750,000 in settlement for Quebec bid-rigging
- Genivar (now WSP Canada) to pay $4 million in Quebec bid-rigging settlement
- Dessau to pay $1.9 million in settlement over bid-rigging on public contracts in Quebec
- $25,000 sentence for fifth engineering executive to plead guilty in Gatineau bid-rigging case
- 19-month sentence for fourth accused in Gatineau bid-rigging case
- 2 more engineering executives plead guilty in Gatineau bid-rigging case
- 18-month sentence for second engineering executive to plead guilty in Gatineau bid-rigging case
- 1-year sentence for engineering executive who rigged bids for public contracts in Gatineau
- Criminal charges laid against four individuals for bid-rigging in the engineering industry
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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