Tom Sweeney

It's a coming of age tale….

Criminal Charges Laid: Bid-Rigging

Posted by sweens on February 17, 2009

The Competition Bureau announced today that 14 individuals from 7 Ottawa based IT consulting firms have been criminally charged with bid-rigging.  The charges were investigated under the premise that several IT consulting practices covertly coordinated their bids in an illegal scheme to defraud the Government by winning and dividing contracts, while blocking out honest competitors. 


The investigation looked at 10 contracts from 2005 to 2007 which valued around $67 million.  One contract was for Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC) and one for Transport Canada (TC), while the other 8 contracts came from Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA). 


Bid-rigging is something close watched by the Government but difficult to pick-up on.  Bid-rigging is defined by the Government as: Under Canadian law, when bidders collude on prices, they are committing a crime punishable by jail time and fines. The Competition Act makes it is a criminal offence for two or more bidders, in response to a call or request for bids or tenders, to secretly agree that one party will refrain from bidding, or to agree on the bids they will submit, without informing the party issuing the call for bids of these arrangements. Penalties for bid-rigging include a fine at the discretion of the court and/or a prison sentence of up to five years.

No allegations are being made against those who performed the actual work for the client departments, nor are any government employees implicated.



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