Open Letter from the President of Dessau - Let's go beyond insinuations and attack the real issues



    
    Dessau seeks clear new rules in recruiting public sector managers

    by Jean-Pierre Sauriol
    President of Dessau
    

    MONTREAL, May 11 /CNW Telbec/ - During the course of the last several
weeks, there has been plenty of speculation regarding contracts that we have
obtained in the municipal sector. It has been said that the contracts awarded
to Dessau and its affiliates or the consortiums that we are a part of, were
obtained by means that are undue and contrary to the public interest.
    Some have gone so far as to plant the idea that we have links to
organised crime, as one of our affiliates rented an office with no prior
knowledge (a fact that must be stressed) that the building was owned by a
member of the mafia. These insinuations, as others that have been concocted
lately, bear heavy consequences and bring unjust prejudices to our company.
    It is important to note that, like any other contract awarded in the
public sector, the contracts alluded to - with rare exceptions regarding
urgent or extraordinary situations - are granted following a public tender
process that adheres to strict guidelines clearly outlined by the law. For all
tenders, Dessau makes every effort to submit impeccable bids that are held to
the highest standards, by respecting technical requirements, while remaining
exceedingly competitive and at the lowest possible price.
    It is a credit to the quality of our human resources and their innovative
concepts that address concrete solutions to problems, that our company has
been awarded these projects. Employee contributions such as these are the very
reason that Dessau, a company that was founded over 50 years ago, remains a
landmark and leading institution within the engineering and consulting
industries in Quebec. Today, Dessau is ranked the 2nd engineering firm in
Quebec, the 5th in Canada and one of the top 100 in the world.
    Dessau employs 4000 people. It is therefore normal to find amongst our
group a certain number of engineers and other professionals that have already
worked in the municipal sector. As is the case for many other engineering
firms, we are constantly seeking to recruit competent and experienced people
and we find a large number of them in the publicly sector.
    Law firms recruit regularly from the law departments of public sector
organizations and accounting firms do the same with their finance and
administration teams. All of these professionals are subject to strict codes
of ethics for their activities, be they in the private or public sector.
    We do not claim to be perfect and we are constantly seeking ways in which
we can improve, however never have we ever purposely disobeyed any law nor
dismissed any form of regulation. We comply with all legislative modifications
and regulations that are adopted by the government and its municipalities and
have always done so.
    Many questions have been brought forward in the last few weeks that bring
into question ethics. These are important questions.
    Codes of ethics are in constant evolution in all business sectors.
Companies such as ours must continuously be abreast of new expectations from
the public and integrate these new rules of conduct across the countries in
which we operate.
    Dessau's expertise has been exported to over 70 countries throughout the
world. Whether it is here or elsewhere, our employees are held to the highest
standards of integrity. We support solid values such as quality service, team
work, dedication and trust, in order to guide our actions in a market that is
constantly changing and in an environment where current practices are
constantly being redefined on a global scale. The partnerships between the
public and private sectors, the privatization of certain services as well as
projects that are carried out in the build, operate and transfer mode, are
only a few examples of the changes that are presently occurring in our
industry.
    This redefinition of the relations between the public and private sectors
is not unique to Quebec. It is a world-wide reality that has is caused for the
most part by government budget constraints and other economic factors, the
effects of which extend beyond our borders.
    This transformation will without a doubt bring about changes to the
current rules of governance, which will hopefully reflect the consolidation
taking place in the engineering field, as well as to the codes of ethics that
will outline new standards in the recruitment of employees from the public
sector. In all cases, Dessau looks forward to clear regulations that reflect
this new reality, and in particular, regulations that will, as much as
possible, eliminate appearance of conflict of interest.
    These new regulations should allow our industry, one that is facing an
important lack of manpower, to continue to call upon the important expertise
of individuals that are found in the municipal sector and more generally in
the public sector. We will welcome updates that will be made in a clear
productive manner, in a context that will benefit the public interest,
including the possibility for engineering and consulting firms to develop and
continue to benefit the Quebec economy.




For further information:

For further information: Jessie-Kim Malo, Dessau, (514) 281-1033,
extension 2032

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Dessau Inc.

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