OTTAWA, April 27, 2015 /CNW/ - John Pecman, Commissioner of Competition, today issued the following statement regarding the jury's not-guilty verdicts against seven individuals and three companies charged with rigging bids in 2009. These verdicts follow a lengthy trial that was held from September 8, 2014 to April 17, 2015.
"The Bureau and the Public Prosecution Service of Canada will take the time necessary to consider next steps, including whether to appeal the verdicts."
In 2005, Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC) officials contacted the Competition Bureau to voice concerns about certain bidding processes.
The investigation focused on 10 competitive bidding processes, for contracts worth approximately $67 million. Eight of the contracts, worth $62 million, related to IT services for Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA). The other two contracts related to IT services for Transport Canada (worth $4 million) and PWGSC (worth $1 million). The bidding processes for the CBSA and PWGSC contracts were managed by PWGSC, while Transport Canada managed its own contracting process.
In February 2009, the Bureau laid criminal charges against 14 individuals and seven companies. Afterwards, two of the individuals pleaded guilty. Four of the accused have yet to be tried in this case.
In addition to its enforcement activities, the Bureau has given over 300 educational presentations to procurement agencies across Canada since 2005 in an effort to provide them with the tools necessary to prevent and detect bid-rigging and other cartel activity.
The Competition Bureau, as an independent law enforcement agency, ensures that Canadian businesses and consumers prosper in a competitive and innovative marketplace.
SOURCE Competition Bureau
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