20 months for leader of contract scheme in Gatineau
André Mathieu, a West Quebec engineer, described as the main figure behind a collusion scheme active in Gatineau, was suspended from the Ordre des ingénieurs du Québec for 20 months. The decision was made October 4, 2017, and made public in early November.
The Ordre des ingénieurs’ Disciplinary Council found Mr Mathieu guilty of violating several sections of the Code of Ethics of Engineers between 2003 and 2009.
Mathieu, former vice-president of the CIMA+ Engineering firm and a member of the Order since 1974, was accused of participating in a contract-sharing scheme in West Quebec, after Gatineau, the biggest city in the region, issued a call for tenders for many construction projects.
The Order found that Mr Mathieu was part of a contract-sharing plan that saw four large engineering firms divide up municipal sewer, lighting and sidewalk contracts worth between $25,000 and $500,000, circumventing Gatineau’s bidding process.
To avoid bidding against each other, the four firms agreed to an arrangement that gave CIMA+ 40% of the market, Génivar 27%, Tecsult 22%, and Dessau 11%. Annually, this represented about $2.4 million in municipal contracts. For the system to function, the firms met and determined who would get which contract. Each company then placed their bid, but the designated losers placed bids that would never exceed 10% of their agreed-upon winning bid.
The Order had opened an investigation in December 2013. A number of engineers involved in this scheme were suspended from the Order in recent months. Mr Mathieu, who has been let go by CIMA+, was also ordered to pay all costs in connection with the proceedings.