Prices inflated to expand the library of Pierrefonds

Des prix gonflés pour agrandir la bibliothèque de Pierrefonds

Illustration: Design Montréal
This is the contract for the extension of the library of Pierrefonds (seen here on an illustration of architect) which is at the heart of the investigation of the BIG.

The contractor who has been awarded the contract for expansion of the library of Pierrefonds has imposed on its sub-contractors a contribution of 5% to 15% each time that a direction of change (or ” extra “) was given, discovered the Office of the inspector general (ig).

The BIG intends to send this folder to the Unité permanente anticorruption (UPAC) and the public procurement Authority (GPA).

In the spring of 2017, the company Les Constructions Lavacon inc. had won the contract to $ 20.4 million for the expansion and redevelopment of the library area of Pierrefonds. The work finished last fall.

Thirty contractors worked on this project under the responsibility of Lavacon, and the BIG has met ten. In the course of its investigation, the oig found that Lavacon required that its sub-contractors that they take the commitment to grant him a rebate (” rating “) of 5% to 15% each time that work was added to the original contract.

The sub-contractors sent a submission to Lavacon, which returned a purchase order reduced by the agreed share for the discount. Subsequently, Lavacon presented the bill to the City. For example, according to a new report by the BIG, a subcontractor, has been sent to Lavacon an estimate totalling $ 13,500 for the work required. On the same day, Lavacon has submitted to the City the estimate of the subcontractor by adding 12 % for “administration fees” in the name of it for a total of 15 120 $.

Manipulate a sub-contractor to pay a “rating” to be able to work in a project that is already unacceptable in itself

— Bridget Bishop

Several of the contractors interviewed as part of this survey of the BIG have thus admitted that they have increased the prices of their estimates to take account of the discount.

Met by the BIG, the president of Lavacon, Luigi Pallotta, has argued that agreements with contractors have been concluded on a voluntary basis.

Corrupt or fraudulent practice

The BIG refutes these assertions. “Manipulate a sub-contractor to pay a “rating” to be able to work in a project that is already unacceptable in itself, ” wrote the general inspector Me of Bridget Bishop in his report presented Monday to the city council. “The acts of Lavacon have deprived the City of Montreal to obtain the right price. “

The acts committed by Lavacon constitute a “corrupt practice” under the Rules of contractual management, stresses Me Bishop recommending that the company will be registered in the Register of people ineligible and that it could get out of contracts for a period of five years.

The inspector recommends the adoption of an additional control measure in the machinery of municipal government and press the City better equip its employees so that they can counter such tricks.

Lavacon was replicated by way of a press release in the late afternoon on Monday and rejected accusations that are made.

“The contract to which it refers has not been the subject of inflated prices since it is a contract awarded and executed according to a fixed price agreed upon, and for which supplements are granted have also been in accordance with the flat fee negotiated,” said the company, which account consult with its legal advisors and ” to take all means at its disposal to enforce its rights “.

For its part, the administration of Valérie Plant promises to crack down. “This is exactly the type of behavior they want to more to Montreal,” explained the mayor. “We’re going to put in place ways to reprimand or punish the contractor. It is totally unacceptable to steal money from Montreal like that. “

Ms. Plant has, however, admitted that it might be difficult to recover the money that the City would have paid in too much, since the work to the library of Pierrefonds are completed.