Frequently Asked Questions

+What is the Office of Inspector General?

The mandate of the Office of Inspector General is to promote and ensure integrity in the awarding and carrying out of public contracts. Its mandate is to:

  • Oversee contracting processes and the carrying out of contracts by the City or by a related legal person.
  • Recommend to the council any measure aimed at preventing a breach of integrity in contracting by the City or the carrying out of such contracts.
  • Recommend to the council any measure designed to foster compliance with the applicable legal provisions and the City’s requirements regarding contracting or the carrying out of contracts.
  • Verify the application of such measures adopted by any council within the City.
  • Train council members as well as officers and employees to recognize and prevent any breach of integrity or violation of the applicable rules concerning contracting by the City or the carrying out of contracts.

Furthermore, it must:

  • Exercise the functions and powers under the Act respecting the Autorité des marchés publics (hereafter “ARAMP”) in respect of Ville de Montréal and the bodies concerned.
+Who can file a denunciation with the Office of Inspector General?

Any person can file a denunciation with the Office of Inspector General, for example:

  • A citizen
  • An elected official
  • A municipal or public body employee
  • A private enterprise and its employees
  • Bidders and contractors of public contracts
  • A subcontractor of a bidder or winning bidder
  • A public or private association or organization
+The legal persons related to the City are within the authority of the Office of Inspector General. What are these legal persons?

These are legal persons over which Ville de Montréal controls the shareholding or appoints the majority of the board of directors. These also include legal persons that are part of the reporting entity defined in the city’s financial statements.

For example, related legal persons include: The Société de transport de Montréal, the Société d’habitation et de développement de Montréal, the Société du Parc Jean-Drapeau; the Office municipal d’habitation de Montréal, the Agence de mobilité durable, BIXI Montréal, and others.

If you have a question about a contract with a body that or may not be related to Ville de Montréal, you can use the Office of Inspector General hotline
(514-280-2800) to get an answer.

+Are all the cities and public bodies on the island of Montréal under the jurisdiction of the Office of Inspector General?

No, the reconstituted cities such as Baie-D’Urfé, Beaconsfield, Côte-Saint-Luc, Dollard-des-Ormeaux, Dorval, Hampstead, Kirkland, L’Île-Dorval, Mont-Royal, Montréal-Est, Montréal-Ouest, Pointe-Claire, Sainte-Anne-de–Bellevue, Senneville and Westmount, do not come under the jurisdiction of the Office of Inspector General.

The Office also has no jurisdiction over bodies such as school boards, CEGEPs, universities and hospitals.

+Is my denunciation confidential?

The Office of Inspector General has a legal obligation to take all necessary measures to ensure the anonymity of any person who contacts it. All denunciations are dealt in a confidential, objective and impartial manner, regardless of the position, title, number of years of service or relationship with the City of any party who may be involved in a potential investigation.

+What if I am subjected to reprisals by my employer after filing a denunciation?

Anyone who takes or threatens to take reprisals against a person who collaborates with the Office of Inspector General is liable to a fine of up to $20,000 for an individual and up to $250,000 for a company or a body for that offence. For any subsequent offense, the amounts are doubled. 

In particular, the demotion, suspension, termination of employment or transfer of a person or any disciplinary or other measure that adversely affects the employment or working conditions of such a person is presumed to be a reprisal (s. 57.1.15 of the Charter of Ville de Montréal, metropolis of Québec).

+What situations should be reported to the Office of Inspector General?

If you witness or are informed about wrongdoings, such as:

  • Irregularity in the contracting process or the carrying out of contracts
  • Collusion
  • Embezzlement
  • Corruption
  • Fraud
  • Influence peddling
  • Conflicts of interests in contractual matters
  • Unethical conduct of an elected official or employee
  • Mismanagement or failure to comply with applicable policies and procedures
  • Theft, loss or inappropriate use of City assets

Anyone can report these situations. The Office deals with cases related to the contracting process and transfers other cases not related to its mandate to the relevant entities, such as the Comptroller General of Ville de Montréal or the anti-corruption commissioner (UPAC) with the consent of the denunciator.

+When should a denunciation be filed to the Office of Inspector General?

As soon as you witness a problem or become aware of such a situation, notify the Office of Inspector General so it can conduct audits and take action as quickly as possible. The Office of Inspector General has the authority to cancel calls for tenders and rescind or suspend the carrying out of a contract. If the denunciation is filed after the contract is finished, its means of intervention are more limited.

+What happens after a denunciation is filed?

After a denunciation is received, a confidential event file is compiled. Each file is analyzed and processed by the Office of Inspector General.

The Office contacts the denunciator if more information is required or if the file is assigned to an investigator. There is no prescribed time limit for processing the received denunciations. Once the file is closed, the denunciator is notified of the decision.

The Office of Inspector General may conclude that:

  • At face value, there are no facts to support the allegations.
  • The reported information lacks credibility.

In this situation, no action is taken.

If the information is well founded, the Office of Inspector General may :

  • Take action upstream with the entity concerned.
  • Conduct an investigation.
  • Cancel a contracting process.
  • Rescind or suspend an ongoing contract.
  • Send the council or any decision-making body of the City any report presenting findings or recommendations.
  • Transfer the file to the appropriate organization or administrative unit.
+Am I required to cooperate with the Office of Inspector General in its investigations?

Yes, you are required to cooperate. It is prohibited to:

  • Obstruct or attempt to interfere in any way with the performance of the functions of the Office of Inspector General.
  • Mislead by withholding or misrepresenting information.
  • Refuse to provide with any document or information that the Office may require, or examine, conceal or destroy any such document or information.
+Could my denunciation be shared with other investigative units?

Yes, under the terms of its mandate, the Office of Inspector General must report to the Anti-Corruption Commissioner (UPAC) all offences involving corruption, breach of trust, malfeasance, collusion, fraud or influence peddling. It may also share information with other investigative units.

However, the Office of Inspector General does not disclose the identity of the denunciator without his or her consent.

+Can all companies receive contracts from the City?

Every company has the right to contract with the City.

However, some companies lose this privilege if they are listed in one of the following registers:

Register of ineligible persons for Ville de Montréal calls for tender [french only]

Register of enterprises ineligible for public contracts [french only]

+How long does an investigation take?

Because each investigation is unique, it is not possible to answer this question accurately. It depends on the nature and accuracy of the denunciation, the problem reported, the number of witnesses to be met or the number of documents to be analyzed.

+What do you NOT investigate?

The Office of Inspector General does not conduct criminal investigations. It conducts administrative investigations in contract matters, with the exception of employment contracts.

For problems such as noise, sanitation, unlicensed work, potholes or poor road work, contact 311.

If in doubt, do not hesitate to file a denunciation with the Office of Inspector General.