Message from the Inspector General
Mayor Denis Coderre, Members of the Montréal City Council and the Montréal Agglomeration Council, and citizens of Montréal,
It is an honour and a privilege for me to present the Annual Report of the Inspector General of Montréal for the year ended December 31, 2015, pursuant to section 57.1.23 of Montréal’s City Charter.
The mandate entrusted to me, unanimously by the Montréal City Council, is to oversee contracting processes and the carrying out of contracts by the City or by a legal person related to the City. This mandate is aimed at preventing breaches of integrity and to foster compliance with applicable legal provisions and with the City’s requirements regarding contracting and the carrying out of contracts.
The present report highlights, for the year 2015, the achievements of the Office of Inspector General of Montréal, that I began building immediately after my appointment as Inspector General on February 24, 2014, as well as my priorities for the year 2016.
The work accomplished since my appointment as Inspector General leads me to conclude that the accountability of the City’s managers must be brought back to the forefront. Managers of Montréal’s different administrative departments, as well as legal persons related to the City, have the primary responsibility to put in place measures ensuring the control and monitoring of contracting processes and the carrying out of contracts. The fact that the mandate of the Inspector General is to oversee contracting processes and the carrying out of contracts does not mean that City managers can abandon their duties. It would be unfortunate that an action by the Inspector General is necessary every time an obvious contravention regarding an important aspect of a contract is noted.
The Office of Inspector General is now fully operational and is beginning its third year of existence. I benefit from the expertise of a solid team of professionals in various fields of practice which is a tremendous asset given the nature of the mandate as well as the scope of the jurisdiction entrusted to my position by the law.
I intend to continue the investigations and the activities of the Office with the same rigour which has driven me since my appointment. The position of Inspector General is an independent position and is guided by high standards. The Inspector General is designed to be the watchdog of the integrity of contracting processes and the carrying out of contracts in Montréal. The administrative investigations and verifications performed by my team are aimed at cleaning up the practices in place in order to improve the transparency of municipal activities and decisions. It is also aimed at ensuring the trust of the citizens regarding public municipal institutions in contractual matters.
The year 2016 is already shaping up to be an important year in terms of investments by the City, notably regarding the Capital Expenditures Program (Programme triennal d’immobilisation-PTI). Conscious of this reality, I will closely monitor on a continuous basis the contracting processes and the carrying out of contracts awarded under this program by the City. The processing of complaints, investigations, the punctual filing of public reports, and monitoring files will remain my priorities for 2016 as well.
In 2016, some bigger files will warrant special attention. As announced in the Report on Snow Removal and its Practices in Montréal, filed at the Montréal City Council on November 23, 2015, snow removal activities will be closely supervised to assure the contracting processes and the carrying out of contracts are performed pursuant to the established rules.
Also, because of the importance of these files and the costs they entail for the municipal Administration, overseeing contracts awarded in the field of information technology will be one of my priorities for the year 2016. My team and I will closely monitor the contracts awarded in the field in order to act before potentially problematic situations arise.
Finally, I would like to underline that 2016 will be marked by a symposium, organized by my Office in collaboration with the Association of Inspectors General (American Association). This symposium, entitled The Added Value of an Inspector General, will be held on September 22 and 23, 2016 at the Palais des Congrès in Montréal. This symposium will be an opportunity to discover the Office of Inspector General of Montréal, a unique administrative investigation model in Canada. The symposium will also help to understand the essential role of Inspectors General and the different functions they can play. At the present time, approximately twenty (20) lecturers, including several from the United States, have been invited to speak about subjects specific to the activities and the challenges offices of Inspectors General face.
Although the Annual Report of the Inspector General of Montréal for the year ended December 31, 2015 is presently available only in the French language, a translated English version of this report will be available in the following weeks.
Denis Gallant, Ad. E.