Attempted fraud on the part of a snow transportation subcontractor, Entreprise Sylvain Choquette Inc. When the truck’s dump box was measured, wood panels were added and then removed during transport operations. As a result, the measured volume was increased and, by extension, the hourly rate to be charged, as this measure determines the rate paid by the City for the transportation of snow. This scheme resulted in the recommendation of a five-year declaration of ineligibility.
Recommendation Report Regarding a Snow Transport Subcontract
(section. 57.1.23 of the Charter of Ville de Montréal, metropolis of Québec)
October 22, 2019
The Office of Inspector General conducted an investigation after receiving a denunciation to the effect that Entreprise Sylvain Choquette inc. and its president, Sylvain Choquette, had installed additional wood panels on their truck bin at the time of a measuring session. The measured volume was therefore unduly increased, along with the hourly rate that Entreprise Sylvain Choquette inc. was able to collect.
Entreprise Sylvain Choquette inc. is the personal company of its president, Sylvain Choquette. It entered into a snow transport subcontract with a bulk transport company, which in turn entered into a contract with Ville de Montréal for several boroughs. Under this contract, any snow transporter was required to have the volume of its truck bin measured to determine the hourly rate that it would be paid to it for its services.
Photos taken during a measuring session held on March 9, 2019, show that Sylvain Choquette had attached additional wood panels above the truck bin, thus increasing its total volume. However, it appears from photos taken at the snow disposal sites on each of the trips done by Entreprise Sylvain Choquette inc. during the 2018-2019 winter season that these additional panels were not used by the company when carrying out its contract.
The City by-law on contract management (Règlement du Conseil de la Ville sur la gestion contractuelle, hereinafter the “RGC”) applies to all subcontracts directly or indirectly relating to contracts entered into by the City and, therefore, to the subcontract entered into by Sylvain Choquette and Entreprise Sylvain Choquette inc. The goal of Sylvain Choquette’s action was to increase the measured volume of his truck bin and, consequently, to collect a higher hourly rate than that to which he was entitled.
While rather unsophisticated, such an attempt at a fraudulent scheme cannot be tolerated. Indeed, the very essence of a snow transport subcontract is to transport snow based on the measured volume of the truck bin.
Consequently, the Inspector General informs the City of Sylvain Choquette’s violation of the RGC and recommends that his company be sanctioned. In this case, the RGC provides that Mr. Choquette and Entreprise Sylvain Choquette inc. will be automatically listed on the Register of Ineligible Persons [Registre des personnes inadmissibles] for a period of five (5) years.