Three professional services contracts for the Société de transport de Montréal (STM) were the subject of an administrative investigation by the Bureau de l’inspecteur général. The violations observed during the investigation led the Inspector General to produce the Report on the awarding and execution of professional services contracts by the Société de transport de Montréal.
The investigation began following a denunciation regarding an STM call for tenders for the purposes of retaining consulting services on compensation and benefits for the period from July 2021 to July 2026. The STM was accused of unduly restricting competition. The Bureau investigated this call for tenders, as well as a contract of the same nature that had been awarded in 2016 for a period of five years and a private contract entrusted in February 2021 to the Winning Bidder of the Initial Contract.
Several violations of the normative framework governing the STM were found in the execution of the three contracts, i.e., contract splitting, inadequate management of a conflict-of-interest disclosure (the STM’s Project Manager’s spouse worked for the Winning Bidder), and a repeated commitment to fees over and above the approved budget envelopes. For its part, the call for tenders, which was to replace the Initial Contract, included conditions unduly limiting competition. The Inspector General wishes to clarify that the investigation was unable to conclude that the Winning Bidder, its management, or its employees, committed a breach of the normative framework regulating said contracts.
In the wake of this investigation and audits conducted by the Bureau du vérificateur général, the STM’s board of directors cancelled the call for tenders. Furthermore, the STM declared that it was taking official note and acknowledged that certain aspects of its normative framework were poorly understood and applied. To avoid a repeat of such violations, the STM has committed to putting in place various measures and producing a timeline for their implementation.