2019-12-31

2019 annual report

Summary

296 denunciations received
6 public reports
1 mid-year report
292 hours of traning
2734 people trained

Message from the Inspector General of Ville de Montréal

2019 was a pivotal year for the Office of Inspector General. Marking its fifth year of existence, it has also proven to be the most productive in its history. A record number of public reports were filed, revealing discounts demanded by a contractor from sub-contractors to his own advantage, directed calls for tender in different fields, favoritism from municipal employees and fraudulent schemes.

Beyond their purpose of public denunciation, these reports were also focused on putting forth concrete and constructive recommendations, whether it relates to tightening supervision of invoices received from contractors, raising awareness regarding risks factors observed in the management of contaminated soil, establishing a framework for the evaluation of equivalent products or a more efficient monitoring of the execution of public works.

Leaning on the premise that a local government requires a local Office aware of the realities specific to Ville de Montréal, the Office of Inspector General has maintained a constant presence on the City’s construction sites, a close relationship with the City’s units and services, and has intensified training courses for City employees and elected officials. Likewise, the Office increasingly sought out the expertise of various City stakeholders when drafting report recommendations, and I would like to thank them for their most appreciated collaboration.

As is true for any organization dedicated to the defense of public integrity, the key to the continued success of the Office of Inspector General is its ability to develop and maintain a bond of trust with whistleblowers, achievable through the certainty of being protected against reprisals as well as the assurance of an ability to respond swiftly and efficiently. In this regard, as the reports filed in 2019 have demonstrated, we notice that denunciations are on the rise and have enabled us to uncover a variety of schemes in public contracts. Without the courage of these whistleblowers, we wouldn’t be able to carry out our mandate and I cannot stress enough the importance of their precious contribution.

However, despite the progress of the last five years, it would be a serious mistake to forget that corruption, fraud and other abuses of all kinds are woes that persist through all ages. While the initial feeling of indignation regarding the wrongdoings revealed during the Charbonneau Commission can fade away, we can never let our guard down.

Faced with well-organized delinquent players, what must be deployed in response are sustained, systematic and methodical efforts. Vigilance is even more necessary now that the 2020-2022 Three-year capital works program stand at six billion dollars and that the provincial government is globally accelerating the pace of its own projects. In these circumstances, and with a constant concern of optimizing its impact and increasing its efficiency, additional resources will be allocated by the Office of Inspector General to better detect signs of collusion and other contract sharing schemes.

In closing, I would like to thank the thirty-three members of the Office of Inspector General for the passion, creativity and determination that drives them in their fight for integrity.

The Inspector General,

Ms. Brigitte Bishop

ORIGINAL SIGNED

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2019 annual report