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April 20, 2017

Earlier today, the Canadian Government announced increased enforcement measures to detect and combat fraud in relation to federal government contracts (i.e., federal procurement).

In particular, the Federal Government announced that it was launching a new anonymous telephone tip line (1-844-365-1616) and online form (see here) to allow the reporting of tips from Canadians that suspect “fraud, collusion or corruption in federal government contracts and real property agreements” (e.g., bid-rigging, price-fixing, bribery or fraud).

In making this announcement the Government said:

“Unethical business practices in public procurement undermine fair competition, threaten the integrity of markets, increase the cost and risk of doing business, and undermine public confidence in government.”

This new Federal Government initiative is a joint effort to crack down on federal procurement anti-competitive activities and fraud and is a joint initiative between the Competition Bureau, Public Services and Procurement Canada and RCMP.

This new Canadian Government initiative follows similar efforts by leading international competition and antitrust law enforcement authorities to both encourage whistleblowers to report potential competition/antitrust law and fraud violations and to protect whistleblower identities.

As a practical matter, this new joint competition law and fraud enforcement initiative means that it is more important than ever for companies, associations and other organizations involved in bidding and tendering for federal infrastructure projects to ensure that they have credible and effective competition compliance programs in place.

For more information see: Government of Canada launches tip line to help Canadians report federal contracting fraud and the online reporting form: Report wrongdoing in government contracts and real property agreements.

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