OTTAWA, — The Competition Bureau announced that the Corporate Research Group Ltd. (CRG) has pleaded guilty today to a criminal charge of bid-rigging for federal government contracts for real estate advisory services in Canada, and was fined $125,000. CRG is also subject to a court order.
Today's guilty plea stems from an investigation launched in May 2009, after the Bureau was contacted by the Department of Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC).
On , PWGSC issued a Request for Standing Offers (RFSO) for real estate advisory services. CRG admitted that its company representatives and Louis Facchini, carrying on business as First Porter Consultancy, submitted bids, in response to the RFSO, that were arrived at by an agreement that was not disclosed to PWGSC.
The Bureau's investigation benefited from cooperation under the Bureau's Immunity and Leniency Programs, which create incentives for parties to address their criminal liability by cooperating with the Bureau in its ongoing investigation and prosecution of other alleged cartel participants.
Cracking down on cartels, including bid-rigging offences, is a top priority for the Bureau. Under the Competition Act, it is a criminal offence for two or more bidders, in response to a call or request for bids or tenders, to agree among themselves on the bids submitted, to agree that one party will refrain from bidding or to agree to withdraw a submitted bid, without informing the person calling for the bids of this agreement.
The Competition Bureau, as an independent law enforcement agency, ensures that Canadian businesses and consumers prosper in a competitive and innovative marketplace.
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