Memorandum of Understanding between the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the Commissioner of Competition

August 4, 2015


This Memorandum of Understanding ("MOU") is entered into by the Participants for the purpose of cooperation, coordination, information sharing, education and awareness.

Whereas the Participants share a common goal of investigating illegal economic activities that are of regional, national or international significance to the Canadian economy;

Whereas the Participants wish to acknowledge their important relationship and to recognize that cooperation can contribute to improve delivery of their respective mandates;

Whereas certain conspiracies, agreements or arrangements between or among two or more competitors or persons are criminal offences under the Competition Act;

Whereas the Competition Bureau’s Immunity Program has proven to be its single most powerful means of detecting covert cartel activity;

Whereas certain false or misleading representations and certain deceptive marketing practices are criminal offences under the Competition Act;

Whereas the Participants are members of several mass marketing fraud investigative partnerships with other domestic and international law enforcement partners;

Whereas cooperation and coordination will enhance the effectiveness of the Participants’ activities concerning investigations of possible cartel activity and misleading representations and deceptive marketing practices; and

Whereas the Participants recognize their shared interest in working together to communicate the results of their collaborative efforts to other partners and to federal government departments and agencies.

Now therefore the participants intend as follows:

1. Purpose and governing principles

  1. The purpose of this MOU is to promote cooperation and coordination between the Participants in addressing possible cartel activity and misleading representations and deceptive marketing practices in Canada.
  2. In order to achieve the purpose of this MOU, areas of collaboration may include:
    1. enforcement, cooperation and coordination;
    2. sharing of resources and information; and
    3. education and awareness.

2. Definitions

In this MOU, these terms will have the following definitions:

  1. "Cartel activity" means conduct subject to the criminal cartel provisions in sections 45, 46, 47, 48 and 49 of the Competition Act;
  2. "False or misleading representations and deceptive marketing practices", means conduct subject to the criminal provisions in sections 52, 52.01,52.1, 53, 54, 55 and 55.1 of the Competition Act;
  3. "Enforcement activities" includes an inquiry or examination conducted by the C of C under the Competition Act involving possible cartel activity, false or misleading representations, or deceptive marketing practices, or an investigation conducted by the RCMP involving possible cartel activity, false or misleading representations, or deceptive marketing practices.

3. Responsibilities of the participants

3.1 Preservation of powers, duties and functions

The Participants have separate powers, duties and functions, and each recognizes the other’s independence in performing its powers, duties and functions.

Nothing in this MOU abrogates or derogates from any power, duty, decision making, discretion or function of the C of C or the RCMP.

3.2 Enforcement, cooperation, coordination, sharing of resources and information

The Participants will consult with each other on matters of mutual interest whenever the need arises. As part of this consultation process, the Participants will, among other things:

  1. seek to coordinate their enforcement efforts where the Participants consider it appropriate to do so, given each organization’s exercise of the discretion to administer and enforce their respective mandate and legislation
  2. seek to work together via the departmental representatives outlined below to address potential adverse effects of one Participant’s enforcement activities on the other Participant’s enforcement interests;
  3. provide support, upon request, to each other’s Enforcement activities, either by sharing information or resources, where appropriate and when resources are available.
  4. work in cooperation on Enforcement activities, where opportunities present themselves, to share resources and exchange information in order to increase expertise in areas of mutual interest;
  5. share information, with each other, related to best practices, including information relating to international policies and programs, in areas of mutual interest.

3.3 Education and awareness

Training and awareness programs enhance the ability of the Participants to achieve their goals of preserving and promoting the benefits of a fair, efficient and competitive Canadian marketplace. Through training and awareness programs, the Participants will provide outreach activities aimed at educating organizations and individuals on how to detect and prevent illegal activities in Canada.

4. Financial arrangements

  1. The Participants will bear their own costs in carrying out their obligations under this MOU;
  2. Should certain services provided by one Participant to the other require reimbursement; the Participants will work cooperatively in assessing the financial implications and concur in writing to reimburse, on a cost recovery basis only, the cost of those services prior to the service being provided and the Participant submitting an invoice to the other.

5. Confidentiality

  1. Subject to the provisions of the Competition Act, the Access to Information Act, the Privacy Act and any other applicable act of Parliament, and any relevant policies and / or guidance documents, the information communicated between the Participants pursuant to this MOU will be treated confidentially.
  2. The Participants will take all reasonable measures to preserve confidentiality and integrity and safeguard the information communicated between the Participants against accidental or unauthorized access, use or disclosure.
  3. The Participants will mark the information provided with the appropriate security classification. In the case of the RCMP, this means Protected A, B or C, or an applicable classified level (Unclassified, Confidential, Secret, or Top Secret). In the case of the C of C, this means Protected A, B or C, or an applicable classified level (Unclassified, Confidential, Secret, or Top Secret).
  4. The Participants will treat information received from the other Participant in accordance with the security markings on it and to undertake to provide equivalent protection to it while it is in the receiving Participant’s possession.
  5. The Participants will maintain appropriate records concerning the transmission and receipt of information exchanged. Hard copy information will be transported and transmitted in accordance with the provisions of RCMP Guide G1‑009 (Transport and Transmittal). Participants will ensure that the information, if exchanged electronically, uses a technology approved to electronically transmit (process or store) information commensurate with its sensitivity.
  6. The Participants will attach terms, conditions or caveats to the information supplied, as the supplying Participant deems appropriate, and abide by all such caveats, conditions or terms attached to the information.
  7. The Participants will limit access to the information to those of its employees whose duties require such access, who are legally bound to keep confidences and who have the appropriate security clearance.
  8. Any information communicated between the Participants will only be used for the specific purpose for which it was provided and will not be communicated to a third party without the express written consent of the Participant from whom it originated unless:
    1. such information has been made public; or
    2. such communication is required by law, in which case the Participant will notify the other as soon as possible upon learning of such requirement in order to enable them to take the steps necessary to maintain the confidentiality of the information.

6. Information management

  1. The information disclosed under this MOU will be administered, maintained, accessed, stored and disposed of in accordance with the law that applies to record retention and personal information and all applicable policies, guidelines and standards. This includes the Privacy Act, the Library and Archives of Canada Act and Policy on Government Security.
  2. Each Participant will:
    1. promptly notify the other of any unauthorized use or disclosure of the information exchanged under this MOU and will furnish the other Participant with details of such unauthorized use or disclosure. In the event of such an occurrence the Participant responsible for the safeguarding of the information will take all reasonably necessary steps to prevent a re‑occurrence;
    2. immediately notify the other if either receives a request under the Privacy Act, the Access to Information Act or other lawful authority, for information provided under this MOU. If requested, the Participant will endeavor to protect the information from disclosure to the extent permitted by law and
    3. return promptly any information that should not have been provided to it by the other Participant.

Accuracy of information

  1. Each Participant will:
    1. use its best efforts to verify the accuracy and completeness of the information provided to the other Participant;
    2. promptly notify the other Participant if it learns that inaccurate or potentially unreliable information may have been provided or received and take all reasonable remedial steps to correct the information.

8. Review and monitoring

The Participants will evaluate the effectiveness of their activities under this MOU annually, commencing with the first anniversary of its coming into effect.

9. Amendments

The Participants may, through an exchange of letters, consent to amending this MOU.

10. Communications

Communications under this MOU will be carried out through the following designated officials or their delegates:

For the RCMP:

Director‑General
National Intelligence Coordination Centre
73 Leikin Drive, Ottawa, Ontario
613‑843‑4790
For the C of C:

Deputy Commissioner of Competition
Cartels Directorate

‑ And/or ‑

Deputy Commissioner of Competition
Deceptive Marketing Practices Directorate

11. Liability

  1. Each Participant will be responsible for any damages caused by the conduct of its employees or agents in carrying out the terms of this MOU.

12. Dispute resolution

  1. In the event of a dispute arising from the interpretation or operation of this MOU, it will be referred to the Participants’ designated officials set out above, who will use their best efforts to resolve the matter amicably. If such negotiation fails, the Participants intend to refer the matter to their authorized officers set out below, who will use their best efforts to arrive at an amicable resolution.

13. Effective date and termination

  1. This MOU will come into effect on the date of later signature below;
  2. This MOU will expire on December 31, 2020;
  3. This MOU may be terminated by either Participant upon thirty (30) days written notice. Termination does not release a Participant from any obligations which accrued while the MOU was in force.

In Witness Thereof, this MOU was signed in duplicate, in both official languages, each copy being equally authentic by the authorized officers of the Participants.

For the Royal Canadian Mounted Police

space to insert signature
Todd Shean, Assistant Commissioner,
Federal and International Special Services
Date

August 4, 2015
For the Commissioner of Competition

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Matthew Boswell
Senior Deputy Commissioner
Cartels and Deceptive Marketing Practices Branch
Date

June 26, 2015
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