Seven individuals and three companies charged in a bid-rigging scheme for IT contracts with the Government of Canada have been found not guilty by the jury, after a lengthy trial which concluded in April 2015.
In February 2009, the Competition Bureau laid criminal charges against 14 individuals and 7 companies who were accused of bid rigging in the process of obtaining IT service contracts for Canada Board Services Agency, Transport Canada, and Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC). The Bureau initiated an investigation after receiving complaints from PWGSC. The investigation focused on 10 competitive bidding processes from 2005, worth approximately $67 million in total.
The Bureau alleged that several IT services companies in the National Capital Region were coordinating their bids in order to win and divide contracts from the Government of Canada and maximize service rates, while blocking out competitors who were not part of the conspiracy. Theodore Martin, the former owner of TRM Technologies, and Shannon Lambert of Veritaaq Technologies House have both pleaded guilty to the criminal charge of rigging bids in exchange for participation in the Bureau’s Leniency Program.
Following the jury’s verdicts, the Commissioner of Competition, John Pecman, has stated that the Bureau will take some time to consider next steps, including whether to appeal the verdicts.