Although this is a huge step forward, the OIQ believes that efforts will need to continue to stop collusion and corruption in the process of awarding and managing public contracts, such as by following up the recommendations of the Commission d’enquête sur l’octroi et la gestion des contrats publics dans l’industrie de la construction (Charbonneau commission).
In the brief it submitted to the Committee on Public Finance, the OIQ reaffirmed that doing business with the government is a privilege. The brief also stressed that the powers granted to the Autorité des marchés financiers and the Secrétariat du Conseil du trésor to revoke or maintain this privilege should be defined and framed in an objective and verifiable manner in order to ensure transparency in the process, accountability and public trust. The OIQ also recommended that an impact assessment system be implemented for Bill 1 and its associated regulations so that necessary adjustments can be made periodically in an effort to fight corruption.
“By putting ethics at the centre of the debate, setting up processes that promote transparency and reviewing contract award and management methods, the government will be able to restore public trust in public contract managers, especially at a time when many infrastructure projects need to be carried out to reduce the large maintenance deficit,” stated Daniel Lebel, Eng., President of the Ordre des ingénieurs du Québec.
The current crisis surrounding integrity in public contracts is of particular concern to the OIQ because its role is to supervise the engineering profession. "Enforcing the rules of ethics is central to our activities, which is why we have been carrying out an ethics and professional conduct action plan since 2009 that includes supervisory, awareness, training and research activities. That is also why we are actively participating in the search for concrete solutions to cleaning up the process of awarding and managing public contracts, in cooperation with the Charbonneau commission,” explained Mr. Lebel, Eng.
About the Ordre des ingénieurs du Québec
Founded in 1920, the Ordre des ingénieurs du Québec has a membership of more than 62,000 engineering professionals in all fields, except forest engineering. The mission of the OIQ is to ensure the protection of the public by supervising the practice of the profession within the framework of its constituent laws and regulations and ensure that the profession serves the public interest.