“The inquiries involving collusion raise some important questions about the professional conduct of profession-als and the OIQ must take action. The complaints announced today show the determination of the OIQ’s Office of the Syndic to complete its inquiries so that the engineers who have committed potentially reprehensible acts may be judged by their Disciplinary Council,” stated Isabelle Tremblay, Eng., OIQ Vice President and Vice President of Finance and Treasurer.
The seven complaints filed with the Disciplinary Council are linked to the Charbonneau Commission. It should be noted that while the Office of the Syndic opens inquiries based on the testimonials heard by the Charbonneau Commission, it has to conduct its own inquiries and gather its own evidence before it can file a complaint.
This is a complicated task for the Office of the Syndic. It is currently conducting around one hundred other inquiries involving collusion and corruption. There are also approximately 400 active inquiries involving cases of illegal political contributions.
“Like the public and our members, the OIQ hopes that the sanctions imposed on the professionals who violated their Code of Ethics will be dissuasive and set an example,” explained Tremblay, Eng. The Disciplinary Council is responsible for determining the penalties that will be imposed on the engineers who are found guilty.
The Disciplinary Council is an independent body of the OIQ formed by 15 members: the Chair (an attorney designated by the Québec government) and 14 engineers appointed by the Board of Directors of the Ordre des ingénieurs du Québec. When a hearing is held, three people examine the complaint: the Chair of the Disciplinary Council and two engineers. All hearings are public.
The penalties issued are those set out in the Professional Code, which can include permanently striking an engineer from the OIQ’s membership roll or even revoking an engineer’s permit.
Except in the case of an acquittal, the decisions of the Disciplinary Council concerning the complaints announced today can be consulted on the OIQ’s Web site
. Furthermore, these decisions may be appealed with the Professions Tribunal or subjected to judicial review.
Parallel to the inquiries that it conducts, the Office of the Syndic team has developed prevention measures aimed at members and the general public, such as the 1 877 ÉTHIQUE hotline, which was set up to answer questions about ethics and professional conduct from engineers, their clients or the general public.
This hotline handled over 1,300 calls in 2013-2014, some of which led to the opening of disciplinary inquiries.
The OIQ’s commitment to the public
The OIQ has committed to protect the public through prevention and disciplinary activities, find concrete solutions to meet the profession’s current challenges, and ensure transparent management.
About the Ordre des ingénieurs du Québec
Founded in 1920, the Ordre des ingénieurs du Québec has a membership of approximately 60,000 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 ensure that the profession serves the public interest. For more information, go to http://www.oiq.qc.ca
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