The unité permanente anticorruption (UPAC) serves as a warning to public bodies. The crisis of the COVID-19 is not a reason to grant contracts to companies suspicious.
“In an emergency, it is a great area of vulnerability, especially because it does not have to proceed by call for tender, says director of strategy and development at UPAC, Benoit Pinet. In normal times, it is already at risk. It is two times more vulnerable when these lines of defense may not be applied. “
Monday morning, our Office of investigation revealed that the CIUSSS of the North-of-the-island-of-Montreal had entered into a contract of $ 135 000 with a business owned by an associate of the mafia, Nicola Valvano.
He had already been accused of fraud against the government through a network of smuggling.
The charges have however been dropped because of court delays to be unreasonable.
Benoit Pinet does not wish to comment on any specific cases, but says ” follow the news like everyone else “.
UPAC determines that the public agencies “must ask questions about the history of the companies, their officers and directors” and invites them to consult the register of companies.
In the case of Valvano, the CIUSSS ensure that all of the “checks” have been made, but it considered to do business with the Hotel Metropolitan Montreal.
However, a simple check at the register of companies makes it possible to see that the hotel does not belong to the company of Valvano. Mr. Pinet note that ” the consultation of certain records is not a natural reflex in many cases “.
A CIUSSS says it is helpless
On Saturday, our Office survey revealed that an owner of a residence for the elderly, Tomasso Cirillo, had done business with members of the family mafia Rizzuto.
Yesterday, the CIUSSS of Centre-ouest-de-l’île-de-Montréal, with which Cirillo holds a contract, explains not “have the powers of investigation that are necessary” to examine possible links with organized crime.
“We have already done research and we are also exploring other checks that can be done,” said the spokesperson for the CIUSSS, Barry Morgan.
– With the collaboration of Félix Séguin and Alexandre Robillard