Memorandum of Understanding between the Inspector General of Montreal (Hereinafter referred to as “Inspector General”) and the Commissioner of Competition (Hereinafter referred to as “Commissioner of Competition”)

August 22, 2016

The present memorandum of understanding (hereinafter referred to as "MOU") is entered into by the Participants for the purpose of cooperation, coordination, information sharing, education and awareness.

Whereas the Commissioner of Competition and the Inspector General are referred as "the Participants" in this MOU;

Whereas the Participants wish to acknowledge their important relationship and to recognize that cooperation can help 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 and deceptive marketing practices;

Whereas certain deceptive marketing practices are criminal offences under the Competition Act;

Whereas the Inspector General is in charge of promoting integrity, and preventing and combating fraudulent tactics related to the awarding and execution of contracts in the Ville de Montreal or by a related legal person;

Whereas the Inspector General is also mandated to verify and ensure the compliance of the contractual clauses stipulated in the Ville de Montreal’s contract management policy that are designed to prevent bid rigging through collusion, corruption, influence peddling or intimidation, which can constitute modes of operation used by organized crime;

Whereas the Competition Bureau is responsible for the administration and enforcement of the Competition Act, the Consumer Packaging and Labelling Act (non‑food products), the Textile Labelling Act and the Precious Metals Marking Act;

Whereas cooperation and coordination will enhance the effectiveness of the Participants to deliver investigative excellence relating to activities concerning investigations of cartel activity and deceptive marketing practices;

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

Whereas by virtue of section 68 of the Act respecting access to documents held by public bodies and the protection of personal information, a public body may, without the consent of the person in question, release personal information to an agency of another government if it is necessary for the exercise of the rights and powers of the receiving body or the implementation of a program under its management;

Whereas by virtue of section 29 of the Competition Act, no person who performs or has performed duties or functions in the administration or enforcement of the Competition Act shall communicate or allow to be communicated to any other person except to a Canadian law enforcement agency or for the purposes of the administration or enforcement of the Competition Act

  1. the identity of any person from whom information was obtained pursuant to the Competition Act;
  2. any information provided pursuant to the Competition Act.

Therefore the Participants understand as follows:

On this page

  1. Purpose and governing principles
  2. Definitions
  3. Preservation of powers, duties and functions
  4. Enforcement, cooperation and coordination
  5. Sharing of resources and information
  6. Education and awareness
  7. Financial arrangements
  8. Information sharing and confidentiality
  9. Review
  10. Amendments
  11. Communications
  12. Effective date and termination

1. Purpose and governing principles

1.1. The purpose of this MOU is to promote cooperation and coordination between the Participants in addressing cartel activity and deceptive marketing practices in the territory of the Ville de Montreal.

1.2. In order to achieve the purpose of this MOU, areas of collaboration may include the following:

  1. enforcement, cooperation and coordination;
  2. sharing of resources and information; and
  3. education and awareness.

2. Definitions

2.1. 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. "deceptive marketing practice" means conduct subject to the criminal provisions in sections 52, 52.01, 52.1, 53, 54, 55 and 55.1 of the Competition Act; and
  3. "enforcement activity" includes an inquiry or investigation conducted by the Commissioner of Competition under the Competition Act involving cartel activities, deceptive marketing practices, or an administrative investigation conducted by the Inspector General under an act respecting the inspector general of Ville de Montreal involving potential fraudulent tactics or deceptive marketing practices.

3. Preservation of powers, duties and functions

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

3.2. Nothing in this MOU abrogates or derogates from any power, duty or decision making function of the Commissioner of Competition or the Inspector General.

4. Enforcement, cooperation and coordination

4.1. 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

  1. coordinate their enforcement efforts where the Participants consider it appropriate to do so, given each organization’s responsibilities to administer and enforce its applicable legislation;
  2. work together in order to minimize the potential adverse effects of one Participant’s enforcement activities on the other Participant’s enforcement interests;
  3. provide support, upon request, for each other’s enforcement activities, where appropriate and when resources are available; and
  4. meet annually (or more frequently, as necessary) at the management level to explore further opportunities for cooperation and coordination.

5. Sharing of resources and information

5.1. The Participants will share resources and information in accordance with section 8 of this MOU and the applicable legislation. More specifically, the Participants will

  1. cooperate and coordinate resources and exchange information in order to increase expertise in areas of mutual interest; and
  2. share information related to enforcement activity in areas of mutual interest.

6. Education and awareness

6.1. Education and awareness enhance the ability of the Participants to achieve their goals of preserving and promoting the benefits of a fair, efficient and competitive marketplace. The Participants will provide outreach activities through education and awareness programs aimed at educating organizations and interested individuals on how to detect and prevent integrity breaches and violations of the applicable rules for awarding and delivering contracts under the Inspector General’s jurisdiction.

7. Financial arrangements

7.1. The Participants will assume their own expenses to carry out their obligations under this MOU.

7.2. If one Participant must be reimbursed for services that were provided for the other Participant, the Participants will come to an agreement in writing to reimburse these expenditures related to the services in question on a strict cost‑recovery basis before the Participant who assumed the costs submits an invoice to the other Participant.

8. Information sharing and confidentiality

8.1. Information disclosed

8.1.1. Subject to the protection related to the integrity of its enforcement activities, the Inspector General will disclose to the Commissioner of Competition, upon request, the information in its possession that is required to implement the Commissioner’s mandate.

8.1.2. Subject to the protection related to the integrity of its enforcement activities, the Commissioner of Competition will disclose to the Inspector General, upon request, the information in its possession that is required to implement the Inspector General’s mandate.

8.2. Communication procedures

8.2.1. In order to communicate effectively and disclose only the information that is required to implement their respective mandates, Participants must provide the following information upon request:

  1. The proposed use for this information (purpose);
  2. The act, regulation or program in question (rationale); and
  3. The number of the section(s) that authorizes the information to be disclosed (legal support).

8.2.2. The individuals identified by the Participants in Section 11 will submit a written request to disclose information by specifying the elements set out in Section 8.2.1 in the manner agreed upon by the Participants.

8.2.3. The Participant that receives a request retains the right not to respond to it or respond partially within the limits of the law, insofar as the information that would be disclosed could violate the integrity of its enforcement activites.

8.2.4. The Participant that receives a request and refuses to respond to it under Section 8.2.3 will communicate the reasons for its refusal to the other Participant.

8.3. Confidentiality and use of the information

8.3.1. Under the terms of the Competition Act, Access to Information Act, Privacy Act and any other federal legislation, relevant policy and/or guidance document, the information disclosed between Participants under this MOU will be treated confidentially.

8.3.2. Participants will take all reasonable steps to protect and preserve the confidentiality and integrity of the information disclosed between Participants against unauthorized access and accidental disclosure.

8.3.3. Participants will limit access to the information to those of its employees whose duties authorize such access, who are legally bound to keep confidences and who have the appropriate security clearance.

8.3.4. 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.

8.3.5. Participants will create and maintain a log listing all the information required to enable Participants to locate the files for which the information was requested.

8.4. Information management

8.4.1. 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.

8.4.2. Each Participant will

  • 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 safeguarding the information will take all reasonably necessary steps to prevent a re occurrence and minimize the impact;
  • 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
  • return promptly any information that should not have been provided to it by the other Participant.

8.5. Information accuracy

8.5.1. Each Participant will:

  • use its best efforts to verify the accuracy and completeness of the information provided to the other Participant;
  • 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.

9. Review

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

10. Amendments

10.1. The Participants may amend this MOU, provided such amendments are signed, witnessed and dated by individuals capable of binding each Participant.

11. Communications

11.1. The Participants will be represented publicly in communications related to this MOU by the following designated officials or their delegates:

For the Inspector General

Assistant Inspector General — Inspections and Investigations

For the Commissioner of Competition

Deputy Commissioner of Competition
Cartels Directorate
Cartels and Deceptive Marketing Practices Branch

‑ and ‑

Deputy Commissioner of Competition
Deceptive Marketing Practices Directorate
Cartels and Deceptive Marketing Practices Branch

12. Effective date and termination

12.1 This MOU will come into effect on the date of last signature.

12.2 This MOU will remain in effect indefinitely.

12.3 Either Participant may terminate this MOU by providing 30 days’ notice in writing to the other Participant.

In Witness Thereof, this MOU was signed in duplicate, in both official languages, each copy being equally authentic.

The Inspector General

Denis Gallant, Ad. E., signature entry field
Denis Gallant, Ad. E., date of signature entry field
Denis Gallant, Ad. E.

For the Commissioner of Competition

Matthew Boswell, Senior Deputy Commissioner, signature entry field
Matthew Boswell, Senior Deputy Commissioner, date of signature entry field
Matthew Boswell
Senior Deputy Commissioner