The Competition Bureau has fined the Corporate Research Group Ltd. $125,000 after the firm, one of Ottawa’s largest real estate consultants, pleaded guilty to a charge of bid-rigging for government contracts.
The fine caps an investigation that started in May 2009 after Public Works contacted the Competition Bureau concerning a request for standing offers issued Feb. 15, 2007.
"CRG admitted that its company representatives and Louis Facchini, carrying on business as First Porter Consultancy, submitted bids, in response to the (standing offer), that were arrived at by an agreement that was not disclosed to (Public Works)," the Competition Bureau stated.
CRG may also be called to court at a future date, the bureau added, noting it is a criminal offence for vendors to "agree among themselves" on their bids without informing the purchaser.
In July 2010, CRG voluntarily repaid more than $303,000 to Public Works after an external review of consulting contracts dating back to 2006 showed insufficient records in five cases.