by WIB Staff
“We received the report fifteen minutes before the beginning of our last council meeting,” said Pierrefonds-Roxboro Mayor Dimitrios Jim Beis.
The Mayor was discussing the report by the Montreal Office of the Inspector General noting that the main contractor for the library construction project in the borough, slated to open this March, was allegedly seeking kickbacks from the various sub-contractors on the job.
Beis has since read the report cover to cover and was “shocked to find out what had happened.”
The report contends that “the company Les Constructions Lavacon Inc. demanded a discount from its subcontractors during the execution of change orders for the work of expansion and renovation of the Pierrefonds Library.”
Beis said that the city of Montreal, who was managing the project, “had no way of knowing that this was going on and we thank the Inspector’s office for this report in order to find these types of things.”
“At no time were the City project managers aware of such an agreement, and it would have been impossible for them to know of its existence since subcontractors were under the responsibility of the general contractor,” said the report.
The main contractor “concluded an agreement with each of them, by which these subcontractors undertook to give the company a discount (an “incentive”) of 5 to 15% of the value of their work for each change order.”
Because the money for the library upgrade is essentially being paid by area taxpayers, “the money that was taken needs to be returned,” said Beis. “Even if it is one dollar or several thousands of dollars, the process should be the same.”
The Inspector’s report concluded that the contractor’s actions “ constitute a fraudulent practice under the Contract Management Regulations during contract administration.”
The suggestion provided in the report is that the contractor be excluded for the next five years from bidding for city projects.