Integrity in public contracts - Law will soon apply to service contracts of more than $1 million

Public Contracts

Montréal - The Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) is informing enterprises seeking public service contracts in Québec with a value of more than $1,000,000 that they should file an application for authorization to enter into public contracts as of now.

Today, the Québec government announced that the threshold for public service contracts and subcontracts for which enterprises will have to obtain a prior authorization from the AMF will soon decrease from $5 million to $1 million. Note that the reduced threshold will only apply to service contracts. Therefore, construction contracts will not be affected and their threshold will remain at $5 million and over.

The reduced threshold will apply to all service contracts and subcontracts entered into pursuant to a call for tenders made as of November 2, 2015 or with respect to which the award process began as of that date.

The Québec government designates, by Order in Council, the contract values, categories and groups for which AMF authorization is required. The Order in Council giving legal effect to the reduced threshold for service contracts was adopted on May 27, 2015.

Processing of applications

Enterprises must use AMF E-Services to file their application for authorization. To use these on-line services in a secure manner, they must have an account with clicSÉQUR, the Government of Québec's authentication service.

The AMF verifies whether the applications are complete and compliant, before forwarding the information obtained to UPAC, the anti-corruption squad. In co-operation with the Sûreté du Québec, Revenu Québec, the Régie du bâtiment du Québec and the Commission de la construction du Québec, UPAC performs the audits it considers necessary and gives the AMF an opinion regarding the enterprise applying for authorization. This opinion will indicate the reason UPAC is recommending that the authorization be refused, if that is the case. Once it has received the opinion from UPAC, the AMF will issue a decision on the application for authorization.

Enterprises that are issued an AMF authorization are immediately entered in the register of enterprises authorized to enter into public contracts and subcontracts.

The Autorité des marchés financiers ("AMF") is the regulatory and oversight body for Québec's financial sector.

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