Ottawa relaxed its anti-corruption rules and reduces penalties for companies seeking government contracts after being convicted of corruption, money laundering and other criminal offenses.
Under the new procurement rules announced Friday, the companies can still be denied the right to bid for contracts if they have been convicted of such crimes in the past three years.
But this period may be reduced by half if the company cooperates with the authorities and takes corrective action.
In addition, suppliers are not automatically ineligible for government contracts because of the behavior of affiliates, unless it can be demonstrated that the supplier had control over the convicted subsidiary.
The Canadian business lobby had urged the government to change the procurement rules, they had described as “draconian”.
Public Works Canada has estimated that the new rules were fair, that they guaranteed due process and were more aligned with international best practices.
The CEO of the firm SNC-Lavalin engineers, Robert Card, had particular that federal protocols used for the awarding of contracts would have negative consequences for his company if they were not changed. SNC has expanded its compliance policies since embezzlement allegations surfaced three years ago.