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EMSB found to have routinely broken rules when awarding contracts: report
Published Wednesday, October 16, 2019 5:03PM EDT Last Updated Thursday, October 17, 2019 8:28AM EDT
MONTREAL -- The English Montreal School Board (EMSB) is the subject of another less-than-flattering report Wednesday saying that it routinely broke the rules when awarding contracts.
La Presse obtained an unpublished report from the Quebec Treasury Board revealing that $44 million worth of contracts were awarded between 2017 and 2018 without following the rules.
The board, according to the report, would typically split contracts so they looked like they were worth less than $25,000 in order to not have to adhere to to the public call for tenders rule.
Contracts were also modified once awarded.
"This is typically something that is illegal, that is not following the rules, so that's an example of how not to proceed," said Christian Dube, treasury board president.
The board said it finds the report disturbing, however Dube insisted it is too soon to say whether there will be any criminal charges.
"I want to have the reaction of management now that the auditors have found these cases," he said.
"Why did you do that? That's the explanation we'll get from management."
The Francois Legault government said it is not ruling out placing the EMSB under supervision, with guardianship a likely possibility.
No one at the EMSB was willing to comment on the leaked document. Spokesperson Mike Cohen insisted the report is a first draft, full of inaccuracies.
"This was given to us by the treasury board as a draft document for us to review with the understanding that it not be discussed with anybody," he said.
"We're keeping our word. Somebody somewhere did not keep their word and leaked it."
Cohen denied that the EMSB has handed out any illegal contracts, but said he could not go into specifics.