Act respecting the Autorité des Marchés Publics

Overview

The Act respecting the Autorité des Marchés Publics (CQLR c A-33.2.1) protects any person with an interest in the tendering or awarding process of a public contract who discloses information regarding a non-compliance with the normative framework. The Act prohibits any reprisals against a person who has made a protected disclosure.

 

What kind of disclosure is protected?

The Act protects any person who, while acting in good faith and on the basis of reasonable belief, communicates information to the Autorité about the tendering or awarding process for a public contract or the performance of such a contract if the public body concerned did not comply with the normative framework.

Who is eligible for protection?

The Act protects any person who has a necessary interest to file a complaint about a tendering or awarding process.

Under the Act, a person with interest is defined as:

  • Tendering Process: an individual or groups of individuals (general partnerships, a group of general partnerships, businesses) interested in the tendering process or its representative.
  • Awarding Process: any interested person (business) able to fulfil the contract according to the needs and obligations stipulated in the notice of intention.

Disclosures regarding information protected by solicitor-client privilege is prohibited under the Act s.56.

 

 

How are whistleblowers protected?

The Act protects any person who, while acting in good faith and on the basis of reasonable doubt, has made a protected disclosure to the Autorité or has cooperated in an investigation regarding a disclosure against any kind of reprisal s.51. It is also forbidden to threaten to take a reprisal against a person so that the person will abstain from communicating information or cooperating in an audit conducted on the grounds of such a communication s.63.

Under the Act, a reprisal s. 64 includes the demotion, suspension, dismissal, transfer or any other disciplinary measure that adversely affects the employment of a person who has made a protected disclosure.

A person who is the victim of a reprisal may file a complaint with the Autorité so that the Autorité may determine if the complaint is substantiated and make any appropriate recommendations to the chief executive officer of the public body concerned by the reprisal s. 65.

How should disclosures be made?

Be careful! Despite presenting some challenges for follow ups, one of the best protections for whistleblowers is their anonymity. Be cautious when providing any information through electronic means, especially emails! Read the security tips section.

In order to submit a complaint with the Autorité, employees may fill and submit the following electronic form.

The Autorité will not accept complaints submitted past the due dates s.39:

  • In the case of a complaint pertaining to an awarding process, an interested person can submit a complaint:
    • not later than three days after receipt of the decision handed down by a public body with which the person disagrees.
  • In the case of a complaint pertaining to an awarding process (following a notice of intention), an interested person can submit a complaint:
    • not later than three days after receipt of the decision in the case of disagreement with the body’s decision to maintain the conclusion of a contract by mutual agreement following an expression of interest.

When considering whether to make a disclosure, an employee may apply to the Public Prosecutor for access to legal advice s.58.

For more information on the process to submit a disclosure to the Autorité, follow this link: https://amp.quebec/en/file-complaint/