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Canada charges IT firms in bid-rigging probe

February 18 2009

Seven companies face criminal charges of bid rigging related to several information technology services contracts for the Canadian federal government, the Canadian Competition Bureau announced. The firms allegedly joined to illegally coordinate their bids to pump up prices. Six of the firms provide IT solutions and one, Brainhunter Inc. (TSX: BH), provides IT solutions and staffing.

Brainhunter said it conducted an internal investigation and has done nothing wrong.

The allegations against Brainhunter stem from a joint venture bid submitted in October 2005 to Transport Canada, where the company was one of several sub-tier vendors, Brainhunter said. Its primary involvement was submission of nine resumes, but the bid was not won by any member of the joint venture.

"We take these allegations very seriously," said Chairman and CEO John McKimm. "The company has conducted its own internal investigations since it became aware of the allegations and is confident neither the company nor its employees are guilty of any wrongdoing."

Other firms listed as being charged include TPG Technology Consulting Ltd., Spearhead Management Canada Ltd., Tipacimowin Technology Inc., Donna Cona Inc., Nortak Software Ltd. and The Devon Group Ltd.

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