Thanks to the suspension of the rules provided by the Emergency Law, the Assistant Deputy Minister of Health was able to contact a friend in Deloitte directly and award the $ 23 million contract to his former employer without calling for tenders.
Jean Maitrey, Assistant Minister of the Special Projects Branch, contacted the company where he worked from 1997 to 2002 and was awarded this important contract by our Parliamentary Office.
For $ 23 million in two years, Deloitte will be developing an appointment program primarily for the Govt-19 screening and reporting negative results via SMS or email using the HealthConnect site.
The deal, reached in October 2020, shocked industry members, who could save up to $ 9 million by opening up Quebec to compete. Our Bureau of Investigation reported at the time.
“I have a friendly relationship with the company’s employees. I contacted this employee to get the name of the partner responsible for the Cellforce practice [sic]. We had to quickly find a company to use the screening platform because the supplier at MSSS failed to deliver on its promise, ”Jean Maitrey wrote in a statement dated February 24, 2021.
The assistant deputy minister later said that business talks had been held with the partners responsible for the company and that his friend was not in office.
Since then, Deloitte Health Connect has won at least four additional contracts by mutual agreement.
Call with caution
In response to the declaration of these benefits, the head of ethics of the Ministry of Health and Social Services called on the Assistant Deputy Minister to be vigilant.
Amélie Côté-Tremblay writes that the relationship between Jean Maitre and his friend in Deloitte should be “announced”.
“However, because of this relationship you run the risk of being unnecessarily influenced in your decision making,” he writes, because this person is not in a position of authority within the company and cannot receive particular financial benefits. .
However, Mr. in Deloitte. Ms. Cote-Tremblay believes Maitreya’s former employee status could create the appearance of a conflict.
“In this case, rather than your friendship with the Deloitte staff, the relationships you may have maintained with the company’s board of directors following your time as senior manager will lead to a conflict of interest,” he wrote. That warning applies to all of her former employers.
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Therefore, in the context of futures contracts by mutual agreement, the ethical expert calls on him to “be objective and seek other bids from competing companies in order to avoid any preference”.
Our interview request was rejected by Jean Maitre. The Ministry of Health recalled that the emergency law allows for the awarding of contracts by mutual agreement. “In this context, a tender call and selection committee is not necessary,” a spokesman wrote.
The MSSS adds that the HealthConnect platform has been “extremely useful since it was launched in December 2020”.
Four more Health Connect Related Agreements:
- $ 2.1M For professional services related to its extension, additional licenses and more;
- $ 378,000 To maintain certain services for a period of six months, including answering calls;
- $ 99,910 Modifying the site in accordance with the duty of health workers to ensure that adequate vaccinations are given;
- $ 99,910 To coordinate the management of the waiting list for mental health services.
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