A few private security firms have shared $ 100 million in unparalleled public funds since the outbreak began, half of which went into the treasury of the giant card.
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The health crisis has allowed private security firms to grow richer than ever before, without having to worry about the usual contract terms for tendering.
An analysis by our Bureau of Investigation shows that the Quebec Health Emergency Order is being used 47 times to obtain security guard services without soliciting tenders.
Although there are hundreds of security firms on the market, only one of them, Carda, has captured more than half of the sums, or 11 deals totaling $ 49 million.
The Journal recently revealed that a total of $ 336.3 million (with or without a call for tenders) was provided to deploy security guards at health facilities in the first year of the epidemic. 257% more than the previous year.
To meet the need, the Private Security Bureau granted temporary permits to ineligible people.
Despite the epidemic, this increased reliance on agents continues.
One of the last unrivaled contracts the card received was signed at the end of April 2021, on behalf of CISS de la Montreigne: a $ 31 million contract for 12 months.
It replaces the expiring five-year contract, cites Catherine Dominguez, digital communications consultant at CISSS de la Monteroge-Est.
“Since the onset of the epidemic, the need for caregivers has drastically increased, for the support provided in private shelters, in our own facilities, at our non-traditional sites, screening centers and our vaccination sites,” he argued. CISSSS.
Twice as expensive
According to our information, the value of contracts also exploded during epidemics.
The hourly rate charged in Quebec for an agent’s services can sometimes increase from $ 40 to $ 60.
In the field, however, most officers were paid a minimum wage of $ 18.34 an hour, as mandated by a cabinet order.
“These agents were still at the forefront and close to COVID,” said one source, who wished to remain anonymous.
Only a handful of companies offer small bonuses of $ 2 or $ 3 per hour for those working in high-risk areas.
“It’s an industry with companies that are there to make money. The benefit to the workers is not there,” one source adds.
Last March, the Quebec Auditor General said he was investigating contracts related to health emergencies.
– In collaboration with Andrea Valeria
Keep in mind that Que Quebec has extended its authorization to award contracts without bidding on the health network until March 2022, despite the drastic reduction in hospital admissions and over-vaccination of the population.
Without contracts Agreement Infectious related
11 contracts for 49 M $
- Queens of Quebec
3 contracts 8 M $
- SIRCO Investigation and Security
1 contract 7 M $
- ECS Canada
1 contract 4.6 M $
3 contracts 4 M $
- Sûreté Group Inc.
3 contracts 3,9 M $
Source: SEAO Data Collection
Thousands of temporary permits without training
To meet the need, the Office of Private Security (BSP) has issued 13,561 temporary permits, which allow for exceptional protection during the health crisis, from April 1, 2020 to March 31, 2021.
As of March 31, 7,492 of these permits have been renewed.
Holders of these special permits generally do not have to take the 70-hour training required for guards.
“In order to obtain a temporary agency permit, the applicant must fill out the BSP form for this purpose and meet the following criteria: Must be at least 18 years of age and have never been convicted of a criminal offense related to a licensed private security activity,” Genevieve Codin, BSP’s strategic adviser, insisted.
Our intelligence unit noted that the new guardian contract for the three CISSs in the Monterrey region was twice as long as the previous contract.
The state-owned acquisition center signed an unrestricted agreement with Cardo on April 30 for 12 months for $ 31 million.
The previous order, which ended in 2014, cost $ 13.5 million a year. But an additional $ 17 million was added to the final bill.
“Amount [du nouveau contrat] In an epidemic, it’s based on the number of hours charged for the previous year, ”explained Catherine Dominguez, spokeswoman for the CISSS de la Monteroge-Est.
Half of Carda’s contracts with the government for security agents, with or without a health emergency, were awarded a total of $ 418 million for 10 years without tender.
It has become the company’s 99th mutual agreement since 2011 in the context of a health emergency signed with CISSS de la Montérégie.
During this period, Carda received four times as many contracts with the Quebec government and twice as much revenue as its closest rival.
“Everyone in the business has a condom. Quebec always gives everything to Carda,” says one source.
“GardaWorld represents almost 50% of Quebec’s defenders, so GardaWorld is very common,” argues Carda’s media relations team. “Contracts with our customers are confidential,” we add.
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