12/10/2013 04:48 EST | Updated 02/09/2014 05:59 EST

Montreal anti-corruption squad integrated into UPAC

Montreal's anti-corruption squad (EPIM) will be integrated into UPAC, announced Mayor Denis Coderre and members of the provincial government today.

Coderre made the announcement alongside Stéphane Bergeron, Quebec's Minister of Public Security and Jean-François Lisée, minister responsible for the Montreal region, describing this change as a way to improve efficiency in the fight against corruption.

EPIM was created in January 2013, when 20 officers from the Montreal police force were assigned to investigate the administrative integrity of the City of Montreal, with a particular focus on the municipal tendering process.

After the integration, squad members will work with UPAC while still receiving their salaries from Montreal police.

Coderre said this integration with UPAC will enhance EPIM's independence from the municipal administration.

"This is a clarification of mandates, to send the message that we have a coherent plan," said Coderre.

EPIM has a budget of $3 million to investigate the awarding of contracts in Montreal, as well as elected officials and the city's service providers.

It also has the authority to inspect construction sites.