12/19/2014 07:31 EST | Updated 02/18/2015 05:59 EST

UPAC, Quebec's anti-corruption unit, makes strides in 2014

The head of Quebec’s anti-corruption unit, UPAC, says investigators made headway in 2014, with a total of 15 arrests on charges including fraud against the government.

- New Quebec anti-corruption unit gets to work 

UPAC commissioner Robert Lafrenière said another 42 investigations are still underway.

In a report summarizing UPAC's activities in 2014, Lafrenière also underlined the importance of citizens coming forward with information. In the past year, more than 1,000 people assisted in their work.

Lafrenière also stressed the importance of prevention, as well as fostering a culture change in Quebec institutions and government. Investigators met with 8,000 people, including mayors, officials and councillors as part of that goal.

"Prevention is the basis of deep and lasting change," he said.

In its annual report, UPAC also highlighted the links it established with anti-Mafia organizations internationally, including groups in Italy with similar mandates.

UPAC was formed in 2011 the wake of demands for a public inquiry into corruption in the construction industry.