Quebecers pay too much for alcohol: Auditor General

QUEBEC CITY – It’s no secret Quebecers pay more for alcohol than most other provinces, but according to Quebec’s auditor general, the SAQ doesn’t work hard enough to get good bulk prices for its products.

Guylaine Leclerc released her annual report Wednesday and found Quebecers could be paying less for alcohol.

“If we would have applied the same margin model, from the LCBO [in Ontario] to the SAQ, the income to Quebec would have been $215 million less,” she said.

She believes more can be done when it comes to volume discounts, as well as revenue from in-store product placement.

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Leclerc also notes the liquor monopoly has not modified its price markup structure over the years.

The report states the liquor corporation has not taken into account the importance of store promotions, which totaled $129 million in 2014-2015.

Leclerc pointed out a discrepancy between when stores are busiest and when they are most staffed.

READ MORE: Petition launched calling for public inquiry into corruption in Quebec’s IT industry

In addition, the Auditor General found there are persisting problems in the way the province awards its IT contracts.

The report points to an inefficient system that doesn’t go far enough to prevent conflicts of interest.

” We suggested that they should at least have them sign documentation saying there’s no conflict of interest,” Leclerc noted.

In the call for tenders for micro-computers, Leclerc found government practices limited competition and didn’t ensure the best prices.

In March, 18 organizations, including public sector unions called for a public inquiry into Quebec’s IT sector.

—; with files from .

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