More woe for Gauteng transport dept

2011-06-27 20:53

Johannesburg - One person connected to a Gauteng transport department employee has been arrested over petrol card fraud within the department, the department said on Monday.

On February 8 it was alerted to possible fraud by Wesbank relating to activity on 11 cards, and later through a tip to the presidential hotline.

"Once the notice from the hotline was received, the department started the investigation process," said department spokesperson Octavia Mamabolo.

It was handed to the departmental fraud and corruption unit.

"One person involved in the scam has been arrested already. The suspect is linked to one of our contract employee who is responsible for applying for and receiving new petrol cards."

Ten cards have been used by a syndicate and though a final figure cannot be put to the scam, it is thought to amount to at least R800 000 for the period between January 2010 and February 2011.

The department does not know yet how the cards were moved. "MEC Ismail Vadi and the g-Fleet Management condemn the alleged fraud and corruption and will do everything in their power to stamp out the scourge," said Mamabolo.

Details on whether use of other petrol cards in the department had been affected, or whether the contract employee had been suspended, were not immediately available.

Vadi is already dealing with an auditor general finding that there were serious problems relating to tenders worth R1bn.

The auditor general made 20 findings in relation to the contracts under review, that were "indicative of poor monitoring and inadequate oversight in SCM [supply chain management] by the departmental leadership", Vadi said at a press conference on June 14.

There were allegations of misrepresentation, conflict of interest and no proper price comparisons.

None of the problematic contracts had been signed and Vadi said he was taking urgent steps to fix the procurement process, which included an overhaul of the SCM system for SCM officials.

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