Cosatu welcomes tender findings

2011-06-15 11:28

Cosatu has welcomed the uncovering of serious flaws in the procurement of tenders in the Gauteng road and transport department worth more than R1 billion, while the DA is calling for a “full-scale police investigation”.

“While Cosatu is shocked at (the) findings, it is very encouraging to see such a determined and vigorous attempt to uncover the abuse of tender procedures and also the prompt response of transport MEC Ismail Vadi, who has immediately taken action to rectify the problem,” said the union’s Gauteng secretary, Dumisani Dakile, in a statement today.

Vadi yesterday released the findings of a six-month investigation by Auditor-General Terence Nombembe into the awarding of 13 tenders between September 1 and December 15 2010.

Nombembe found 20 problems indicating poor monitoring and leadership, as well as inadequate reporting and ineffective governance arrangements.

“Cosatu Gauteng welcomes the recommendation that the department should declare these tenders null and void,” Dakile said.

“They must follow-up on the report and uncover who is responsible for the abuses the AG has uncovered, and those responsible staff members should be brought before a disciplinary enquiry and those found guilty should face exemplary penalties.”

The DA, however, wants a “full-scale police investigation” into the provincial roads department.

“The Resolve Group report that was made public a year ago found massive irregularities involving former department head Mr Sibusiso Buthelezi, but he was let off the hook by Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane, leaving with a R1 million payout,” said DA Gauteng caucus leader, Jack Bloom.

“It is absolutely scandalous that she (Mokonyane) has reneged on her stated intention to send this report to the presidency so that it could be referred to the Special Investigating Unit (SIU).

“It has instead been effectively buried in her office.”

Bloom said Mokonyane had said the Resolve Report’s recommendations had been acted on “but this is demonstrably untrue as shown by the latest exposure of corruption by the Auditor-General“.

“The rot in this department is very deep, stretching back many years,” Nombembe said.

Bloom called on President Jacob Zuma to request the SIU to probe the department.

The AG’s report found problems with a R49 million contract to provide security to department buildings and the extension of a R1.3 million contract for the intelligent number plate project.

The AG also found a conflict of interest in the awarding of a R35 million tender for the development of a turnaround strategy for the driver’s licence testing centres.

A R4 million contract for the installation of a biometric verification system to vet senior department officials did not follow due process and the procurement process for the R20 million construction and renovation of the Derek Masoek Centre was flawed.

A R900 million contract to construct roads over three years did not follow due procurement process.

Vadi said none of the contracts under investigation had been signed.

The department would overhaul the supply chain management system and put stringent accountability and reporting mechanisms in place, said the MEC.

Additionally, all supply chain management officials would undergo lifestyle audits and security vetting.

The AG recommended disciplinary action against various department officials, although no action had yet been taken as the report was only given to the MEC yesterday.

However, Vadi said the department would in due course initiate, where appropriate, disciplinary proceedings.

The report did not name the implicated vendors or the officials.

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