Mpumalanga flouts tender procedures in 96% of cases

2012-04-20 11:29

Tender procurement procedures were flouted in 96% of Mpumalanga government tenders awarded during the 2010/11 financial year.

Auditor-General (AG) Terence Nombembe found that the province had incurred irregular expenditure to the tune of R511 million in a sample of tenders on which the auditors focused.

The AG found that officials flouted supply chain management procedures and the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA) and treasury regulations when:

» They dished out tenders without inviting competitive bidders. Treasury regulations stipulate that tenders worth R500 000 and above have to be put through a competitive bidding process.
» Appointed companies that did not have valid tax clearance certificates.
» Issued certain tenders without getting three quotations.

Nombembe’s spokesperson, Jeanny Morulane, however declined to identify the projects where procurement processes were flouted.

“Most of the information you requested is in the departments’ management reports. As you probably know, the contents of the management reports are not within the public domain,” Morulane said.

Management reports are detailed discussions that take place between the audit teams and departmental officials when departments are being audited.

Provincial DA spokesperson Willie Venter said the AG’s findings were not surprising.

“We’ve been seeing the same pattern in the AG’s report. What the AG says about one department is always a duplicate of the other and the fingers always point at the heads of departments (HODs),” Venter said.

SACP and Cosatu have been calling for Premier David Mabuza to step down as they have accused him of having tolerated corruption in the province.

The biggest culprit was the department of public works, roads and transport which accounted for R352.9 million of the irregular expenditure.

The Select Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) recommended last year that the department’s head, Kgopana Mohlasedi, should be charged but Mabuza has apparently ignored the legislature committee.

The other department that incurred irregular expenditure are: education (R134.8 million); culture, sport and recreation (R1.3 million); cooperative governance and traditional affairs (R6.1 million); economic development (R903 000); health (R1.4 million); Mpumalanga Economic Growth and Development Agency (R13 million) and Mpumalanga Regional Training Trust (R1 million).

The Mpumalanga government failed to respond to a request for comment.

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