City bans devices to stop tender leaks

2014-01-23 00:00

ETHEKWINI announced extremes to clamp down on sensitive information being leaked from its tender procurement meetings, including a ban on the use of digital devices like iPads and other tablets, as well as smartphones during meetings.

eThekwini city manager Sbu Sithole yesterday said that they had become suspicious after unsuccessful bidders had lodged appeals with the city when they should not even have known that they were not the successful bidder.

“The leaks of information to the bidders have created problems for us,” he said.

He further vowed to take serious action against officials found to have been involved in leaking whatever was being discussed at the procurement meetings.

“The first thing we are going to do is ban the use of cellphones and other gadgets. When we find the officials responsible for the leaks we will act and this could even lead to dismissal.”

Sithole said he would be asking the city’s IT experts to also look at their computer systems, which he felt had been compromised.

He said that unsuccessful bidders were preparing appeals even before the successful party was informed. Sithole said the unsuccessful parties were given detailed information that could only come out of the procurement meetings.

Deputy city manager Nomvuzo Shabalala said the city need to act quickly to stop the ill-disciplined officials within its ranks. “The actions of these officials have a significant impact on the service delivery mandate of the city.

“Now we need to strengthen our systems to avoid a repeat of this.”

The executive committee took a unanimous decision to back Sithole to come up with a plan to deal with plugging the leaks at the procurement meetings.

Shabalala said there must be serious repercussions for those bypassing the system.

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