Province all set to tackle corruption

2012-09-21 00:00

HUNDREDS of government officials in KwaZulu-Natal have been arrested and prosecuted for defrauding the government, the KZN Treasury department announced yesterday.

Delivering the report on the steps taken by the Treasury and the Office of the Premier to combat corruption, MEC for Finance Ina Cronje said yesterday that in the financial year from April 2011 to March 2012, 549 dockets of fraud involving government officials were opened. “Of these, 529 resulted in convictions in the courts with a total of 499 years of imprisonment with options and 113 [people] without option.”

Cecil Msomi of the Integrity Management Unit in the Office of the Premier said the 113 are serving prison sentences.

Cronje said the Treasury had received 125 request for investigations of which 81 investigations had been completed. Cronje said in other investigations dating back to 2009, the Treasury had recommended that R90 267 044 be recovered from service providers, R25,95 mi­l­lion be recovered from government officials and R254 mil­lion worth of assets had been seized.

She said most of the government’s fraud and corruption problems lay with supply chain management. The problems included lack of effective contract management, price inflation, lack of accurate supplier’s information, increased cases of irregular expenditure and fraud and corruption.

“You find at times that suppliers collude with each other, saying it’s your turn to get the tender. At times they collude with government officials.”

“Provincial treasury has completed a process of cleaning up and the establishment of a new supplier’s database for all provincial departments and municipalities in the province to promote accountability and legal compliance by suppliers doing business with government.

“The suppliers have been asked to re-register. The new supplier’s database has now been linked with external organisations like Sars, Cipro, and CIDB.”

She said the system will be used for supplier classification rotation so it’s not always the same people doing business with the government and added it was unacceptable that the government continued to be cheated by suppliers. “The government procures the most expensive muffins and the most expensive bottled water.”

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