Minister calls for board nominations at once-captured state IT agency

New board members at the State Information Technology Agency need to be "capable of ethical leadership," according to Communications and Digital technologies Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams.

The minister on Friday gazetted an invitation for nominations for non-executive directors at two entities - SITA and the National Electronic Media Institute of South Africa (Nemisa).  The closing date for niominations is September 20.

"The nominees must be people with a high degree of integrity, honesty, transparency, and accountability and be capable of providing ethical leadership to entities," the gazette read.

The advert also called for nominees to have a mix of skills, "to provide proper governance" for the successful implementation of the entities mandates.

Nemisa is mandated to run e-skills initiatives in the country. Candidates for Nemisa should have expertise in the ICT sector and can be academics, have skills in research, innovation, digital transformation and multimedia, among other things.

Board candidates for SITA are to have expertise in the small and medium enterprise sector, black economic empowerment and development needs, legal expertise for the negotiation of contracts and their management, have forensic investigation background, expertise in financial reporting, auditing and IT systems, among other attributes. Knowledge and experience in the ICT sector pertaining to blockchain, the Internet of Things and cybersecurity would be advantageous.

SITA procures ICT services for government departments. City Press recently reported that there have been allegations of irregularities in procurement contracts, which implicated senior managers and board members.

News24 has previously reported that SITA admitted a tender for police forensic light sources was irregular.

In June last year SITA management briefed Parliament's Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) on applications to deviate from procurement guidelines in some cases, Fin24 previously reported.

Entities must apply to National Treasury for approval to deviate from procurement guidelines. Deviations are allowed in exceptional circumstances, for example emergency procurement or if entities are dealing with a sole supplier.

In the 2017/18 financial year, a quarter of SITA's total bids led to deviations from procurement guidelines, Fin24 reported.


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