'Confidential' tender revelations upset prisons boss

2016-04-15 14:25
Zach Modise (AFP)

Zach Modise (AFP)

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Johannesburg - Prisons boss Zach Modise is upset and "concerned" because Netwerk24 and News24 revealed information about National Treasury's dissatisfaction with an "irregular" R378m tender.

Kenneth Brown, the state's chief procurement officer, cancelled an "irregular" R378m contract awarded by the Department of Correctional Services (DCS) to a company with close ties to the ANC, News24 reported this week.

A Treasury investigation concluded the contract for an inmate management system awarded to the Sasstec group should be cancelled and Modise must personally assume responsibility for any fruitless and wasteful expenditure incurred through cancelling the contract.

Replying to written questions, Modise hit back, saying that "much of the information referred to in the media is confidential. It is impossible for DCS to respond to the allegations without breaking confidentiality conditions laid down by Treasury. Public debate on the issue is limited. DCS will eventually provide a comprehensive response to Treasury."

According to Modise, DCS asked the Auditor General (AG) to view the contract as an independent party.

The AG, however, seems to accept the issue has been resolved by Treasury.

"Seeing that the Treasury already investigated (the tender) and made recommendations to DCS, the AG will not investigate the issue any further," AG spokesperson Africa Boso said.

"The AG will indeed consider the Treasury's findings and the impact in the annual audit process."

The parliamentary standing committee on public accounts (Scopa) is also upset over the controversial tender.

Vincent Smith, ANC MP and representative on the committee, said it was "not wise to have to wait 18 months for the AG findings".

"If there is money wasted, players must be held accountable.

"If DCS is innocent, it is unfair to the department because the service provider cannot proceed with the contract conditions."

- FULL TEXT: Correctional Services responds to prisons tender scandal claims

- R378m prisons tender was above board - company

- EXCLUSIVE: R378m prisons tender scandal

- Correctional Services tried to overpay R300m for IT system

Read more on:    tenders

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